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How to Choose the Best Wood Countertop Finish

best wood countertop finish

If you are preparing food directly on your wood countertop, you should opt for a mineral oil finish. This type of finish is food-safe, but offers little protection against stains and other liquids. Its main function is to nourish the wood, preventing it from cracking and drying. Butcher block wax, on the other hand, offers the best protection and is considered the most suitable finish for wood countertops. It contains paraffin wax and repels liquids for a limited time.

Mineral oil

There are many different kinds of mineral oils, and not all of them are suitable for use as a wood countertop finish. Mineral oil is white and therefore food-safe, but it is important to read the label to be sure. Look for labels that state “food grade mineral oil” or “Henry’s Cutting Board Oil.”

If you want to avoid a dark finish on your wood countertop, mineral oil is the way to go. This oil is food-safe and does not give off any foul odour. Mineral oil should be applied to a smooth wood surface and allowed to dry completely. You may need to apply two coats of mineral oil if you plan on using your countertops for food preparation. Applying it on a regular basis is important because it evaporates after a while, so it is important to reapply it every now and then.

Tried & True Danish Oil

To apply the Danish oil wood countertop finish, use a sandpaper with a 600 grit grade. You will need at least 2 coats of Danish oil for most woodwork. This process takes some time since you will need to allow it to dry for days. This type of finish also comes with limitations. If you are not a DIY type, you should consider renting a sanding block if you don’t have any tools.

When applying Danish Oil, use a lint-free cloth. Avoid brushing the oil into the wood as it will cause puddling. Rub it into the wood for at least 5 minutes. Do not apply more than 3 coats. This is because Danish oil will dry to a hard crust if left on the wood for too long. After applying the Danish Oil, you should always wipe the piece with a rag to remove any excess.

Bulls Eye Shellac

If you want a beautiful and durable finish for your wooden countertops, try using Bulls Eye Shellac. This is a water-based finish that has a very fast drying time and is non-toxic. Bulls Eye Shellac does not yellow and is completely natural. The same procedure can be used for other Shellac products. You can even mix this type of finish with a bit of denatured alcohol if you don’t want it to be too thick.

While applying Bulls Eye Shellac to your countertop, you should always sand lightly in between coats. Lightly sanding will remove the white residue and glossy finish left by the previous coat. Once the final coat has dried, you can apply wax to the surface. It’s recommended that you wait for at least 30 minutes after applying the finish to avoid streaks. You can also use superfine steel wool instead of sandpaper for the final coat.


Using a Polyurethane Wood Finish from Minwax can protect your kitchen countertops and give them a long-lasting sheen. This oil-based, clear coat is an excellent choice for protecting wood surfaces and comes in a variety of sheens to suit any design or decor. Unlike other finishes, Polyurethane will not leave brush marks or discoloration. It dries quickly and provides excellent protection.

The Helmsman Spar Urethane is a durable, water-based finish by Minwax. It is highly resistant to the sun’s harmful rays and has UV stabilizers to prevent it from breaking down under sunlight. It is completely waterproof and does not contain VOCs, making it an excellent choice for many projects. As it’s formulated to be food-safe, it can withstand even the harshest conditions.

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