Hi. I hope someone can help me with this.
I have a very small kitchen that I am updating by myself. I have a counter that was built by the previous owner's son. It's pretty homemade looking and adds very little in style but I do need the storage and preparation area. Th current top is (cheap) tile surrounded by thick oak.
I am going to cover this counter with reclaimed wood that I am recovering out of an old blanket chest I bought on craiglist (there is a little damage to the wood on one section of the top so I feel okay about breaking it apart for this). I know it sounds weird but there are some big pieces of wood in the chest, beautiful old oak, and the way they are cut so precisely for the furniture already makes it really easy to work with so I need to do very little woodworking. It even already has joins that I can repurpose. I am going to cover a piece of plywood with the two largest pieces for the bulk of the counter top, and the two end pieces of the trunk will make up the additional space on the side. I am going to cover the sides with the trim wood used on the chest to outline the larger pieces.
My concern about using this reclaimed wood is that I have no idea what kind of finish might have been used on it and whether it might have contained something yucky I wouldn't want in touch with my food. Is there a good finish that would definitely contain anything in the old finish? Or maybe I should test the wood for lead or any other things I am concerned about?
I've been looking at Rubio monocoat for a finish, but as I research that it seems a little iffy. I am also looking at using just mineral oil. Then the other option would be poly I guess.