Friday, September 24, 2010

How to Seal Butcher Block and Wooden Cutting Boards

Before my new butcher block counter entered my life, I used mineral oil to seal my wooden cutting boards.

Please forgive me, I knew not what I had done.

According to our cabinet guy, Lee, I was ruining my cutting boards. They were sealed from the yucky stuff, but they were warped or splintering apart. That's because butcher block/cutting boards are put together with multiple pieces of wood and wood glue. The mineral oil is too "liquidy" and not only coats the top of the board, but also seeps into it. Good, right?

Well, it seems that too much of something is not always a good thing. The mineral oil goes down deep, right into the glue, causing the glue to be less "gluey". (I know I'm using technical terms here, but try to keep up.) Less glue means less sticking power, which means wood pieces start to separate.

If you got that, then you're one up on me.

I'm a kinesthetic learner.

When making this, use a saucepan that you will not ever use for food again. Look at the Goodwill or garage sales to find a good "throw-away" pan. But then, don't throw it away!


You will also need an expired credit card or junk mail card. I found an empty Starbucks card.

Yes, I cried to find it was empty, but that's not relevant to sealing butcher block!


In the saucepan, mix 1/4 cup chopped Paraffin wax with 1/4 cup mineral oil.



Heat on low, until just melted.



Pour a small amount onto block or board. Using your hand, smear the melted wax over a small area.

Make sure that the wax is not too hot first.



Using the credit card, scrape the excess wax off of the block/board. Put the excess back into the saucepan to reuse.




Embrace your inner child and write your name or cute little squiggles.

But remember to remove your rings first.

Don't ask me how I know that.


Repeat about every other month to keep your cutting boards healthy and your butcher block looking nice.



I think this butcher block has some homemade sourdough bread in its future!

1 comment:

Heart said...

Thanks for this post..it really helps me a lot,i have a site called Butcher Block Cutting Board and will make this post a reference..