How To Seal An Ikea Wood Countertop

You just purchased an Ikea wooden countertop, and you're eager to install it. But you still need to seal it. If you're wondering how to do this, we can help. We researched these counters from multiple professional sources, so you'll know what steps to take when it comes to sealing yours.

To properly seal an Ikea wood countertop, you will need to take the following steps:

  1. Sand both sides of the countertop.
  2. Wipe away the dust with mineral oil.
  3. Apply varnish.
  4. Sand the countertop a second time.
  5. Apply another coat of varnish.
  6. Sand and add a last coat of varnish.

Now that we know the steps you'll need to take to seal an Ikea wood countertop, let's take a deeper look at each one. You might also be wondering if you really need to seal an Ikea wood countertop or how long a wood countertop will last. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

Empty wooden table or countertop top corner with blurred white modern kitchen background, How To Seal An Ikea Wood Countertop

Breaking Down The Steps For Sealing An Ikea Wood Countertop

Once you've gotten your Ikea wood countertop home, you'll want to move to an area where you have room to work. Sealing the countertop will require ample space. Sawhorses in a garage make the perfect spot if you have that option.

For the job, you'll need the following:

  • Mixing containers
  • Clean rags
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Mineral spirits
  • Urethane varnish
  • Oil paint brushes
  • Palm sander
  • 150 and 220-grit sandpaper
  • 220 grit sanding block
  • Gloves

Once you've got the countertop in place at your workstation and assembled the items listed above, you're ready to go!

Person working, oiling kitchen countertop before using, brushing oiling with linseed oil.

1. Sand both sides of the countertop

Start by using the palm sander and 150-grit sandpaper. Evenly sand one side of the countertop. Sand the surface again with the 220-grit sandpaper. Then flip the countertop over and repeat the process on the other side.

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2. Wipe away the dust with mineral spirits

Before you can apply any sealing agent, you need to get rid of all traces of dust from the sanding job. This is where the mineral spirits come into play. 

You will need to wear gloves for this step. Pour a healthy amount of mineral spirits into your mixing container. Next, wet one of your microfiber cloths with the spirits. Gently wipe one side of the countertop with the cloth. 

Once that side is free of dust, flip the countertop over and wipe down the other side. 

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3. Apply varnish

Once both sides of the countertops are dry, you'll be ready to apply the first coat of varnish. It's recommended that you add 10% mineral spirits to the varnish. You can measure this out in your other mixing container.

With your oil paint brush, use slow, even strokes to apply the varnish to the countertop. You'll need to give it ample time to dry. We suggest letting it sit overnight before moving on to the next step.

4. Sand the countertop a second time

Once the coat of varnish has dried, grab the 220-grit sanding block. The palm sander will take ALL of your work off, so be sure to set it aside. The sanding block will take off just enough so that additional coats can adhere to the surface.

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Use the sanding block on the countertop with an even amount of pressure. Be sure to get every inch of the surface. You can use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away the dust when you're finished. 

5. Apply another coat of varnish

Use the brush and get that second coat of varnish onto the countertop. As with the first coat, you'll need to let it dry overnight. You've still got a bit more work ahead of you.

6. Sand and add a last coat of varnish

Get that sanding block out again, and use some elbow grease. You're in the home stretch now! Once the countertop has been sanded and wiped down, you can apply the third and final coat of varnish. You're done with the sealing as soon as that last layer has dried!

The countertop should now be sealed and dry. You're now free to carry it into the kitchen and begin the fun installation process.

How Do You Maintain An Ikea Wood Countertop?

Wood countertops can be a great addition to any kitchen. For the most part, these surfaces are maintenance-free, so long as you've properly sealed them. But there are a few items you should consider if you want them to last and still look good.

It's important to keep these surfaces clean. Obviously, for sanitary reasons, this is critical. But spills and messes will eat away at your sealing agent if you're not careful.

Wipe up any spills and clean the surface as soon as possible. Use an approved countertop cleaner for the best results.

Wood table top on blur white gray abstract background - can be used for display or montage your products

Do Wood Countertops Need To Be Sealed?

If you read all those steps earlier in the post, you might seem a bit overwhelmed by them. But we assure you that as long as you have the space to work and the basic tools for the job, sealing the countertops isn't difficult. It just takes time due to the drying in between coats. 

Regardless of the time it will take, you must seal the countertops. Without a protective barrier, food and liquid particles will absorb into the surface of the wood. This is unsanitary, and it will damage your countertop.

The seal keeps liquid from penetrating the wood. Over time, moisture can greatly damage your investment. So it's strongly recommended that you seal this surface before you have it installed.

Don't let water sit on the countertop

You're aware that food spills will leave stains on the countertop if they aren't quickly cleaned up. But you might be surprised to know that water stains can also pose an issue.

It's never a good idea to let dishes dry on these surfaces. Even if you have a towel or cloth under them, the moisture can still cause a stain on the wood. The only way to get rid of deep stains is to re-sand and apply additional coats of the seal. And no one wants to do that a second time!

How Long Should A Wood Countertop Last?

If you take care of your wood countertop, it should last for decades. The strong material is manufactured to last and will most likely not need to be replaced again while you still own your home.

But making sure that this surface looks great and is still usable does require some effort on your part. You'll need to keep it clean and avoid making deep scratches on its surface. If you're particularly hard on the wood countertop, it's always possible to sand away the imperfections and repeat the process of having it sealed again.

That is certainly time-consuming. But if you have an older and worn wood countertop, it's a less expensive option than replacing it. 

Tuscany - white kitchen shelves and silver refrigerator

Are Wood Countertops Better Than Granite?

It can be a bit perplexing when you're trying to decide what material to use for a kitchen remodeling project. What you ultimately choose is a matter of your taste and your budget. But we might be able to help you narrow it down a bit.

If you're trying to decide between wood and granite countertops, know that both offer many benefits. Wood countertops are less expensive than granite. They also add a lot of warmth to a room. Wood is also much easier (and cheaper) to repair.

Granite looks fantastic if you want a sleek, modern look in your kitchen. It's very durable and easier to keep clean than wood.

It's not a question of what material is better. Weigh your options and needs carefully and examine how each material type will impact your overall remodeling budget.

Granite Kitchen CounterTop

Wrapping Up

Ikea wood countertops are a fantastic addition to almost any style of kitchen you are going for. They do require a bit of prep work and thorough sealing before you can install them. But this seal is critical if you want your investment to last.

We hope this post answered all your questions on the Ikea wood countertop. For more information, we recommend reading the following posts:

Ikea Billy Makeover: How to Give Your Bookcase a Fresh Look with Paint

Uncovering the Weight of Granite: The Surprising Facts About Countertop Material

Quartzite Vs Marble Vs Quartz Countertops: Pros, Cons & Design Considerations

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