a wood surface makes a dramatic accent
Photo: Nathan Kirkman
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Wood Countertop

When perimeter countertops are light in color, mixing in a rich, wood surface makes for a dramatic accent—and can help delineate a serving or dining spot. But the lustrous finished walnut in the kitchen we show is costly, typically about $100 per square foot. A more affordable ash or maple for about half the price can provide a similar look when darkly stained, topped with a water-based varnish, and maintained with a food-grade beeswax (like Clapham's Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish), which makes the sealer last longer and gives the surface a soft shine.
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