How to re-oil wooden worktops in 3 simple steps

Sand your wooden kitchen worktops before oiling.

You'll need to sand your wooden kitchen worktops before beginning the re-oiling process. - Credit: PA/Alamy

Over time, wooden worktops can fade and become marked, so it’s important to treat them every so often.

Most experts will tell you to re-oil worktops every three to four months, but to know for sure, Toolstation recommend dripping water onto the worktop surface. If the water forms a bead, it doesn’t need re-oiling, but if it sits flat on the surface, your worktop needs some TLC.

Wooden worktops can take a bit of looking after. 

Wooden worktops can take a bit of looking after. - Credit: PA/Alamy

How to re-oil a wood worktop in 3 steps

Step 1: Sanding

Use sandpaper (start with a courser grade sandpaper, then go over it with a finer grade, eg. 120 grit followed by 180, or 180 followed by 240 – available from all hardware stores) to smooth over all of your wooden worktops. If the worktops are in bad condition, you may need to use an electric sander or card scraper, but these will require a bit more knowledge and skill, so you might prefer to call in the professionals.


You may also want to watch:


Sanding is a bit tedious and it will take a while, but on the plus side, it will lift off any stains or marks that are starting to set in. Focus on any discolouration around the sink area, as this can be harder to get rid of.

Make sure you clean off all the dust thoroughly once you’ve finished.

Most Read

Step 2: Oiling

Once you’ve done your prep, all you need to do is apply your oil. There are lots on the market, but try Rustin’s Worktop Oil (£11.43 for 500ml, Toolstation) – a water-borne blend of natural plant oils, suitable for all types of timber, quick drying and water-resistant.

Rustin’s Worktop Oil, Toolstation. 

Rustin’s Worktop Oil, Toolstation. - Credit: PA/handout

To start, pour a little oil onto the worktop and, using a lint-free cloth, spread it over the surface until you have a very thin and even layer. You need to repeat this until you’ve covered the worktop, then apply another coat.

After applying, be careful not to leave any of the oil on the surface, as it could show up white and stand proud.

After the first coat, leave the oil to dry for a few hours (potentially more, depending on your brand of oil – always read the instructions) and then re-apply up to eight coats. Adding several thin coats is more effective than one thick layer, which can dry sticky or shiny.

Many coats of oil may be needed before your work is done. 

Many coats of oil may be needed before your work is done. - Credit: PA/Alamy

Step 3: The re-test

Once dried, try dripping water on the surface again, and if the water doesn’t form a bead, repeat the oiling process.

3 of the best worktop savers

Now you’ve got gorgeously pristine worktops again, always use a heat protector or chopping board to keep it looking good.

1. Joseph Joseph Stretch Silicone Pot Stand, £15.99, Lakeland

2. Round wooden chopping board, £14,99, Homesense

Round wooden chopping board, Homesense.

Round wooden chopping board, Homesense. - Credit: PA/handout

3. Beech Chopping Block, £21.99, Lakeland

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter