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Butcher Block Renewed

May 24, 2012

When I moved to Florida, I stopped in Texas to pick up my mother’s car. She was selling it to me – an act of kindness that saved us. She also gave me some stuff for the house since I had nothing more than what I could fit in two bags on the plane. One of the items she gave me was a butcher block cutting board she had picked up in a yard sale for next to nothing. To be frank, it was ugly. It had these bulbous legs that raised it so high it was unusable to this 5′-2″ tall gal. Those were the first to go and I never did take a picture of them. Too bad. They were awful. The worst part, though, was that someone had, in their infinite wisdom, decided it would be improved by giving it a polyurethane coat. Of course, over time that coat was cut to pieces – literally. So it looked like this:

It was so bad that I didn’t even want to use it because who knows how much polyurethane we would end up digesting. I decided to give refinish it.

First I sanded down the whole thing with rough 80 grit sand paper. (Sidenote! I love my sander. It’s my favorite tool right now, and when I first bought it I had no idea I’d use it as much as I do.)

Yellow tinge visible.

The fine grit took on this horrible yellow tinge. It was deep and I had to sand down quite a bit. This was OK, though, because the some of the cuts were really deep, as well, so I wanted to sand those out anyway. Turns out the real wood was very white oak. A lovely color white, to be honest. I sanded all over, even on the bottom – no more nasty polyurethane! After getting as much sanded off as I wanted I switched to a very small grit – 220, I think. I worked that on the cutting board for a while. The wood took on a fantastic soft smooth finish. It almost feels like laminate it’s so smooth. This took a while – longer than the 80 grit sand – because I really wanted the whole surface to get glass smooth. (“A while” in this case means a few minutes more of sanding. Nothing scary.) After I was satisfied with that, I took a damp cloth and washed off the grit.

I set it aside, to let it dry and later added some warmed up butcher block oil that I got at Home Depot. Here’s the finished product:

As you can see I didn’t get all the cuts, especially the ones near the edges. But overall I’m really happy with it and both Baba and I enjoy using it now. It was so easy and really adds a nice accessory to our kitchen. I think mom would be proud.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 25, 2012 10:06 am

    It’s gorgeous!

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