How To Care For Oak Worktops

As far as solid wood worktops go, oak worktops are timeless. The rustic and natural appearance of the wood combined with its hard-wearing and durable nature makes oak tick both practical and visual boxes. Simply put, it’s no wonder that the material is a popular choice in a range of furniture designs including our own bespoke pet furniture!

However, whether incorporated into your kitchen or chosen for your pet’s new bedroom, you must care for your oak worktops to ensure they look and feel as good as they should over time. That’s why we’ve created this short guide covering how to care for oak worktops. Follow our handy tips and you can be certain that your prized oak furniture will stand the test of time. 

Why Care For Oak Worktops?

Despite being so strong, the natural makeup of oak means that it requires a little more TLC compared to other materials also used for worktops. Oak naturally changes when exposed to light, moisture, air and heat and while this process may further enhance its appearance, it can also increase the risk of wear and tear and potential damage. It is therefore advisable to invest some time in regularly caring for and tending to your furniture so that its rustic look continues to far exceed the appearance of alternatives for the years to come.  

If you’re wondering how to care for oak worktops, it’s best to break the process down into 3 tasks: cleaning, protecting and oiling. 

Cleaning Oak Worktops

Prevention is always the greatest cure – and this sentiment certainly applies to caring for oak worktops. Proper cleaning should always be your first port of call when tending to the appearance of the wood and day-to-day care goes a long way towards limiting the likelihood of long-lasting damage. 

If you spill something on the surface, don’t panic! Stains can be prevented if you use a dry cloth to mop up the spillage straight away. Mess is inevitable from time to time but do avoid using any bleach, chemicals or abrasive sponges when cleaning it up as these could taint the appearance of the wood. A damp cloth and gentle cleaners will do the trick if the worktop needs a more thorough clean as opposed to a quick wipe. 

Protecting Your Worktops

You also need to be mindful of how you are using your oak worktops and take appropriate steps to protect them. Even the smallest amount of heat can result in a burn so avoid placing hot items like kitchen pans or candles directly onto the worktop. These hot items can scald the wood and create damage that cannot be reversed so it’s much better to be cautious and opt for a trivet or protective surface than risk spoiling the oak’s appearance forever. 

Knives and sharp items can also wear and mark the wood though it is often possible to sand this kind of damage away. Nevertheless, if you are going to be cutting on your oak worktops, using a chopping board is highly advisable and more hygienic. 

How To Oil Oak Worktops

Oiling your oak worktops also helps to protect them from damage and enhance their natural appearance. The oiling process essentially coats the wood with a protective layer, making it easy to maintain and better able to resist wear and tear. This should be done every few months and is easy to do by following these steps:

  1. Start by thoroughly but gently cleaning the worktops as outlined above to remove any grease, dirt and debris.
  2. Dry the worktops with a separate cloth and use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand them. This ensures that the surface is smooth and even for the oil application.
  3. Apply a generous amount of food-safe oil, such as Danish oil or linseed oil, using another clean cloth. Work in the direction of the grain of the wood, allowing it to penetrate for at least 15 minutes. 
  4. Wipe excess oil away with the dry cloth and repeat 2-3 times depending on your desired appearance. 

If you have any additional questions about how best to care for the oak worktops on your pet furniture or wish to start your own, natural-looking design, get in touch with us or use our quick online design tool.

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