Greenbank interiors

Interior Inspiration

The secret to stress-free Wooden Kitchen Worktops

Posted on by Kirsty Fletcher • 10 comments

My secret to protecting wooden worktops

If you’re planning on incorporating wooden worktops into your dream kitchen but everyone you speak to does that sharp intake of breath, saying “ Oh I wouldn’t, they’re so hard to maintain” chances are they haven’t used the best product available to protect them in the first place.

I receive messages on a daily basis about the upkeep of our worktops here at Greenbank Interiors. Generally, it’s from those considering putting wooden work tops in their kitchen but have been warned by many they speak to, to avoid them at all costs, due to the upkeep. The questions are regularly from those trying to persuade their other halves that wooden worktops aren’t as much hassle as they think or have been told they are. (I’m wondering as I type how many people will relate to this as they read this!)

I love getting these messages and being able to help people get a step closer to their dream kitchen as I have a tried and tested solution.

Firstly, I can absolutely relate to this question as I had a hard time persuading my husband that wooden worktops wouldn’t involve lots of maintenance!

So, if I told you we haven’t had to do anything with our wooden worktops, bar a slight touch up around the sink area, for just over 3 years, would you believe me? Most wouldn’t but I promise you it’s 100% true.

So what’s our secret?

Protect them with Fiddes Hard Wax Oil from the outset.

It’s as simple as that! Hard Wax Oil is a blend of natural oils and waxes which, when combined, form a durable and resistant barrier against water, stains (red wine & curry!), heat (although I would still recommend using boards for hot pans etc), dirt and wear n tear.

To give you an idea of the durability of Fiddes Hard Wax Oil, it’s predominantly used on wooden floors! It doesn’t blister, crack or peel and is scratch and scuff resistant.

Our worktops were treated with Fiddes Hard Wax Oil when they were first installed in 2015 and apart from a touch up around the sink area we’ve not had to worry about them at all.

With most oils you would have to reapply the oil at least 3 times, if not more, in a 3-year period. Not Fiddes Hard Wax Oil!

Now don’t get me wrong, wooden worktops do need a little looking after to ensure they stand the test of time. You shouldn’t leave standing water on them for long periods of time, as it will leave a residue as it dries. You also shouldn’t put hot pans directly on the surfaces but I wouldn’t advise that with any worktop – you just never know how hot a pan is.

So, aside from investing in a few heat resistant boards (or in our case left over off cuts of the worktops themselves!) my other tip to maintaining your wooden work surfaces is to use a good cleaner that has been especially developed for daily cleaning of wood surfaces. Fiddes recently introduced me to their Surface Cleaner that they’ve created and tested for this very purpose.

This stuff won’t break down the surface and won’t strip oils or waxes from the hard wax oil. I’ve been using it for the last few months and love it.

So, my advice to anyone thinking about taking the plunge and going for wooden work tops is to ignore all those that do that sharp intake of breath when you talk about it! Go for it! Get yourself some Fiddes Hard Wax Oil, some heat boards and the correct Surface Cleaner and I promise you, you will never look back.

There are a few questions that I get asked on a regular basis around Hard Wax Oil, which I will list now as they may be questions that come up for you at a later stage.

What colour did you use on your work surfaces?
We used Clear Semi-Gloss on our work surfaces.

Can I use Fiddes Hard Wax Oil directly over other oils?
No, Fiddes Hard Wax Oil can’t be applied on top of any other finish. You’ll need to sand the surface right back till not oil remains. You must also ensure all surfaces are clean, dry, and free from any previous finish before applying Fiddes Hard Wax Oil.

How do you apply Fiddes Hard Wax Oil?
For the larger areas we used a mini roller and finished the edges off with a paint brush. Fiddes Hard Wax Oil shouldn’t be applied with a rag.

Can I use bleach to clean my work surfaces now that I have treated them with Fiddes Hard Wax Oil?
No! You mustn’t use any cleaner containing bleach or aggressive solvents and grinding agents that will attack or abrade the finish. Get yourself some specially formulated Surface Cleaner from Fiddes!

And it’s not just me that loves Fiddes Hard Wax Oil!

Head over to the Fiddes website where you’ll find lots more information on the full Fiddes product range as well as lots of really helpful video guides on how to apply Hard Wax Oil.


*This blog post contains affiliate links. All views & opinions are my own.

10 Responses

  1. Jade says:

    Huge, big, massive ‘THANK YOU’ for introducing us to fiddes hard wax oil! So easy to do & makes our surfaces look incredible! xx

  2. Catherine says:

    Love Fiddes wax oil I’ve been using it for well over a year! Leaves the perfect finish! I wouldn’t use anything else. And just discovered they have a work top cleaner too! 😄xxx
    Thanks for including my photo on your blog x

    • Hi Cat

      Thanks so much for the lovely message. Your worktop looks fantastic – I couldn’t not share it!

      Let me know what you think of the surface cleaner – I love it!


  3. Emily Mallette says:

    Thank you once again! I was curious about the cleaning part too. I will pick up the surface cleaner and then train the rest of the family what we can and cannot do!

  4. Paul McCann says:

    Did you look or do you know anyone thats had any luck with the Osmo oils for similar purposes?

    Ive just purchased a few tins to do a bathroom unit (oak), in preperation for our worktops next year. But now wondering if we should use this, I was attracted to the food safe option of the Osmo.

    Be interesting to know if you have any experience with the other or know of anyone that has used both?

    • Hi Paul

      Thanks for the message.

      I haven’t actually used Osmo before but I’ve received lots of messages about it.

      I think some of the main differences are that it is slower drying, less durable (especially in areas of moisture), has a more greasy texture (Fiddes Hard Wax Oil sets hard like a varnish) and the wood needs feeding more often with Osmo.

      The main thing to consider is what sort of finish you are after. Fiddes Hard Wax Oil is more of a varnish finish where Osmo is more of a matt finish.

      The biggest advantage of Fiddes Hard Wax Oil is how much less maintenance there is over Osmo.

      Hope that helps and doesn’t confuse matter!

      Kirsty 🙂

  5. Kelle Downer says:

    Awesome blog Kirsty! Def going to get some for my new worktops. Just need to sand them down etc first as we put danish oil on them when they arrived. x

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