5 Secrets In How To Finish A Wood Cutting Board

Do you ever think you can make a wooden cutting board? Do you know how to finish a wood cutting board? Some may think that giving a finish to your wood cutting board is unnecessary but there are certain and true benefits in doing so. In giving your wood cutting board a will definitely help it in the long run. Continuous and frequent cleaning of your cutting board will have a tendency to dry the wood out quick.

This, in turn, will make the board more prone to cracks and be wearing. Applying a good finish to it will make it more convenient to clean and boosts its durability. Not to mention, it will make your cutting board look as good as new as when you bought it.

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How To Finish To A Wood Cutting Board

So for someone who is new to the idea of giving a finish to your wood cutting board, as I was before, what are the basic know-hows? What do you need? What oil is much preferable? What to remember? I hope that this article will help in you answering those questions and you’ll end up with a greatly finished wood cutting board.

What Do You Need?

  • Small cotton cloths - you will need something to wipe down your cutting board or yourself for the duration of the process. Make sure to at least set aside five pieces of clean cotton rags.
  • Plastic container – something that will hold the liquids that you are going to use, choose a container that has at least a 100 milliliter capacity.
  • Support blocks – in the finishing and drying process, you will need something that’s going to support your wood cutting board so that it dries properly. Choose plastic blocks or something similar to place it on.
  • Plastic gloves – this serves as a precaution and protection for the liquids you’ll be handling. I advise you to choose the nitrile gloves in case you could be allergic to the latex ones and it’s made of high-quality synthetic rubber. You can check for some great nitrile gloves here.
  • Sandpaper – this is to smoothen out your wood cutting board before applying any finishing oil to it. For best results, I suggest you get a sandpaper with the 800 grit. You can check some on Amazon.
  • Finishing oil – there are different choices when it comes to your finishing oil and different sites have suggested different things which all have their own advantages and disadvantages.
  • Mineral oil – it is a popular choice when it comes to finishing a wood cutting board because it is colorless, odorless, flavorless, and its prevention of water absorption. Note that there are various types of mineral oils and some are toxic so choose the one that is food-safe. You can check some at Amazon.
  • Beeswax – another popular alternative when it comes to finishing wooden cutting boards. A natural wax that is used to moisturize your boards and boosts overall protection. For an example of a product, check Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner.
  • Coconut oil – it is known for its cosmetic benefits but it’s also applicable as a finishing oil. Although for optimal results, I suggest you check the refractionated coconut oil that will not go rancid compared to non-refracttionated ones. Bartow and Sons Vegan Cutting Board Oil is a good choice.
  • Tung oil – this is a very popular one because it will give your wooden cutting board a satin look with a slightly gold tint. Although, I highly suggest you to get the 100% pure tung oil because if it’s not, they are sometimes toxic. Also, proceed with caution because it could be allergic. Here’s one from Amazon.
  • Linseed oil – it is one of the best choices when it comes to finishing wooden cutting boards because it delivers great results when it comes to water-resistant capabilities and shine. Although, a word of caution, get RAW linseed oil. That is safe for human use and as for other types of linseed oil? They’re toxic. Here’s one produced by Sunnyside.
  • Others – to be honest, there’s a whole lot of other choices when it comes to finishing oil like walnut oil, carnauba, lemon juice, bleach, etc. I chose the top five which I deemed best. There are also types you should avoid like rubbing alcohol and any vegetable oil i.g., olive oil, sunflower oil.

Author’s Note: If you are still undecided on what to choose as your finishing oil, the best one you can go to would be the raw linseed oil. It produces the best and is the most reliable. Although, I do advise you to handle it with caution and choose good ones.


The Process

​​1. Pre-Cleaning The Cutting Board

​Before you start with the finishing process, make sure that your wooden cutting board is free of any dirt and that it is properly sanded. This is so that you won’t encounter any problems when it comes to the finishing process itself.

​2. Preparing The Finishing Oil Mixture

Wear the nitrile gloves in handling the finishing oil. I suggest you to apply a total of four coats of the finishing oil of your choice on a medium sized cutting board. For starters, mix at least two tablespoons of the oil with the same amount of solvent, preferably water.

​3. Applying It

​Get a piece of clean cotton rag and dip it into your finishing oil mixture. Then, proceed to apply it to your wooden cutting board in a circular motion and spread it evenly that you won’t leave any excess behind.

How to Finish to A Wood Cutting Board?

Via: Artdec

Cover the entire area including the sides of the board. Then, you can prop it up on your supporting blocks, four of them, and apply the finishing oil mixture to the opposite side in a similar manner as the first. 

​4. Wiping The Finishing Oil And Drying The Board

​You will need to let the finishing oil set into the board for at least fifteen minutes so the wood is able to absorb as much oil as it can. Then proceed to wipe the surfaces until there are no traces of oil are left. For the best results, let your wooden cutting board dry for at least a day and a half in a dry environment. 

​5. Sanding The Board

This part is completely optional and you don’t necessarily have to do it. But if you want to do the extra trouble of getting a shinier look with a smooth surface then do try.

After the drying process, give your board a light sanding prior to applying a new coat of finishing oil. Then proceed to repeat steps 3-4 and do not sand it anymore after the last coat.

​If you are looking for a step by step video that shows you how to precisely do the aforementioned steps, then I suggest you check this tutorial from WoodWorkWeb. They show the steps in a very easy to understand manner.


Having A Shiny, Smooth And Durable Wooden Cutting Board

So did you enjoy my tutorial? Did it answer all of the questions and concerns you have with finishing your wooden cutting board? I tried my best coming up with this tutorial because our cutting boards is where most of our ingredients are placed and it won’t do anyone good if they’re in poor condition.

How To Finish To A Wood Cutting Board

Having a great finish on your cutting board does not only boosts its durability but also lengthen its lifespan. That and along with good maintenance.

So do you have any comments, concerns or additional questions regarding how to finish a wood cutting board? Then please feel free to leave a message below down in the comments and I’ll be sure to reply.

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