My attempt to refinish the kitchen counter using beeswax and mineral oil was a dismal failure. Even before we left Santa Fe, the counter was riddled with water, soap and rust stains--the more natural finish just wasn't waterproof enough for such a heavily used surface. While in Ithaca, we were able to borrow a sander from our friends at The Dacha Project and refinish the counter a second time. The remnants of that nasty black stain remained after a thorough sanding, so we opted to stain the wood before applying high-gloss urethane to the surface. Much less environmentally friendly, but the surface is protected now.