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I live in Germany and would like to replace the top of a kitchen "table":

board of the kitchen table

I am thinking of taking a rather inexpensive wood board from birch or beech:

birch massive board beeche massive board

Of course I'd need to paint it. I though of using a lacquer of some sort:

lacquer, silk finish lackquer, yacht

As a second thought, this comes into my mind:

kichen counter

but I am neither very excited about the way it looks, not how it feels to touch, nor antything.

Questions:

  1. Comments on general worktop made of birch or beech?
  2. Is birch or beech better?
  3. Comments on the two types of lacquers I am think about?
  4. What lacquers would you recommend?
  5. What's the impact of the lacquers on surfaces that touch all kinds of foods that eventually come to our stomachs?

closed as too broad by isherwood, Daniel Griscom, mmathis, ThreePhaseEel, Tester101 Mar 22 '18 at 12:06

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Welcome to DIYSE. Please take the tour to understand why your questions are too many, too broad, and off-topic as product recommendation requests. – isherwood Mar 20 '18 at 13:43
  • @isherwood: thanks for welcomming and thanks for the tip. Do you think this question is offtopic here? – arthur Mar 20 '18 at 13:46
  • I said as much. Please ask just one question per post (the standard across Stack Exchange) and make sure it fits our guidelines. We're happy to help. – isherwood Mar 20 '18 at 13:52
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    There's also a Woodworking.SE site that isn't as active, but you can search for types of wood and food safety of finishes. – JPhi1618 Mar 20 '18 at 15:09
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    I have a birch butcher block dining room table from IKEA. No lacquer or polyurethane. Just mineral oil to keep it from drying out. Like you would do with a cutting board. I love the look and feel and if the surface gets too dirty you can just sand it down and re-oil. Nothing to strip. – Stanwood Mar 20 '18 at 15:24
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For a food-safe wood finish, I have had good success using a 1:1 ratio of real pure tung oil and citrus solvent.

My kitchen table is cypress, which is much softer than birch or beech, soft enough that I need to lightly sand and refinish the table every year or so. Working with tung oil and citrus solvent rather than a lacquer makes this task very easy because I don’t have to deal with toxic fumes and a long drying time.

I also have a birch butcher-block countertop with the same finish. The area closest to the sink has a small amount of water damage after about 5 years. I might consider using the marine finish there.

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