15 Responses

  1. Melissa
    Melissa at · Reply

    Just as an added resource for anyone that’s researching – I also installed Ikea butcher block and used a product called Rubio Monocoat. I can’t stop talking about how amazing it is. It’s one coat (hence the name), dummy proof to apply, 100% viscose free & food safe and waterproof. It also comes in about 20 colours if you want to stain & protect at the same time. I have NO idea how it’s not more popular. It’s not widely available but it’s totally worth tracking down. Here’s my experience: http://thesweetescape.ca/2015/01/kitchen-update-diy-waterfall-butcher-block-island.html

  2. Tash @ The Dreamhouse Project
    Tash @ The Dreamhouse Project at · Reply

    Thank you, THANK YOU for writing this post & including all of those amazing resources! As you know, I’m somewhat in the same boat as you but my floors aren’t nearly as red so I’m thinking the Dark Tung Oil might actually work for us…or at least I was thinking that until I saw Melissa’s comment above! OK SERIOUSLY?!?! I do not know how I missed that post on her blog!! One coat?!?! I’m off to research that Rubio product & check out the colours asap!!!

  3. aprettylifeinthesuburbs
    aprettylifeinthesuburbs at · Reply

    Things are looking really great in your kitchen Alex! I think you made the right decision by using the mineral oil – it’s a great contrast with your floors!

  4. naturalmommieblog
    naturalmommieblog at · Reply

    I’m just seeing this now! I totally get your frustrations and think you made a fantastic choice. I used mineral oil too and have been so happy with how my oak counters have aged over the past two years. I’m relieved that I didn’t stain or seal them! They’re so easy to care for..I think you’ll enjoy them! Looks great!

  5. Stephen
    Stephen at · Reply

    Hi, I have also just purchased and installed IKEA Hammarp Birch countertops, and having the same issue – blotchy stain. My tests look about the same as your Dark Tung oil tests. The birch just doesn’t take stain very well. I’m wondering – how has the Mineral Oil coating held up? Do you have to be super careful about staining and water? How often do you have to recoat? Thanks for your post!

  6. Karen
    Karen at · Reply

    We also purchase the Ikea Hammarp in birch. First we bought 2 countertops, but could not work on them for a couple of months due to some unforseeable events. When we did start working in the kitchen again, we found we needed one more countertop so we went back to the store and bought another. Now this one did not stain like the first two and we have been pulling our hair out because it is in one long run of counter. The piece to the left of the sink and around the corner turned out just like yours, but the new piece to the right of the sink is so blotchy and spotty. We did the exact same procedure on all pieces. My question: Did you do a lot of sanding when you began working on your countertops? We have found what appears to be some kind of yellowish lacquer on all the pieces, but the new one just won’t seem to sand off and it affects the color. Thank you for your great post on this topic.

    1. Stephen
      Stephen at · Reply

      I tried about 30 different stains and varnishes on a large test piece of the Birch Hammarp countertop. Sanding, no sanding, sanding sealer, stain conditioner… nothing seemed to look good. The countertops come with a linseed oil based coating already on them, I think between that and the type of birch Ikea uses, results in blotchy staining. Since they already come with a linseed oil based coating, I figured it would be best to stick with a linseed (or other oil) based coating. But I didn’t want to use the cheap Ikea stuff they sell. So after some tests, I settled on a product called Tried and True Wood Finish (their website is very helpful), which is a mix of polymerized linseed oil and beeswax, and provides a non-toxic all-natural protection from water and liquids. It also turned the counters a beautiful warm golden color. So far so good. Water beads up on it nicely, and it’s very easy to apply (just rub on with a cloth). I know this doesn’t help you much, since you already have two pieces coated with stain, but maybe this will help others who encounter the same issue. To be honest, if I had my time back I would not have purchased Ikea wood counters, and instead paid more for custom made *uncoated* counters, so I could do what I wanted with them, but it worked out ok in the end.

  7. Karen
    Karen at · Reply

    Actually, now that you mention it, our first two countertops were warped also, but we thought maybe we did something wrong in storing it, so we just kept it and hoped that when we screw it to the cabinets, it would straighten out. I think we have been just dumb and should not have used ANY of these pieces!

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