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Person using paint brush to apply clear hard wax oil to benchtop.

Overview

A timber hardwood benchtop in the kitchen is a great feature, but it needs some care and protection to keep it looking that way. A clear hard wax oil will protect the surface, preserve the look of the timber and give it a nice finish.

Steps

1Sand the benchtop

Use the belt sander to remove any rough edges from the benchtop. Because our benchtop has a fairly smooth surface, we're using a fine grade 120-grit sandpaper. Make sure you sand with the grain. While a sanding block will work well on small areas, use a belt sander for bigger jobs like this because it'll do the job much quicker.
Person using sander on benchtop.

2Vac and wipe down the benchtop

Now, use your vacuum to remove all the dust. This will prevent any bumps from forming when we apply the wax.
Person using vacuum on benchtop.

3Wipe down with a damp cloth

Wipe down the benchtop with a damp cloth to make sure it's completely free of any dust. Then, leave it dry.
Person wiping benchtop with cloth.

4Put the drop sheets down

To protect the floor from the hard wax oil, lay down some drop sheets around the benchtop.
Person laying drop sheet on the ground.

5Apply the oil

Stir the hard wax oil thoroughly before using it. Apply the oil using either the applicator or paint brush. Use long even strokes that go with the grain. Apply a thin, even coat and leave it for 12 hours to dry.

Lightly sand the surface with 240-grit sandpaper and wipe away any dust. Then apply a second coat of wax.

Over the next 24 hours, you should take care when using the benchtop. Don't clean it with water or any other liquid for at least 10 days. You need to wait until the wax reaches its maximum hardness.

Person using paint brush to apply clear hard wax oil to benchtop.

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.