Friday, June 11, 2010

How To Finish A Cutting Board

Here is a small cutting board I made out of walnut scraps. It measures 10" x 10" and is over 1.25" thick. It has a little heft to it, which makes it a pleasure to use in the kitchen. Today I am going to tell you how I apply a finish to a cutting board.

Here you see the board sanded down completely with 220 grit sandpaper. I did most of the sanding with a flat sanding block. The flatter your board remains, the better.

Now I am going to show you an old woodworkers trick. I am going to raise the grain back up a little, with a damp paper towel and some water. What you are trying to do in this step is to raise all the wood fibers up evenly. You don't need to soak the wood or paper towel. You just want to dampen it a little.

Let the wood dry completely. The pores of the wood will now be open and free of clogging dust particles. The fibers of the wood will be raised and ready for a second haircut.

Time to sand again. Start off with your 220 grit. Then 320. End with 400.

I always use pure mineral oil on cutting boards. Nothing else works as well. Mineral oil is as food safe as it gets, unlike cooking oils that can turn rancid.

Wipe it down with generous amounts of oil. Let it soak in really well. Wipe off the excess after a couple hours. You want the wood to absorb as much of the mineral oil as possible. Apply a generous second coat and let it soak in overnight. Wipe off the excess again. It should look something like this.

All that is left now is to enjoy a little brie.

Never put a wood cutting board in a dishwasher. Reapply some mineral oil occasionally, as needed. Wash with a little dish soap and running water. Air dry your cutting board by standing it on end if possible. That's all there is to it!

By the way, a good wood cutting board is a real treat to use and is much easier on your knives than plastic. Wood boards also tend to clean easier and better than plastic and wood can also be resurfaced.

While wood requires trees, plastics require landfills. A good wooden board will last many years.

Hope you enjoyed the post.

If you love link parties you can see who I am linking up to by visiting my Link Party Directory. It lists over 100 parties this week.


ClassyChassy said...

Yep - great post today as usual! I rescued an old cutting board last month and hubby resurfaced it. I did the mineral oil thing - it looks nearly good as new.

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...


That's another one of the great things about wooden cutting boards. They can often be resurfaced several times, and last many years because of it. This goes back once again to my belief that some ecologists have it all wrong. We can avoid cutting down trees by using plastic, but plastic is filling up our landfills at an alarming rate. I tend to think it is better to make a product that will last decades, like a great quality wood cutting board verses having several plastic boards ending up in the landfill.

The cutting board that I showed in the post is actually the same one that I have for sale on my sidebar. At 29.00 + shipping it is difficult to even suggest that plastic boards even offer a cheaper alternative. Yet, plastic still sells like crazy. Go figure.

Thank you for the comment. Nice to hear from you again.


Leslie, the Home Maker said...

Such good advice! Thank you-- my cutting board is looking sad--now I know how to make it look happy again :)
Thank you for the invite on Monday--
I am blushing!
I'll be here!
I love parties!
I'll bring the Brie!

Laura said...

Thank you for the great tips! Your board turned out so beautiful.

Thanks for sharing at Saturday is Crafty Day!
Laura @ along for the ride

Lisa said...

What a great post. Cutting boards are something we all use and seldom really think about. Love how you brought out the grain. Thanks for the info.

JHill said...

What a great tip!

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

Sarah @ The Pumpkin Patch said...

This is so great. We have a bunch of wood scraps from other projects and I really miss my wood cutting board. Does the wood you use have to all be the same? I assume it does, but it does't hurt to ask.

Thanks for linking to Messy Monday. I can't wait to see what you link up for Transform Tuesday. I am hosting a giveaway for free ad space on my blog right now. You should enter! Here's the link.

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for stopping by. Your queston: " Doe's the wood you use all have to be the same". Answer: Nope. The sky is pretty much the limit on the number of woods you can use. I often see 5 or 6 different kinds of wood used in the same cutting board. A couple of tips though. Use hardwoods only. Also, some people have severe allergies to nuts. If you are one of those people, stay away from woods like pecan and walnut.


Stephanie Lynn said...

This looks fabulous! The wood is simply beautiful. Great tips TFS! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase! I greatly appreciate it! Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

★All Thingz Related★ said...

What a beautiful cutting board! Thanks for the tips & for sharing @ Anything Related No.11!

Robin said...

That is gorgeous! I love wooden cutting boards!!!

Shirley said...

Thanks so much for the tip on raising the grain ! I knew about the mineral oil, but not the rest. Beautiful woodwork!

Nikki said...

Thats gorgeous! Thanks for linking up to gettin' crafty on hump day! :)

Room to Inspire said...

Thank you so much for sharing all of the great tips - I have been yearning for a large wood cutting board for awhile - now I know how to finish it off right! Thanks so much for linking up to Be Inspired today.


Karen said...

That is a beautiful board.

Kim @ Everything Etsy said...

That's beautiful! It would make a wonderful gift for a wedding.

Thanks for joining us! :)


Teena said...

Thanks for the tips on how to look after a wood chopping board properly! Happy Transformation Thursday <3 said...

Thanks Rory, beautiful cutting board, and great tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

Lanie Ree said...

Wow, I had no idea. This is such an informative post.

Thank you for participating in the Creative Therapy Session at Life in the Pitts

Lanie Ree said...

I featured this! and I want to make one.

Big Mama Cass said...

That is so beautiful!!

C.R.A.F.T. said...

I am featuring this tomorrow for MMM!! great idea and thank you for sharing :)