Kitchen Countertops in Sapele #3: Finshing process

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by edapp posted 08-28-2017 05:17 PM 1682 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Breadboards, final assembly and fitting Part 3 of Kitchen Countertops in Sapele series Part 4: Nearly done »

After adding a very slight roundover to the top edges, easing the bottom edges by hand, and sanding to 220 grit with my orbital sander, I was ready to start the finishing process.

After applying a coat of thinned polyurethane to the bottom (thinned for drying time), I poured on a coat of Watco Danish Oil in Dark Walnut. After testing different stains, I liked the tone the Dark Walnut color added. It deepened the dark part of the “ribbon” grain, adding contrast and a nice bronze color. After flooding the surface, I wiped off the excess a few minutes later.

You can see the reds, browns, bronze colors. Walking around the room the colors in the grain change from each direction. The breadboards always provide a contrasting color due to the grain direction, which really makes them stand out.

I then laid out the faucet, trying to decide where to drill the holes for the each piece…

After working up the courage I drilled the holes. This view is from the bottom.

3 days later I lightly sanded with 400 grit paper, wiped the counters down and applied a coat of Shellac to provide a good seal coat over the danish oil. I thinned some zinzer “sanding sealer” 50% with denatured alcohol to make it easier to apply an even coat. I have had some very bad experiences with this stuff recently, and thinning it made things go much more smoothly. 30 minutes later a sanded again, and was ready for the first coat of Arm-R-Seal.

I applied I believe 6 coats of slightly thinned Arm-R-Seal gloss over the next 6 days. Sanding between coats. I applied minwax poly to the bottom before each session. As you know, it is hard to get this to really show up in a cell phone picture….but I am really happy with the look.

The final coat will be Arm-R-Seal satin. I will be drilling for threaded inserts later in the week, and doing the final install.

4 comments so far

View FoundSheep's profile


196 posts in 1614 days

#1 posted 08-28-2017 07:42 PM

Wow, that is an incredible countertop! You should be very proud, that is an excellent statement piece!

Are there any lessons you’d pass on if you were to redo it?

-- -Will, FoundSheep Designs

View edapp's profile


347 posts in 2588 days

#2 posted 08-28-2017 08:06 PM

Thanks FoundSheep! I am excited about having something different from the standard laminate or granite countertops. Will be adding a white subway tile backslash which should really make the colors pop.

The only thing i would change, if I could, would be to have started with thicker boards, and used all quarter sawn lumber. Some of the boards on the short side of the room are flat sawn and pretty narrow. They are still a really nice color but do not have the ribbon grain. Also all of the lumber started as S2S and 13/16”. I would rather have started with 6/4 rough stock and surfaced it myself, though there would have been a lot of work involved with some of these boards exceeding 14’

Ask me again in a year or two and I may have a different answer :)

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4716 days

#3 posted 08-29-2017 02:10 PM

That’s breathtakingly beautiful and definitely not your run of the mill counter top. Gives me some ideas… May I ask why you didn’t just saturate it with mineral oil?

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View edapp's profile


347 posts in 2588 days

#4 posted 08-29-2017 02:34 PM

Thank you!

I have used mineral oil in the past on cutting boards. To me it should not be considered an option for a countertop. It does not provide the protection you expect on a hard use surface like this, and would need to continually apply it. It also tends to remain oily or “leak” after application. All of the cutting boards that I have made and used eventually started to stain, absorb smells and residue of foods. Not something I want to worry about on the countertops. A film finish, in my option, is the only option for something like this.

Tung oil is something people tend to use, but again you need to be very careful of standing water or setting cold drinks down. I wanted something lowed maintenance, that we could use more like any other countertops (though we will still need to be careful of heat or standing water).

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics