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Product Spotlight - Food Safe Wax & Kitchen Bench Oil

Product Spotlight - Food Safe Wax & Kitchen Bench Oil

As part of our ongoing quest to create more environmentally sustainable products and in response to the increasingly popular market for timber toys and furniture, Gilly’s introduced Food Safe Wax.

Food Safe Wax

Based on our soft and easy-to-apply cream waxes, we developed a new version, created entirely from food grade raw materials, all of which are environmentally friendly. Food Safe Wax was designed to seal and finish a variety of timber surfaces, which will be food safe and suitable for contact with food and of course, safe for children young enough to gnaw on their toys and furniture.

Gilly's Food Safe Wax

Food Safe Wax has a soft, citrus fragrance, thanks to the solvent, which is made from crushed orange peels.

Along with providing a protective barrier preventing scuffs and scratches, the Food Safe Wax creates a beautiful, natural finish and barely changes the colour of the timber. The effect will be an increase in the depth and contrast of the grain detail, enhancing the beauty. It can be buffed to a good sheen; however, this is optional. A soft wipe will leave a subtle matte finish.

In addition to its benefits for toys and furniture, Food Safe Wax is perfect for finishing timber/bamboo jewellery, chopping boards and food service utensils. It is also a good general maintenance and protection wax for timber and bamboo furniture.

Kitchen Bench Oil

Gilly’s Kitchen Bench Oil was created to offer a beautiful, natural oil-based finish that also provides a water repellent barrier for wet areas (including bathrooms and laundries of course).

Bathroom Cabinet by Eclipse Handcrafted Furniture
Image courtesy of Eclipse Handcrafted Furniture


Based on tung oil (also known as Chinawood Oil), which is a naturally drying oil, once used by the Chinese to seal their timber junks. It’s amazing to think that this oil, extracted from the tung nut seeds could create a barrier that would make a craft seaworthy. Therefore, it’s not hard to see why tung oil is such a useful ingredient in an oil suitable for wet areas in the home.

Gillys Kitchen Bench Oil

Our blend makes the process very simple and with a little patience (tung oil takes 10-30 days to cure properly), you will be rewarded with a wonderful, food safe benchtop. It can be refinished down the track if needed, without ever having to sand back.

To create more of a sheen and extra protection from scratches, we recommend applying our Food Safe Wax.

The Kitchen Bench Oil (and optional Food Safe Wax application) is also an excellent way to finish sideboards, coffee tables and dining tables.

How to finish a timber bench with Kitchen Bench Oil and (optional) Food Safe Wax

Hand with polishing cloth cleaning work surface

Surface preparation - ensure the surface is clean and dry before application. D-limonene (natural citrus solvent) or a turpentine can be used for a vigorous clean. For a lighter clean, you can use an all-purpose cleaner. 

If there is any oil, wax, grease, dirt or similar residue on the surface, it may affect the tung oil’s ability to cure - so a thorough clean is important.

Applying Gilly's Kitchen Bench Oil – 3 Steps

Brushing on Gilly's Kitchen Bench Oil

  1. Rub or brush oil into the timber. Lighter coats are better. Let the first coat sit for 5 minutes after applying. Wipe on more oil to areas that become dull, as the oil soaks in.
  2. After 5 more minutes, wipe off any excess oil with another clean cloth and rub it back vigorously. Follow this procedure for each coat. Note: Some people prefer to wet sand between coats, however this is generally only for timber that is quite porous.
  3. Apply 3 coats. Best to wait 24 hours between coats (curing time can be up to 30 days). Apply more coats if desired or necessary.

Hang out any rags or soak in water, rather than leaving them scrunched up, as there is the potential for combustion.

Applying Gilly's Food Safe Wax – 3 Steps

The Food Safe Wax should not be applied until the oil has properly cured, so it’s wise to leave this until 30 days have passed.

Opening Tin of Gilly's Food Safe Wax

  1. Dip a clean, lint-free cloth into the tin (old t-shirts are excellent) and scrape out a small quantity of wax. Wipe over the surface using a circular motion or follow the grain of the timber. It is far better to apply a thin coat and then buff it back well using another clean cloth.
  2. Make sure the surface is smooth and dry (no fingerprinting) before you apply the next coat. If the conditions are damp/cold, it may be worth waiting an extra hour or two to make sure the wax has had time to harden between each coat.
  3. Normally, you might expect to apply up to three coats. However, if you are applying over the Kitchen Bench Oil, you may find that one is sufficient since the timber will be nicely fed and saturated by the oil. Buffing can be done by hand or using a power tool. If you are keen on getting a good sheen, using a power tool makes the job a lot easier as it is able to heat up the wax more effectively than buffing by hand.

Whilst it is a fairly lengthy process, the benefits are there for the long term. If you have chosen to use the Food Safe Wax, you can maintain and protect the bench using this. Otherwise, at some point down the track, if the surface looks a little dry and tired, you can do a quick refinish with the Kitchen Bench Oil.

Your bench will be nourished and protected, naturally.

Gilly's - make beautiful sustainable.


Dining Table by Eclipse Furniture

 Image courtesy of Eclipse Handcrafted Furniture


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