Worn Out Kitchen Worktops and Cupboards? Here’s How to Maintain Them…


If your kitchen is anything like most people’s it’ll be a busy, bustling place full of action and fun, food preparation, pets and children. Over their lifetime kitchen units come in for a proper bashing, and wood kitchen surfaces are some of the most vulnerable as well as the most beautiful.

Farmhouse Kitchen

Here’s how to maintain your wooden kitchen units and worktops, plus a few key product recommendations to help you transform your wooden kitchen surfaces from tired and worn into something that glows with beautiful health.

Because it’s a kitchen, we’ve recommended products that are non toxic and completely food and child safe. Get it right and your kitchen units will look better and last longer – which is very good to know when replacements can easily cost thousands.

Kitchen surfaces – Varnished or Oiled?

Knowing if your kitchen cupboards, cabinets and worktops are oiled or varnished is fairly important as the way they are cleaned and maintained can be very different. As a general rule, varnished surfaces are more durable and can withstand more in the way of household cleaning products. Oiled surfaces are more sensitive to the types of products used for cleaning (a little oil can be removed after each clean), but are generally much easier to maintain and repair than varnish if they become worn, scratched or dull looking.

How to maintain your wooden kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinet maintenance tip 1: Regular dusting and grease removal – As a general rule, the longer you leave your kitchen surfaces to get sticky and dusty, the more difficult it is to clean it off. If the wood just needs dusting and buffing, use a soft, dry cloth. And do it as often as you can, otherwise the grease and steam that’s so typical in kitchens will do its best to glue any dust and grease fast onto your surfaces, making cleaning more of a challenge as time goes by and the muck builds up. Try to give your cupboards a wipe down at least once a week.

Kitchen unit cleaning tip 2: Ongoing TLC – If you want to keep that lovely natural, clean finish it’s a good idea to wipe down and polish your kitchen cabinets at least once every few months, ideally more often, especially if you have a busy kitchen.

Kitchen cupboard cleaning tip 3: Thorough de-greasing – As noted, kitchen grease can tend to build up, especially if you cook a lot of greasy food. And grubby fingerprints will tend to accumulate on doors. You can remove most of those greasy fingerprints and stains from your kitchen cupboard doors with a soft, damp cloth and some wood surface cleaner which will help to cut through the dirt and grease. It’s best to go for a proper wood surface cleaner and to avoid harsh supermarket cleaning products as these may mark, stain or strip away oiled surfaces.

Wood kitchen cabinets

How to maintain your wooden kitchen worktops

Kitchen worktops maintenance tip 1: Seal that surface! – It’s important to protect your kitchen worktops from the effects of moisture so you need to make certain that your wood surfaces are well protected with a wood oil or varnish so that moisture cannot penetrate into the timber.

Kitchen surfaces tip 2: Get rid of heavy dirt – For varnished surfaces you can use a mild soap solution to gently clean off heavy grease and dirt from your kitchen surfaces. Pay attention to those corners and edges, especially those hidden behind jars and containers. A mild detergent will cut through the grease and reveal the underlying wood without causing damage. A small drop of mild washing up liquid is often enough to get rid of build-ups. Test a small area first to make sure the varnish – if there is any – doesn’t go milky. If it does, use a proper surface cleaner suitable for varnished surfaces. Wipe over with a damp cloth (never with large amounts of water), then dry the surfaces immediately.

Kitchen worktops cleaning tip 3:  Baking soda – Good old baking soda is an excellent product for cutting through stubborn kitchen grease. Try using it to scrub away the grease that can build up in those hard-to-reach areas and in the corners. It will effectively remove greasy residue without harming the wood finish.

Kitchen maintenance safety tips

Natural turpentine is a big no-no for varnished surfaces because it leaves a horrible sticky residue. And both mineral spirits and synthetic turps are flammable and therefore dangerous in a kitchen environment. It’s best to avoid both.

Sugar soap will shift stubborn grease like magic, but you risk damaging the varnish or other finish if you leave it on for too long so you need to take great care to avoid damaging the surface finish. If your wooden kitchen units are really filthy and you feel you need to use sugar soap or something even more drastic, test a small area first.

Wooden kitchen units don’t tend to respond well to harsh detergents, soap pads or steel wool, all of which can easily ruin the surface.  It’s also best to avoid paste waxes and silicone-based products, where the eventual build-up of wax, which is desirable on other wood furniture, can attract dust.

You should always make certain that any wood finishing products that you intend to use in your kitchen are food-safe. We are careful to ensure that the products that we offer for use in kitchens are food-safe.

What to do about horribly stubborn grease?

Anyone who has had to clean the kitchen of a house previously occupied by students will know how difficult it can be to remove the grease that builds up when a kitchen is not routinely cleaned. Here’s what one keen DIYer recommends on the Money Saving Expert website:

“I have always been lucky with Fairy Power Spray. I have certainly used it on cupboards, dishes, hob, blinking everything I love it so much. It is remarkable at getting rid of grease (makes cleaning the chip pan a relative doddle.)

I would not spray it on and leave it to soak. If they are as bad as they sound I would buy a few rolls of kitchen roll (sorry to all the eco people out there but it’s a lot easier with grease than a cloth) and try and wipe down the doors till you can get as much off as you can. If it’s stuck fast, I would wipe over first with an old cloth soaked in very hot water to loosen it. Once I had done this and the doors were relatively clean apart from being oily to touch, I would spray some Fairy in a bucket, get a few cloths and start wiping and scrubbing. If you’re worried about the varnish, wipe over with a clean cloth and clean hot water to rinse. Elbow grease is an effective remedy for kitchen grease!

Perhaps someone will come along and tell me I have it all wrong, and it will ruin the varnish after all – but I’ve never had problems with it.”

What if my kitchen units are completely knackered?

If your wooden kitchen units have gone too far down the road to hell, completely beyond redemption, you could always consider de-greasing and then sanding them right back to the naked wood and then painting them with a gorgeous fresh finish.

Recommended kitchen cabinet finishes for wood kitchen units

We stock an impressive and varied choice of top quality kitchen cabinet finishes. You might fancy a stunning opaque finish or a lovely, clear, natural look. Either way, we’re here to make maintaining your wood kitchen cabinets as easy as possible. If you need advice, why not give us a call? We’re always pleased to give sensible expert advice. In the meantime, why not take a look at these?

  • Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Tints – Hard wearing, easy to apply to bare wood, easy to maintain, a fabulous satin finish, ideal for colouring and protecting any interior wood. It’s child safe, fast drying and comes in nine lovely shades.
  • Manns Classic Oak Stain – Most kitchen units come in oak, a highly durable and attractive wood. Manns Classic Oak Stain is popular because it’s water-based, kind to the environment, offering superior colour depth and a stunning, crisp grain. It’s perfect for Oak and other hardwoods including Ash, Beech and Mahogany and can be easily over-coated with either a varnish or oil.

For a full range of cleaning, maintenance and renovation products, see our worktop finishing products and kitchen cabinet finishing products.

Wooden worktop help and advice

Need some help with your wooden kitchen worktop surfaces? See our worktop FAQ page that answers many of the most common questions and issues. Need specialist help and advice? Contact our resident experts, who are on hand to provide free advice on how to clean, maintain and restore all manner of wooden worktops and worktop finishes.

 Your tips for kitchen cabinet grease removal?

There are all sorts of weird and wonderful tips for removing grease from kitchen cabinets. Have you discovered the easiest way to banish the grease and maintain a beautiful wood finish? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Feel free to comment.


  1. Hi I have an old but excellent condition kitchen, I want to rehash it with 2 new units that will give me extra storage space. The problem is the doors are now out of production but I have managed to secure 2 doors of the correct width but wrong height. The new doors are 120 mm short but I now have managed to secure 2 oven infill pieces of the correct width and height the only problem is the colour, the kitchen is light oak where as the infill pieces are limed oak. My question is would it be possible to lightly sand the infill pieces and stain them and refinish the with a lacquer of the same sheen as the original kitchen if so what would the lacquer be as the kitchen is a sort of semi gloss.

    • Hello Ken,

      Thank you for getting in touch, I won’t lie, matching different pieces of wood, is not the easiest thing, however it is possible to get close matches and if you would like to get in touch via our contact us page with the same details as above and once we get back to you, you can also send some photos.

      We can then make some recommendations for you to consider for your project.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  2. Hello
    I have an oak kitchen that is starting to look a little worn. The doors look like they have a light varnish on them as protection, but there is a patch of greyer looking wood on the corner of the freezer door where the sheen (I assume varnish) has worn. Is it possible to patch repair a kitchen cupboard door If so, what are the best products for this please?
    Thank you
    Ann Marie

    • Good Afternoon Ann,

      Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. Varnished finishes can be difficult to patch repair, especially when they are quite old, and my best advice I am afraid will be to sand back to bare wood and start again. Oak is a great wood and will last forever when you look after it.

      The grey is the probably the result of some UV damage and this is because the varnish has worn away, to restore this you could look at using a Osmo Wood Reviver Gel whch can bring the wood back to an original condition ready for application of a new finish. If you would like further advice please feel free to get in touch with me via our contact us page.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  3. Good morning Sam,

    Thank you for your recent message.

    I have another query, now that I am in the middle of the task of renovating my kitchen worktops. What I have done so far, looks great, but I noticed this morning, that there is the odd rough patch on the wood, Is it too late to lightly sand these areas, having completed the oiling?

    Thank you in advance, Suzy.

    • Good Afternoon,

      I hope your worktops are looking good now Suzy. You can lightly abrade the rough area, try with a Woodleys Finishing Pad first to see if this brings down the roughness of the wood, it could be an area of slightly raised grain. If this does not work then you may need to lightly sand the area to remove the rough feel and then re oil. Very thin application of the oil should help to avoid any join marks.

      Less is more for patch repairs and test areas if possible. If there is anything further that I can help with please do let me know.

      All the best Samantha.

  4. Hello Sam,

    I have pine worktops in my kitchen, which had become badly worn. While I was away for a few days, a friend sanded them down and varnished them as a surprise!

    Not a good job, the varnish is turning green and peeling in places, also, he has sealed in some of the stains!

    Obviously, I am not saying anything, but am going to try and sort the problem myself. My main question is, I am going to use Paint Panther varnish remover to get back to what I hope will be the natural wood an then seal with the Mann’s Top Oil as you recommend. Will the stripper remove the stains as well?

    Thank you in advance, Suzie.

    • Hello Suzy,

      Aw good intentions from your friend but sound like there are a few issues there. The green is concerning me, are you able to send some photos to wfd.advice@wood-finishes-direct.com for me to have a look at.

      The Paint Panther Paint and Varnish Remover is a good option, I would recommend a test area first to ensure no adverse reactions occur. It will not remove the stains in the wood, it may be that you will have to sand these out. You will need an all over finish sand as well to get an even all over finish with the oil. Often the wood looks great when sanded and then you apply the oil and this highlights all the flaws, so sand to remove the stains and then an all over sand in the direction of the grain with a 120- 150 grit sandpaper.

      I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  5. I am currently fitting a new beech block wood worktop and have given it two coats of Manns top oil as in your video. Is this sufficient for the sink area or would another cpat give better protection thanks

    • Hello Paul,

      Thank you for your enquiry. Two coats should be sufficient as the wood is unlikely to accept any more. For sink areas we do often recommend the Osmo Wood Protector. This needs to be applied before the worktop oil however and gives the wood some extra protection from moisture and heat.

      If you have already applied the oil, it is not possible to use the Wood Protector unless you remove all the oil first. I would not recommend this, as there is very good protection with the top oil and you are able to top up when you feel the wood needs it. We have some very helpful videos on our YouTube Channel with helpful hints and tips on application.

      I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  6. Hello. The wood worktop around my sink has become very black – water leakage, sadly. Is this salvageable or will I need to replace it or cover with some kind of fascia?
    Any help appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hello Lucy,

      It will depend on the extent of the damage but I can recommend the Barrettine Mould and Mildew Cleaner which is good for this kind of problem, stubborn stains and blackening may require additional sanding.

      If you are able to get the woods original colour back then I can make some recommendations on how to further protect it, I would need to know what is currently on there and what type of wood you are treating. Feel free to email me at wood@finishes.direct with details and I can narrow down some suitable products for you.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  7. Hi.

    I have a solid pine bespoke kitchen with granite top. I have stripped the pine cupboards back to their natural look which I initially like but in no time they look water marked. Please can you tell me what to do to protect them but maintain their natural look and feel?

    • Hello Emma,

      You could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural. This is a protective oil that is designed to leave the wood looking and feeling as natural as possible. It will give moisture repellency to the wood and is easy to apply, clean and maintain. If you have a look at the products and get back to me if you have any questions. Always try a test area first and this is available in sample sizes.

      Kind regards Samantha.

  8. I have just had oak worktops fitted. They have had about 6 coats of WOCA danish oil over 2 weeks. I’ve decided I don’t like the colour. They are too dark. I like the whitewashed distressed look for furniture and was thinking about dying the wood or using liming wax for a limed oak effect. Any advice you can give will be much appreciated.

    • Hello Maxine,

      Thank you for your enquiry. I am not familiar with the WOCA oil, but 6 coats sounds quite a lot. You are likely to need to remove the oil before being able to apply an alternative product. But if you have a look at our Blog all about White Wood Finishes, that will give you some guidance on how to achieve a limed effect.

      White finishes are very popular and can be difficult to get right, however if done correctly will give a beautiful finish. If you have a read up of the blog and feel free to get back to me if you need any further advice.

      Many Thanks Samantha.

  9. Hi,
    I have mahogany worktoos that have become dull and stained. I was going to sand the stains out.. could anyone advise what to use
    To seal please? I’ve used osmo oil and it come off with cleaning. I have a very busy household with three toddlers so need something that will hold up
    Many thanks

    • Hello Lindsay,

      The Osmo Top Oil is a recommended product for worktops and is an effective liquid repellent. If it is flaking off, it could be down to over application. The oil needs to be applied very thinly so that it can penetrate the surface of the wood. Once cured it is a very effective protection. It will require cleaning with a cleaner that is not to corrosive, so PH neutral, and this may be another issue that is having an impact on the oil.

      The alternative would be a varnish, which is a surface sealer that is more durable than an oil for sure, but harder to maintain and repair. You would need to remove all of the oil first as it would cause adhesion issues with the varnish. Always try a test area first.

      And if you have any questions or there is anything further that I can help with please do let me know.

      All the Best Samantha.

  10. Hello
    I have oak worktops in the kitchen of my new house that have (I think) been varnished, the finish is shiny and hard. The varnish has obviously been applied on to the top without sanding as there are several stains that look like water marks under the varnish. Also it is starting to go black in the grain around the sink and hob edges. I hate the finish! What is the best thing to do? I would like to get the wood back to its natural state if possible and then oil. Am I best to use a stripper to remove the varnish and then try and clean and sand out the stains and marks? Appreciate help as I’ve never done this before!!

    • Hello Abi,

      Thank you for your enquiry. You could look at using the Paint Panther Paint and Varnish Remover to remove the remaining varnish and then sand the wood to remove any stains and prepare for a new finish.

      Manns Premier Top Oil will give a natural look and feel to the wood, whilst offering good protection and water repellency to the surface. We have some very helpful videos on our YouTube Videos with hints and tips on preparation and application.

      And if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      All the Best Samantha.

  11. I have pine wooden doors in my kitchen. My dog has been jumping up to look out of the window and I have alot of scratches on them what can I do

    • Hello Karen,

      If you can email me with the same question and details of what finish is currently on the door I will be happy to advice further. If you can send a photo this will help as well.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  12. I have sanded down our wooden work surface and used finishing oil to seal it. Unfortunately, the kitchen now smells of the finishing oil vapour even a week after it was applied

    Today I sanded the surface down and applied 2 coats of Ronseal interior varnish – the smell is less but it is still there.

    The problem is that the smell is seeping into any packaging that is left in contact with the surface.

    Do you have any ideas what I can do to get rid of the smell?

    • Hello Martin,

      This is not a problem that I have come across before, many products do have a smell that lingers for a few days but with good ventilation the smell should not last much longer than that, if the treatment has dried correctly.

      I know that the time of year means that having windows open is less desirable but this would be my best recommendation at this time. If you have any more concerns or questions please feel free to message me via email at wood@finishes.direct

      Kind regards Samantha.

  13. Hello Sam,
    I have a ten year old below-sink commercially sealed (Howdens ‘Tewksbury’) solid oak door that has developed grey streaks that look as if water has seeped into the lower joints, and along the wood grain below the clear sealed finish. The end grain edge surface also looks penetrated. How should I restore it?
    With Kind Regards, Fred

    • Hello Fred,

      Sounds like you may have to sand back to remove the grey. With any luck it has not penetrated too deep into the wood. I would recommend sanding the whole door to get an even all over appearance, if the grey is not removed despite sanding you may need to consider an oxalic acid product for interior oak, this is not something that we do unfortunately. Once you have the wood as you would like then you can re seal with a varnish or oil depending on what suits you needs. I am happy to advice on suitable products to complete the project if you let me know what type of finish you want. Or you can email me direct at wood@finishes.direct

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  14. Hi, we have a beech wood kitchen work surface and would like to stain it a graphite colour. We are hoping to achieve a matt finnish. What stain would you recommend for us please?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Hello Sally,

      An ideal product for you to consider would be the Osmo Polyx Oil Tints. There is a Graphite in that range and it is suitable for use on work surfaces. It is durable and hard wearing and will be easy to repair and maintain overtime. This oil is a satin finish but the sheen is very subtle and it is available in a sample size.

      Alternatively, you could look at applying a Water Based Stain to achieve the desired colour and then finish with a clear Osmo Polyx Oil. The water-based stains are very versatile as they can be intermixed to get a different colour or you can apply a number of coats to intensify the colour or you can also add water to lighten.

      If you have a read up of the products and let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  15. Hi I was using my ninja cooker yesterday and it was too close to the overhead cupboards and left white marks on them. I have tried Vaseline and coconut oil to take the white off. It doesn’t seem to be working, any other ideas? I googled it and it says to use bees wax, will that work?

    • Hello Candy,

      Its a difficult one as the marks are over head, if it is varnish on the cupboards, often people can use a medium heat iron and place a tea towel of the effected area and gently iron, this often removes white stains from heat damage such as yours. But this can be difficult with an overhead issue.

      If you have oiled cupboards then simply sanding back the effected areas and re oiling is the answer. If you need to discuss further or would like more advice please do feel free to give us a call and speak to one of our friendly advisers or email us on wood@finishes.direct.

      Kind Regards Samantha.

  16. Hi Sam
    I have an oak worktop that is currently varnished but there is significant wear in places. I am hoping to strip it back to be able to whiten the surface before oiling. Do I need to use a paint stripper or will I be able to sand the varnish to get rid of it?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hello Felicity,

      Thank you for your inquiry. You can certainly sand back to bare wood if you would like. Always sand in the direction of the grain and for oil application finish with a 150 – 180 grit.

      If you do find that you need a stripper to help then I would recommend the Paint Panther Paint and Varnish Remover as a quick and effective treatment.

      I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  17. I have scrubbed my wooden table too much with a wire brush and I’ve taken a lot of the top layer off so now there are patches of white. What can I do? It didn’t have a varnished finish.

    • Hello Jean,

      Are you able to send me some photos showing the whole table and the affected areas and I will be happy to take a look. Please include a description of what product is currently on the table and if you know, what type of wood the table is made of. You can email at wood@finishes.direct

      Kind regards Sam.

  18. Hey Sam.
    I’ve just picked up a beautiful old oak top steel work bench that has spent the last 30 years or so in an industrial machining plant.
    The timber is intact in good condition with little to no splintering or degradation, but how do I clean off years of mechanical grease and other particulants without using harsh solvents and damage the finish of the timber.

    Apologies if you’ve already answered a version of this question, there’s so many comments on this forum.

    Thanks, Stuart – Australia.

    • Hello Stuart,

      Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. If you haven’t already tried then spirits and a scotch pad is the first place to start. You should find that this will remove a lot of dirt and grease. And then its down to elbow grease and sanding.

      All the Best Sam.

  19. Hi
    I have just painted some old wooden bedroom furniture with chalk paint and completed with a wax finish. I have noticed it is already started to get a bit scuffed. Any ideas how I should clean the marks off please?

    Many thanks. Kay

    • Hello Kay,

      Thank you for your inquiry. Chalk paint is a very popular finish and the wax seals the paint giving it some protection. But Wax does not offer a very durable finish and will not be scratch resistant, it is easy to apply further coats however to repair and improve scuffs and can be buffed up regularly to increase the shine.

      For a more durable finish we often recommend a Varnish for spray application over chalk paint but this can not go over wax and so it would need removing. Care must also be taken when applying varnish not to over work as this can result in pulling the paint. Test areas are always recommended. I hope that helps and please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  20. Hi
    I have pine wooden work tops we have sanded them down and then cleaned with mentholated spirits and white spirit we have oiled them but when we wipe off the excess oil it leaves streaky lines and patchy. Can you please help with this although they are good work tops may have to change them if we can’t get oiling right.

    • Hello Jan,

      Thank you for your inquiry, can you possibly contact us with some more information, what the wood is, what oil you are using and any other information that you think might be relevant. And if you can send in any photos that would be a help also. And then hopefully I can help advice further.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  21. Hi. I do a lot of cooking and have pine work tops. The oil I used lasted no time at all. Can you recommend a product please?
    I’d like to keep the natural colour.

    • Hello Gail,

      I would recommend having a look at the Manns Premier Top Oil. This is a hard wearing and durable oil that will give good protection to your work top. I would recommend removing the existing oil for the best finish. It is easy to apply, only requiring two thin coats of oil and then to maintain just give a top up coat when you feel the wood needs it.

      This can be annually or longer depending on how much the surface gets used, but simply clean the surface by wiping with White Spirit and then re-oil. Any stains or marks can be easily repaired, just lightly sand the effected area and re oil. We have some very helpful videos on our YouTube Channel that give great hints and tips. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to give us a call.

      kind Regards Sam.

  22. Hello Sam

    I have a small Ikea untreated birch kitchen island and decided to apply a coat of Osmo top oil clear, however, I’m not keen on the light finish of the wood standing next to another unit that has an old pine surface. Am thinking a Fiddes hard wax oil tint perhaps? Would you recommend this or something else? I assume I will need to sand the island surface again – do I need to use white spirit on it prior to sanding? Thanks for any advice!

    Kind regards


    • Hello Caroline,

      Its quite possible that you will be able to apply over the Osmo Oil, now, the manufacturers will not recommend this and so there are not guarantees. But generally speaking one oil will go over another with out any problems. And if you have only applied one coat of the Osmo then chances are the wood will absorb another coat of an oil.

      So a test area is the first step. A small inconspicuous area to check that you like the colour that will be achieved and that there are not adverse reactions between the two products. If all goes well with the test then full application can be done. If you haven’t already seen our YouTube Videos there are some helpful tips for application of oils and if you have any further questions please feel free to give us a call and one of our advisers will be happy to help.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  23. I have had my solid oak work tops for 2 years they were well oiled and still look great apart from a small area around the sink. It has discoloured and gone rough. Do you think this is water damage and can it be rectified with sanding and re-oiling?

    • Hello Pam,

      It is likely to be water damage yes. When the wood soaks up water or liquid it can raise the grain and that may be the rough effect that you can feel. Your best option is as you have suggested to sand back and re oil the area. The good thing about the oil is that it does blend fairly well. I would also recommend Osmo Wood Protector around the sink area as this will protect the wood that bit more from temperature and moisture. One coat of the protector and 2 coats of the Oil. If you have any further question please let me know, and my apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

      Kind regards Sam.

  24. I have mahogany worktops that have faded in parts (possibly due to cleaning materials/bleach)
    What is the best method of cleaning this up and regaining the dark wood colour..and maintaining it. Will i need to dye parts?

    • Hello,

      How to repair this could depend on the wood and the previous treatment that is on the wood. If you would like to forward some images to wood@finishes.direct and I will be happy to take a look. If you not sure which product is currently on the worktops, you can do a small test with some oil from the kitchen cupboard. A couple of drops on the surface of the wood left for around and hour, if the oil remains unmoved then you have a seal like varnish on the surface. If the oil moves or soaks in then you have an oil based product on the wood.

      All the Best Sam.

  25. Hello, what product would you recommend to get the finish on a worktop like the one in the picture above Kitchen Maintenance. Thank you

    • Hello Kasia,

      Being able to achieve that look will very much depend on having the right wood, but you could have a look at the Osmo Polyx Oil in a glossy finish. The reason I recommend an Oil is it is better for sink areas and easy to patch repair. I would also recommend applying a coat of Osmo Wood Protector, particularly around the sink area to protect the wood from moisture and temperature changes. Test areas are important. I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Kind regards Sam.

  26. Help please!
    my husband has used sugar soap to clean kitchen walls.
    The sugar soap has dripped all over my oak worktops.
    What can we do?
    He has gently sanded the marks but looks even worse

  27. We would like to be able to determine the surface finish type of our kitchen cupboards. We wiped down first with white spirits to clean, then applied Sadolin extra durable wood stain but it would not dry out.( I used the same on bare wood as a trial piece and it dried.) Had to remove all this stain it with white spirit. I would like to know before I attempt further restoration how to determine what would be the appropriate product to suit.

    • Hello Jason,

      The first thing for me to say is that the Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain you have previously used is not suitable for internal use, it’s an exterior product more suited to window and door frames. There’s a small test that can be done to determine which type of wood finish you have, which involves applying a couple of drops of oil on to the surface of the wood. If the oil drops soak in, it’s probably an oil or wax-based finish rather than a varnish like product. If you have been using White Spirit to wipe the surface, it’s likely that any wood oil or wax that was on the wood has been partially or fully removed. If the drops remain on the surface unmoved for more than an hour, then you probably have a varnish type finish.

      Varnishes can be removed using one of 2 possible products. The first is Paint Panther Paint and Varnish Remover which will make the Varnish bubble up to be scrapped off. The second is the Peelaway Paint Remover which is a poultice that you leave on for 24/48 hours and then peel off. I hope this helps to solve your problem and if you have any further questions please let me know.

      Kind Regards Sam.

  28. Hello, I have wooden work surface and it’s extremely sticky. Not sure how to tell if it’s been varnished or oiled, but I need to get rid of the stickiness. Any advice on doing this? Will I need to sand back and start again? Surface was already fitted before I moved in

    • Hello Emma,

      Its possible that it is an over applied Oil if it is sticky, try wiping over with White Spirit. This should remove most or all of it and any that is left can be sanded off.

      I would recommend removing all of it as you are unaware of what the treatment is and then you can start again with the right product applied in the right way. If you have any further questions or would like advice on the correct product just let me know – Sam

  29. Hi there

    We have wooden worktops that have been waxed with Osmo oil, these are showing signs of wear and the surface is starting to bubble. We have tried sanding them down but the sand paper just seems to clog up.

    Is there any kind of liquid remover that we could use?

    Any advice would be great.

    Thanks, Kerrie

    • Hello Kerrie,

      If it is oil on the surface of your worktops you should be able to remove it by wiping down with White Spirit. This will remove all or most of it and then a light sand to prepare the wood for a new product.

  30. My husband is a chef in a restaurant and when he is not at work he loves to cook with the children. The kitchen at my home is the most important room. I love spending time there with my family. It is very important to keep the counter tops clean and tidy. My husband cares about the kitchen because he has the training to do that every day. I take care for the rest of the house but I know that the kitchen is the busiest area and I am happy that I am not responsible for the clutter there. 🙂

  31. I want to renovate all of the cabinets at my kitchen and I don’t know what surface to choose. Thanks a lot for sharing this information here because you helped me a lot!


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