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Refinishing kitchen counter - suggestions?

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Forum topic by Pyro posted 09-17-2018 08:33 PM 1025 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pyro

52 posts in 362 days


09-17-2018 08:33 PM

Hey guys,

There is a slab of butcher block in the kitchen of a rental unit that was sealed (not sure what with). Someone tried to clean it with something kinda harsh and it made the finish all tacky. I can see it coming up. I’m going to take it off and sand it down. I have a couple requirements for the finish and I’m not sure how to meet them.

1. This is in a small studio apartment so someone is sleeping close to this piece of butcher. A product that off gasses a lot of VOC’s for more than 4 or 5 hours isn’t an option.
2. I’d rather not use something that is going to be easily messed up again. Hot cookware and harsh cleaners are the first things that come to mind in terms of things I see people subject these to regularly.

I was thinking of just sanding it down and putting some kind of oil on it but I’m afraid that people will use it as a cutting board and it’ll get dirty fast.

Any ideas? Easier the better. Thanks!


19 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

17761 posts in 3207 days


#1 posted 09-17-2018 08:36 PM

Id go with General Finishes High Performance. About 7 coats and a 2 week cure time after the final coat.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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Pyro

52 posts in 362 days


#2 posted 09-17-2018 08:45 PM

Chris,

I know which product you’re talking about but I’ve never used it. I’m worried about it holding up against heat. It is a water based poly isn’t it?

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chrisstef

17761 posts in 3207 days


#3 posted 09-17-2018 09:07 PM

It is water based. Im not sure that any product will hold up to high heat though. Especially a low VOC.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1874 posts in 1998 days


#4 posted 09-17-2018 09:15 PM

Have a look at this stuff, zero Voc. https://www.rubiomonocoat.com/en/home?country=us
I’m a big fan of general finish but I totally agree with you not want to smell a finish gassing off esp when it’s not good for you.

-- Aj

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Pyro

52 posts in 362 days


#5 posted 09-17-2018 09:23 PM

What do you guys think about something that isn’t a poly finish but also doesn’t invite you to use it as a cutting board? Any ideas?

Hm Aj2, this might fit the bill https://www.rubiomonocoat.com/en/p/products/interior/35-interior-wood-care-protection-products-us/colours-and-protects-in-1-single-layer/15-rmc-oil-2c?country=us

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

419 posts in 1303 days


#6 posted 09-17-2018 10:57 PM

If this “block” is not intended to be used for cutting then cover it with plastic laminate. It will be much more durable and maintenance free for a rental unit. I am assuming there is a low VOC contact cement that you can use.

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Pyro

52 posts in 362 days


#7 posted 09-17-2018 11:17 PM



If this “block” is not intended to be used for cutting then cover it with plastic laminate. It will be much more durable and maintenance free for a rental unit. I am assuming there is a low VOC contact cement that you can use.

- bilyo

You are definitely right. The owners however do not want to use laminate because they like the look of butcher more.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

184 posts in 379 days


#8 posted 09-17-2018 11:43 PM

Just leave it natural.

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

419 posts in 1303 days


#9 posted 09-17-2018 11:43 PM


You are definitely right. The owners however do not want to use laminate because they like the look of butcher more.

- Pyro

They do make plastic laminate that looks like butcher block. You might discuss it with them as most anything you do with the real butcher block in a rental unit will be a maintenance problem. It just invites someone to cut/chop on it.

View barada83's profile

barada83

88 posts in 1387 days


#10 posted 09-18-2018 01:53 AM

Epoxy isn’t terribly stinky. Pain to apply and you have to let it sit for a few hours but its pretty durable. Not sure how durable it is to heat but chemical and water durability is very high. You can burn just about anything though so if some idiot lights a fire on top of it or puts a burning pan of bacon on top of it, all bets are off for just about anything.

-- Mike

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CWWoodworking

184 posts in 379 days


#11 posted 09-18-2018 03:06 AM



Epoxy isn t terribly stinky. Pain to apply and you have to let it sit for a few hours but its pretty durable. Not sure how durable it is to heat but chemical and water durability is very high. You can burn just about anything though so if some idiot lights a fire on top of it or puts a burning pan of bacon on top of it, all bets are off for just about anything.

- barada83

What will epoxy look like when you chop on it and let wet stuff sit on it?

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CWWoodworking

184 posts in 379 days


#12 posted 09-18-2018 03:12 AM

Thi

This is a 15+ yr old poplar cutting board. I waxed it when it was new, nothing since.

HEAVILY used. At least once a day.

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

944 posts in 1642 days


#13 posted 09-18-2018 07:09 PM

In a rental, you are almost guaranteed that the block will be used for a cutting board. I would not put a film finish on it, as the cutting will cut into the finish.

Instead—as I do with all my wood countertops and boards, I would treat it with mineral oil and instruct the tenants on renewing the treatment periodically. Give them a bottle of MO. It’s cheap and renewable.

If needed, between tenants, you can sand and re-treat.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View 01ntrain's profile

01ntrain

259 posts in 1271 days


#14 posted 09-18-2018 08:06 PM

Watco makes a Butcher Block Oil…..I’ve used it on a few butcher-block countertops that I’ve installed. It’s kind of a middle of the road between a film-finish and straight mineral-oil. It’s food-safe, easy to apply and re-apply, and inexpensive. Like JM said, give them the can.

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Pyro

52 posts in 362 days


#15 posted 09-18-2018 08:25 PM


In a rental, you are almost guaranteed that the block will be used for a cutting board. I would not put a film finish on it, as the cutting will cut into the finish.

Instead—as I do with all my wood countertops and boards, I would treat it with mineral oil and instruct the tenants on renewing the treatment periodically. Give them a bottle of MO. It s cheap and renewable.

If needed, between tenants, you can sand and re-treat.

- jerryminer

Jerry,

If the butcher block stays oiled will it keep out things like odors and stains from fruits and vegetables? I know I’ve seen some pieces that have been used for chopping lots of garlic and they smell quite a bit. Thanks Jerry.

Thanks to all of you guys for sharing your knowledge. You’ve saved me a lot of headaches and guessing games int he past. Much appreciated.

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