Project 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.

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How to lubricate difficult screws with soap
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How to lubricate difficult screws with soap

We’ve all had times when we just can’t get a screw into a piece of wood. Here’s a simple tip to make the job easier. Take a bar of soap and run the side of the screw along it, so that the grooves are covered in soap. Put the screw back into the hole and you should now find driving the screw into the wood much easier.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Sand the benchtop
2 Vac and wipe down the benchtop
3 Wipe down with a damp cloth
4 Put the drop sheets down
5 Apply the oil
  • Step 1. Sand 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.
  • Step 2. Vac 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.
  • Step 3. Wipe 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.
  • Step 4. Put the drop sheets down

    To protect the floor from the hard wax oil, lay down some drop sheets around the benchtop.
  • Step 5. Apply 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.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Applicator or paint brush
  • Belt sander
  • Drop sheet
  • Dust mask
  • Earmuffs
  • Safety glasses
  • Vacuum cleaner

Materials

  • 240 grit and 120 grit sandpaper
  • Clear hard wax oil
  • Disposable gloves
  • Dry cloth
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. 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. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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