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Oil, or acrylic varnish… which is right for your wood worktop?

Wooden worktops in a kitchen offer a natural, simple and elegant style that will never go out of fashion.

Not only do wooden worktops look amazing, they can also be incredibly durable.

When looked after, wooden worktops can last for years and are less likely to get chipped or damaged.

It’s important to look after your wooden worktops.

Without treatment, all liquids and bacteria that your surfaces come into contact with can seep into the wood, causing it to discolour the wood and create an unhygienic environment where bacteria can grow.

Oils or acrylic varnish are used to protect your wooden worktops, turning it into a water resistant and clean surface that will last for years.

So, which is better for your surfaces, oil, or acrylic varnish?



Oil is soaked into the worktop, giving the timber a food-safe, water-resistant finish, protecting your surfaces while making them look great.

Unfortunately, oil’s protection does wear off over time and will need reapplying to keep your worktops in their best shape.

There are many different types of oil that you can use to protect your worktops.

For the best results, we recommend using Danish oil.

Made from a mixture of polymerised linseed oil, varnish and drying agents, Danish oil is excellent for bringing out the natural lustre of the wood while creating a satin, food safe and hard wearing finish.


Acrylic Varnish

Acrylic varnishes are usually water-based treatments that give a water-resistant and hardwearing finish to your wooden worktops.

Generally lasting longer than oil finishes, acyclic varnishes are easier to clean and don’t need to able reapplied as often, making it easier to maintain your surfaces.

Giving off no fumes, acyclic varnishes are easily applied with a brush or a roller to give a smooth finish.

Acyclic varnish is also almost perfectly transparent, making sure that your wood doesn’t get discoloured or darkened in the process. The varnish also features good UV resistance, making sure that your work surfaces don’t get damaged as the sun shines through.


What our experts think…

For the best worktops, we prefer using acrylic varnish.

In particular, we recommend using Spar varnish, which is used to protect items that are near the water like wooden boats, yachts, decks and beach chairs.

If it’s good enough to keep water out of yachts, its perfect for kitchen worktops.

Compared with acrylic, oil is better absorbed into the wood. However, we recommend staying away from oil-based varnish because it tends to darken the wood, taking away its natural colour.

No matter what you pick, get the most out of your wooden worktop by completely removing any existing varnish, waxes, stains or oils before application.

Once removed, make sure the surface is completely dust and dirt free to give a smooth and luxurious finish that your worktop deserves.

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