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How to prepare timber worktops, Osmo Tints & Osmo Top Oil

Listed under Blog, hand-painted kitchen, Martin Dunn, Osmo Posted Aug 29 2012

Martin Dunn wrote a thorough account of how to use Osmo Hardwax Oil on new, bare timber around the home.

He also mentioned Osmo Top Oil, specifically for worktops.

Martin recently had a question from Margot von Muhlendahl, who is based in Munich and works as a consultant on decorative projects involving color. She has a project specifying a durable ebony finish on timber worktops and this is Martin’s advice on how to prepare the surfaces and what to look out for when using Osmo Top Oil and tints. (Osmo is a German company.)

Prepare wooden worktop for treating with Osmo Top Oil

Make sure the surface is bare/naked timber.

If it has been previously waxed, varnished, oiled ect this needs to be removed. Use an electric sander with various grades of grit paper (not too harsh to begin with – start with 120 and go from there) -remember to follow the grain of the wood.

Vacuum the surface clean.

Clean down with meths or Krudkutter de-greaser.

How to tint worktop with ebony before finishing with Osmo Top Oil

Before applying any colour try a test sample first ( either an off-cut or a piece out of view).

1 – You could use Osmo polyx oil Tints in a black, graphite or even a terra which is a nice dark colour.

Apply 1-2 coats (follow the grain again and apply sparingly) depending on depth of colour. Use a brush or rag/sponge (wear gloves as your hands will go a nice dark shade!) Flat down surface between coats.

Finish with your Top Oil (especially if the surface gets a lot of water) or leave it with the 2 coats of the tint and apply a coat of clear Polyx as part of a maintenance schedule.


2 – Consider the Polyx professional colour oil in black/ebony. I know it’s for flooring but I have used it as a base coat with great success. On the plus side, I think this penetrates the wood more and could give a deeper coat (again depending what you want), but on the downside, it is not as easy to apply or as easy to achieve an even finish as with the polyx tint.

Again follow with Top Oil.

Don’t forget: colour shading will depend a lot on the substrate/wood you are coating up, so as I said, always try samples first to get your desired effect before attacking the whole project.

Practical and informed advice from skilled and knowledgeable decorators

At Traditional Painter, all the recommended decorators like Martin are full-time independent painting and decorating specialists. Wherever possible, we are happy to advise homeowners, professionals and DIY with a tricky decorating problem. You can sign up for latest tips like this one, or we also have a forum where you can follow or contribute to most topics, including Osmo hardwax oil

When all’s said and done, we all encounter difficulties from time to time, or need a sounding board to help clarify our thoughts, and for the sake of asking for pointers from one of our experienced professionals, you can save yourself a lot of time and money and heartache. We won’t recommend products unless we have used them extensively, and we won’t tell you how to do something unless we know it will give you a professional end result.

As Margot explained, you sometimes have to look hard to find out basic information to help you on your way.

I have been trying to figure this out and getting no help from the German professional painters. When I read in your post that Top Oil is a German product, I was hopeful you might be able to help.

Thanks a lot for the advice. If I can get my client to agree to the black counters, I will send a report and photos.

If you have a question, and we can provide a helpful answer, we would appreciate it, if you can send us a photo and a short note that we can post, so our readers can see the end result. This 2-way approach is a win-win for all concerned.

Martin Dunn Painting and decorating specialist Birmingham Staffordshire South CheshireSpecialist painter and decorator, Martin Dunn, is a member of the Traditional Painter UK network. He is the first port of call for painting and decorating projects from Birmingham to Stafford and S Cheshire.

Martin has been a specialist decorator for many years, and is expert in most traditional decorative finishes, and wallcoverings. He also spent 7 years lecturing, and is one of only a few in the country who were qualified to assess the workmanship of professional decorators.


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2 comments to “How to prepare timber worktops, Osmo Tints & Osmo Top Oil”

  1. wood worktops

    Nice advice, I’ll try it out. Thanks.

  2. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    What do you use at the moment for your wooden worktops?

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