Rubio Monocoat Stain for Tiny Home Countertops//BUS CONVERSION – S04E39

After making our countertops in our friend Richard’s woodworking shop, we brought our countertops back to the bus to do the finishing touches.  

We didn’t make our final length cuts until we were in the bus. This way we could dry fit it and cut it exactly to size.  We also cut out holes behind the sink for the faucet, soap dispenser and our ACUVA Water Purifier Spout.

We originally thought we were just going to use a Berkey Water filter in the bus, but after 2 years of using it in our house we decided ACUVA was a better option for the bus.  While the Berkey works well it is cumbersome, takes up a lot of space, we hated the cleaning process (which needs to happen every 6 weeks minimum), it is easy to overfill it (there is no way to see from the outside if you are overfilling) and the water just leaks out.  After flooding our kitchen twice we decided to go another way.

Why we switched to the ACUVA Arrow 5 UV-LED Water Purifier:

  • It kills up to 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses
  • It doesn’t take up a lot of space
  • Easy Maintenance
  • Comes highly recommended from other well experienced nomads we follow

Pre Staining Prepwork:

  • Spray with water to raise the grain
  • Sand with 80 grit, then 100 grit
  • Before using 120 grit,  draw lines lightly with a pencil all over.  You will sand off the pencil marks but this will help you know that you didn’t miss any spots 
  • Use no finer than 120 grit otherwise it won’t be able to absorb the stain into the wood
  • Vacuum up the sawdust and/or wipe down with a rag
  • Rubio Monocoat then recommends you use their Raw Wood Cleaner to remove any natural oils in the wood. A lot of professional woodworkers said they just used mineral spirits to do this and it works just fine, so this is what we did


  • Mix the 3 parts of the Oil Plus 2C with 1 part of the Accelerator. You don’t have to use the accelerator but it speeds up the cure time. With the accelerator it dries in 24 hours and cures in about a week, without which you can expect about double that time.
  • Pour a little bit at a time, a little goes a long way
  • Spread out with spreader
  • Then use a sponge to work into the wood in circular motions and make sure all the wood is saturated in the oil
  • After about 5 minutes go over and wipe off any excess with a terry cloth. It should feel dry to the touch
  • If you have a large countertop (like us) it is best to work in sections, so that you can wipe the excess off 5 minutes after application
  • No need to worry about overlapping your sections.  Once the oil has been absorbed into the wood it cannot absorb any more.  This is why it is called monocoat!  One coat does the trick.

Rubio Monocoat is very durable as it was made for floors, but being food safe it also makes an excellent countertop stain. It does require some maintenance after a few years (depending on how well you take care of it over the years) and they do over some products help with keeping your wood looking amazing for years to come.

We used the Walnut color on our Ash wood countertops and we could not be more thrilled with the outcome.  It brings out all the natural beauty in the grain of the wood and accentuates the variety of colors.  This is definitely our favorite stain so far in this build and we will be using it again!


Up Next
We install our TV lift which lifts up out of our countertop.

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Acuva Arrow 5 UV-LED Water Purifier

The Arrow 5 is the highest capacity purification system which we will be using in our Bus Conversion. The Arrow 5 can eliminate up to 99.9999% of viruses and bacteria while also handling heavy metals like lead, chromium and more.

Use code rehabit8 for 10% off your order of anything on the ACUVA site.

Rubio Monocoat
A linseed based oil that stains and protects your wood in one coat.

By Mela & Don

Mela and Don are sharing their journey as they make conscious decisions to live a more healthy, environmentally friendly life together.

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