Kerry Lockwood kitchen worktops

If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know that we rent this house, we’ve been renting here for 5 years now, if you’re not familiar you can read our story here. The kitchen in this house has wooden worktops which we haven’t had in a previous home so we weren’t aware of the upkeep. Over the years they have become badly water damaged, especially around the sink area. It started to look really dirty and unsightly so I did a little research into ways to remove the black areas from the wood. This blog post is a very quick guide, for more step-by-step instructions head over to my YouTube video.

What they looked like before:

Black watermarks on kitchen worktops

Stained kitchen wooden worktops

What you will need:

What to do:

Firstly remove everything from the worktops then lightly sand the whole surface and edges. We have a draining area next to the sink with grooves which is where most of the black, unsightly water marks are, so for this area we used wire wool and a screwdriver to lightly scrape away as much of the black as possible.

Once you’re confident that you’ve sanded away as much of the black as you can, apply the Oxalic acid to the damaged areas. To do this mix 100ml of hot water from the tap with 3 tablespoons of Oxalic acid. Mix well until the powder has dissolved. Then using a clean paintbrush, brush the acid onto the stained areas. Once you’ve applied it you then need to scrub well with an old toothbrush to work it into the grain. Next leave for around 15 minutes, before wiping off. Give the area a good clean to remove the acid.

At this stage the black areas looked much better but were still prominent in some areas, so I then applied a second layer of the oxalic acid and left this for another 15 minutes. Once I had washed this off and left it to dry it looked so much better, I was really happy with the results (See photo below)

Black and Decker mouse sander

Using a screwdriver to revoke black areas

Before and afterBefore and after, really happy with the result.

The next step was to apply the Danish oil. This is the easy part, just give it a good shake and apply using a soft cloth in the same direction as the grain. You’ll need at least 3 coats and have to wait 6 hours between applying the next coat. This is essential to seal the wood, making it water-resistant so that you don’t end up with the water damage like we did! I originally chose Colron refined Danish oil in natural but once applied this was too orange for my liking and also highlighted the water marks once again! So I decided to try a darker shade in the hope that it would help to disguise the black stains. I used the same brand but in shade Jacobean dark oak. I applied 3 coats of this and the colour was so much better.

So the final result was that the watermarks were still slightly visible, but overall looks so much better and feels much cleaner. The oil now means that any water drops will just wipe off, rather than soaking into the wood.

This blog post is a bit of a whistle stop tour, for more details head over to my YouTube video:

The finished result:

Finished kitchen worktop

Finished kitchen worktop after stain removal

So as you can see, it’s not perfect but the the dark water marks have blended in much better and the worktops look and feel much more finished and fresh. A much cheaper option than replacing them.

What do you think? Have you had this problem with your wooden worktops? Let me know in the comments below.


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