After testing the old barn wood plank with tung oil versus a walnut stain, I decided that I prefer the colour that the tung oil brings out. The walnut stain was too dark and brown for my liking, I like the redish tones that the oil enhances and a wet look. It is also a closer match to the exotic piece of wood above the cooktop, which is also covered in tung oil.
Its an old wood plank that my contractor dug up in his 100 year old barn. I first washed it with water and a scrub brush. Scrubbed it until my fingers froze. Then I brought them in to dry. Hauled a piece upstairs to test the tung oil, applied on the top side. Above right is the first day, but it slowly got darker each day.
The original rough cut appears on the sides, smooth on one side and the original, large markings on the other side. I poured the oil directly onto the wood and after trying to spread it with a fabric remnant, I decided that using my fingers to spread the oil was most effective. No splinters so far! And then I spread the access with fabric - I had a piece of thick ticking. Once this settles, I'll flip and do the other sides.
I bought some simple black brackets to support the planks and once the tung oil settles and the smell disperses (a few weeks - I did testing (and the rest of it) in my dining room (roll eyes) and the smell lingers!)) I'll hang them above the sink.
And to get an idea of what it will look like ... the plates. I cannot wait to have a proper and convenient place for my dishes!