How to maintain a butcher block counter

Living with a Butcher Block Counter

by Andrea Cooley

How to maintain a butcher block counterWe negotiated to keep this butcher block island when we bought our house 3 years ago. Our kitchen wouldn’t work without it! We have decent counterspace, but this is where most of the food prep happens. usually it’s cluttered with random utensils, a bowl of fruit, half-full coffee mugs, and the occassional baby toy.

Until a few weeks ago, I’d never done anything to take care of the wood aside from wiping it down with a wet rag. And it was starting to look a little worse for the wear. Picture how pasty and dry your legs look at the end of winter (or is that just me?) It wasn’t pretty. Then I remembered a little tutorial I saw on House*Tweaking on caring for wood counters. Dana made it sound easy. All I needed was an old rag and some mineral oil.

The photos don’t do the butcher block justice. As Adam says, it looks richer and softer now, if that makes sense!

minearl oil for butcher block counterI got mineral oil at Ace Hardware. I made sure it was food safe, since we do use the surface as a cutting board. I think the bottle was around $6. I wiped the counter down with a wet rag. I didn’t sand out any of the stains–I figure they give it character. But if you have marks that you want to get rid of, Dana says you can sand them out before applying the mineral oil.How to maintain a butcher block counter I poured oil on the counter and started rubbing it in with the grain.

How to maintain a butcher block counter Here’s the “after.” Like I said, it’s more impressive in person! I’ve put the mineral oil on it twice now and will probably do it a couple more times. The wood just soaks it right up! When it can’t soak up anymore you can wipe off the excess.

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