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FAQ -- Care -- Butcherblock




Q. What is in Behandla, IKEA's "Wood Treatment Oil"?  Is it Mineral Oil?  How do I finish my IKEA wood countertops?

A. No, it's not Mineral Oil.  It's (and I quote) "Tung oil, linseed oil, methylcellulose, lead free drying agent, plant-based emulsifier, water."  They say it's been approved for use in contact with foodstuffs (their word, not mine), but they also say "Soak cloths in water to prevent the risk of spontaneous combustion."  I'm going to use 100% Food Grade Mineral Oil or maybe Spoon Oil (Mineral Oil + Beeswax), but that's me...YMMV.  Note: If you use a Behandla that features a colorant (some do) you'll eventually end up with an unevenly colored worktop.
Others have used Polyurethane, but don't use their counters as a butcher block.
Grlwprls got excellent results with 100% Tung oil, sandpaper and a little muscle.  This is what she writes about it:  "The wooden worktops come with one application of oil. All I did was rub in the first coat of tung oil like waxing a car, and then for each additional coat, I sanded with a 220 or 320 grit sanding block, cleaned up with a tack cloth and rubbed in the next coat of oil. I let each coat dry 6-12 hours. I did 5 in all - and it was really easy. Water completely beads on the surface and you can see the oil has penetrated well into the wood when you look at the edge of the countertop."

Pronomen Beech Tung Oil Finish vs. Factory Finish

Q. I've already used the Behandla oil.  Can I switch to tung oil now?
A. Yes, you can switch to tung oil after using Behandla, a penetrating oil treatment. Tung oil is renewable--simply do a light sanding and then apply the oil.  An application of about 5-6 coats will give a nearly waterproof finish that will stand up to daily cleaning with mild soap and water.
Q. I am using more than one piece of the Pronomen/Numerar butcherblock countertop.  How best to seam them?
A.  At least one finish carpenter recommends 'Tite Joint' fasteners for pulling the countertops together.  Caulk/glue isn't needed with this fastener and the seams will be joined tightly and resist twisting and warping.  Fasteners are available on the web from places like Rockler.  



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