Will Mineral Oil Break Down Contact Cement Bond?

I recently finished a 12′ countertop for my wife’s den with contact cement to adhere the laminate on the top and front edge. I then chamfered the edge and finally applied mineral oil to the exposed wood to protect the surface. Did I make a mistake? I found out later that mineral oil can be used to break the bond for contact cement. Am I eventually going to see any sort of lifting along the edge of the chamfer where I applied the mineral oil? And if this does happen, what can I do to repair it? – Mike Cebula

Tim Inman: I don’t think you made a fatal error, but I think there are better choices for finishing than mineral oil. Keeping contact cement wet with mineral oil may eventually soften the adhesive. Applying a coat and letting it dry won’t kill the bond. Mineral oil is not a ‘drying’ oil, though. If you want something that will stick around and protect the surface a little, then you want an oil that will ‘dry’ or ‘harden’ by chemical action. Mineral oil stays wet until it has pretty much just evaporated or soaked away. A good finishing oil will react and form a bit of a film to protect the surface longer.

Chris Marshall: Only time will tell if the contact cement and mineral oil won’t play nicely together, but I suspect that unless you soaked and soaked that wood with repeated coats of oil, it probably didn’t penetrate the pores deeply enough to weaken much of the bond between the contact cement and the laminate and substrate. Provided you roller-pressed the laminate down against the substrate thoroughly at that stage of the project, it should have created a pretty secure seal as well. Keep an eye on it, but I wouldn’t lose sleep over the situation.

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