Do you have a favorite topcoat?
I use different ones depending on what I’m working on.
I love Tung Oil for stained pieces like this. It lends itself to a gorgeous, hand-rubbed finish, yet it is so easy to use. With several coats (24 hours in between each one), it soaks in and fills the wood pores, so it is best used on porous woods. If you want the very best Tung Oil on the market, you’ll want to check out Waterlox
. I’m pretty sure you have to order it because I’ve never seen it in stores. That is what I would use if I ever install butcher block.
Tung oil is a natural oil that is thinned with solvents so that it will soak into the wood pores. Once the solvents evaporate, it is non-toxic. You can see that there are dull spots, which means it needs another coat to really soak in. After applying, wait 5-10 minutes, and wipe off excess with a lint-free cloth. Watch for brush hairs and get rid of those before they dry into the finish. I used cheap chip brushes because they dry as hard as a rock and I don’t want to clean them after each coat. You can use a good brush, too, just be sure to clean it with mineral spirits right away.
After 4 or 5 applications, it will appear wet, and feel a little tacky. Not to worry.
Wait 24 hours after the last coat, and knock down the shine with some very fine steel wool and a little elbow grease. You want to be able to run your hand across it, without feeling any tackiness.
Next, bring back some of the shine and smooth away the steel wool scratches
using car polish (not wax) and soft cloths. I used Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound.
Now, go admire your nice, buff arms.
While it takes some time because of the drying time, it is quite simple to do!