DIY: How to Rehab A Wooden Cutting Board

Have you noticed that your wooden cutting board has gotten that not so fresh feeling?  Well there's good news, it's easy to get it back to it's fresh off the workbench status. Take good care of your cutting boards and they'll take good care of you. 

What you'll need:

Sandpaper: Start with 220 grit, 320 grit and 400 grit if your a badass. 

Sanding block or random orbit sander: The random orbit sander is optional but can speed things up a bunch. If you don't have a electric sander use a piece of scrap wood to wrap your sandpaper around when sanding. 

Mix of oil and wax: this is easy to make at home, check out my tutorial on this here. 

Easy to find materials you'll need to rehab your cutting board.

Easy to find materials you'll need to rehab your cutting board.

THE PROCESS: 

1: Sanding:  Start with 120 or 220 grit depending how much work your board needs.  If you using a wooden block and sandpaper, wrap the paper around the block and sand in the direction of the grain.  If using a random orbit sander just take care and move slowly.  Move through the grits up to 320 or 400, take your time and wipe the board down with a dry cloth after each grit.  This is the most important step, the better you do this step, the better the result.  

2: Raise The Grain: After your last grit, spritz some water on both sides, just enough to moisten the wood, this will raise the grain and prevent that fuzziness later on down the line.  After it's completely dry, lightly sand with your highest grit again, just enough to knock the fuzzies off.

3.  Apply the oil/wax: Give your board one last wipe down with a dry cloth to get any dust off.  Now with a clean cloth, apply the oil and wax mixture all over the board. (Homemade wood butter direction here)  Let the finish absorb into the wood for 5 to 10 minutes and then wipe off the excess and buff to a shine.  Repeat this process 1-3 times as you'd like.

Tip: Keep a jar of this oil/beeswax mixture in the kitchen and reapply once or twice a month.

Take your time sanding through the grits, making sure to wipe the dust off in between.

Take your time sanding through the grits, making sure to wipe the dust off in between.

Apply the oil/beeswax mixture.

Apply the oil/beeswax mixture.

Now get back to the kitchen.

Now get back to the kitchen.

How To Make a Quick and Easy Food Safe Wood Finish

When you find your wooden kitchen items looking a bit dull it's time to butter them up.  All of our kitchen items get 3- 5 coats of Tried and True's oil and finished off with a coat of this homemade wood butter. The Tried and True oil is great, it's all natural, completely food safe, it has no metal dryers added and adds a good layer of protection.  The down side is it's a bit expensive and it has a long curing time.  Enter wood butter....This home made, food safe wood finish is a great way to keep your wooden goods looking their best.  Here's how to do it.

A homemade mix of food safe mineral oil and bees wax is a quick and easy way to keep your wooden kitchen goods looking like new.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of Food Grade Mineral Oil (can be found at the local pharmacy or online, it's used as a laxative so don't drink it unless your looking to have a toilet party)

  • 2 3/4 ounces of bees wax.  ( Get it online or ask a local bee keeper)

How:

  • Pour the oil into a pot (I use an old one I got at the thrift store)  Put the pot on the stove on low.  Some people use a double boiler for this instead.

  • Add The bee's wax to the mix and stir every few minutes until all of the wax is completely melted.  The result should be a thickish yellow oil.

  • Remove the pot from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before pouring into a jar.  After pouring into a jar let it cool until it gets completely solid before sealing it up in the jar.  

This recipe makes about 2 cups of wood butter, I store mine in a wide mouth Ball Jar.  You can add more or less wax and oil to get different consistencies but I've found this ratio works great.  So churn some butter and keep it in your kitchen. Rub a bit into your cutting boards and utensils with a clean cloth to keep them looking fresh.