How to Seal a Solid Wood Countertop Safely
Solid wood countertops add a wonderful warmth to a kitchen, bar, or even a bathroom vanity. With all of the variations in grain and coloring between different kinds of wood, you’ll end up with a truly unique piece that will be unlike any other countertop. Wood is also fairly easy to work with, so if you’re handy or like taking on home improvement projects, then this is something you could easily tackle. Since wood is porous, the most important thing to consider for this type of surface is sealing it properly, so that it will last for many years. And for kitchen applications, you’ll also want to use something food-safe. Here’s how to seal a solid wood countertop safely.
1 - Surfaces should be clean, dry, sound and free from dirt, dust, and surface contaminants.
2 - Sand surfaces first, using either fine sandpaper or a fine sanding pad. DO NOT use steel wool. Always sand in the direction of the natural grain.
3 - Remove sanding dust with a slightly water-dampened cloth or tack rag.
4 - Choose a high-quality product – this is not a surface you want to skimp on. Try ECOS Paints ECOS Interior Gloss Varnish which is extremely durable and it’s also organic*, non-toxic**, and zero VOC*** so you can use it with complete confidence.
*Free of pesticides, free of herbicides, and free of fungicides.
**Conforms to ASTMD-4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.
***Conforms to CDPH 01350 (VOC emissions test taken at 11, 12, & 14 days for classroom and office use). Learn more about VOCs and our commitment to healthier paints here.
5 - Always do a test sample on a scrap piece of wood before you begin to ensure a sound technique and to achieve the best product performance. Although most varnish products share some similarities and characteristics, all vary slightly from one to another.
6 - Do not thin. Stir gently and thoroughly before use and continue stirring during application. Intermix if using multiple containers to assure sheen uniformity.
7 - Apply using a high-quality synthetic brush. Maintain a wet edge and do not allow the product to puddle. Also, do not over brush.
8 - For maximum protection and durability, apply three coats. Dries to the touch in 15-30 minutes. May be recoated in 2-4 hours. Avoid applying at temperatures below 41°F (5°C).
A wonderful example of just how gorgeous wood countertops can be was sent to us by a customer from North Sale, New York. She had Ken Waltz from Waltz Landscaping make her countertops from solid black walnut which they sealed with ECOS Paints Woodshield Interior Gloss Varnish. Ken has been doing carpentry work for forty years and has had headaches and sensitivity to chemicals in the past when using other products. He said that working with ECOS Paints was a delightful experience and we couldn’t be happier to hear it! The homeowner has said that her countertops are not only beautiful but they are also wearing very well. You can see from these pictures how wonderful this project turned out. What gorgeous wood!
Hearing from customers that our products not only look wonderful, but also help the people working with them feel healthier**** is the best news that we can get! If you have a project that you’d like us to share, please send it our way!
****By eliminating harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene from our products, we improve indoor air quality compared with competitive products that use these chemicals.