I just got my countertops today, have not even cut and installed them yet. After sanding the wood down with higher and higher grits (the wood was pretty smooth to begin with, so I started with 180 and then moved up to 220 and 320) and wiping down with a tack cloth, I was ready for the first glimpse at (part of) my new kitchen. If you snapped a picture of my kitchen during mid-preparation for ANY meal, you'd have something to apologize for. I wanted to protect it even more and give it some more depth so I found your blog..I have since devised a recipe for a wax and oil polish which has the consistency of soft butter. Did you cut the whole for the sink or did you buy the countertop pre cut? It depends on wear and tear and even sometimes the way you clean it — if you didn’t originally “water pop” the wood when you installed it, for example, water within cleaners can raise the grain and make the surface more rough again (which you can knock down again with sanding). Thanks Sarah! So. The color looked like that on the very first application. I’ll have some updates on that when it happens! I do not need to protect it from writing/pen marks as that won't happen, but wouldn't mind it being a little harder from dents anywya. But alas, I have not been able to find any posts about it after searching through your site! So you might be better off using a more traditional poly if you’re looking for durability against kids. Thanks so much for all the advice and tutorials! All tutorials and demonstrations are not intended to be professional advice (nor substitute as such), and I make no guarantees as to the procedures and information here. From our initial research and investigations most die hard butcher block people suggest you only need to use a mineral oil or chestnut oil to treat the wood. but you can also use a sanding sponge in between coats. Read my complete disclosure here. Hey there! The first thing I noticed was just how smooth their counters felt compared to our counters. Would you recommend using mineral oil first or can I just go straight to the conditioner? We made sure to check on the counters often and reapply when it seemed to be getting a little dry, and we made sure to wipe up any standing water so it wouldn't be allowed to sit, soak in, and stain or otherwise affect the counters. From time to time (like a year later or as you get more wear & tear on the butcher block from use & cleaning), you might experience some raised grain if you use water-based cleaners; you can always sand these spots smooth again and treat once more with the oil mix. I do and I hope I can work it out. Now that we're several months into the rather proud ownership of beautiful wood kitchen counters, I think it's time we take a quick look back and fill you in on a few developments and revelations we've had since our install. Did I miss it somewhere? try going higher in sanding grits- this will seal the grain.. go from 220, to 400, finish with 600. sand with the grain.. get a tack cloth at any paint automotive dealer ( get your sandpaper there too, better quality & less expensive) You rock. I didn’t “pop” the grain before I oiled either, but I did end up sanding down raised areas a few times and re-oiling before we gave up and put down the glass, but I can’t remember whether any of those areas ever came back up. Does the counter top require any extra care with hot dishes because of the beeswax? I moved into a house with butcher block countertops and have been using mineral oil but was wondering if the Howard's was worth it and glad to see it is! A $7 experiment wouldn’t be too bad, don’t you think? So far, it’s holding up nicely (but I’m very careful to watch for any beading water so I can wipe it up asap). UDPATE #2: I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how water interacts with the oil/wax mixture and how the counter is holding up. Hope that helps! we also just purchased a walnut butcher block that is unfinished. With out counters we kept oiling/waxing every 2-3 weeks for the first 6 months before they didn't feel dry. Try to thoroughly dry the surface as much as possible after, or else you’ll get the grain to raise a little (in which case, you can just sand that down and re-oil). Once this waxy oil has been spread all over the counters it should sit for a while. My parents installed butcher block on their kitchen island a few years ago and they've really liked it. Excellent post. Does adding mineral oil darken the grain? Thanks! Alex....We have a maple Boos butcher block approximately 20 years old. I like that because I like to polish my boards to at least 200 grit, and the thicker mineral oil tends to take longer to absorb into the wood. And I love the color of your counters. I get my overkill honestly. Regardless of sand or use steel wool, I would do all of that before oiling. I've been using Watco Butcher Block food safe oil. When we were making our cheese boards from remnant butcher block scraps I used this new oil and wax combo to give it a try, and I was extremely happy with how it turned out. Thanks so much! Read my full disclosure here. Yep! Or could I apply on top of this just oiled wood? Make sure that you use mineral oil from the drug store. This post contains affiliate links — for the full disclosure policy, click here. Suleiman on These Boot Scrapers Were Made for Cleaning, Suleiman on A Custom DIY Fireplace Mantel Beneath Our Shiplap, Suleiman on DIY Plaster Repair: We Finally Put the Skim in Skim Coat, Suleiman on Plaster Repair for DIYers - No Need to Rip It Out, Suleiman on Our Organic Vegetable Garden Part 2: Building the Bed, Mariaa Garcia on Best Method for Treating a Butcher Block Counter Top. I used the same method as you, it did not darken. We usually try not to set papers and other items that could get ruined by grease on the counters for a few days after we apply. You have to re-oil it on a regular basis, but so far, I’ve loved them! Right now it looks like it has been sanded because it’s really smooth. I have two questions. By watering it down a little and THEN sanding it, it knocks out that raised grain that always happens when getting wood wet (conversely, using the same technique opens the grain for more even staining when staining floors, etc., which you would then sand and poly over). I would love to try this out also :) Thanks for the inspiration, I need to reapply tonight, I'm overdue! Seriously….”oh, baby, love.that.wood.” Yes, I would be petting. It is one part natural bees wax and one part orange oil and 2 parts mineral oil (the ikea skydd). Thank you! My husband and I have just installed butcher block counters, white oak, and am wondering if I can put mineral oil and wax on them. I covered the difference of applying oil over water spots and the difference it makes around my sink here. This product not only conditions the wood & protects it from water (the oil), but also fills in any gaps and dings in the surface of the wood to gradually build up and protect it even more (the wax). Our homemade version is made with sunflower oil, as opposed to mineral oil, so it’s all-natural and petroleum-free. Wonder if I should sand the entire butcher block. We plan on following your recommendation. The texture remains to some extent, but it's been smoothed considerably, and it much easier to work on. DO NOT use the product sold at paint stores or home centers. I love your blog! The upkeep has been relatively good… I would recommend checking out my post about the sink area (here), which is a more recent update and addresses a lot of questions since it’s usually the spot that needs the most care (water + wood being such enemies and all). Thanks so much! Sarah, did you find a sealer product for around your sink? Have new John Boos countertops. I just bought my first cherry butcher block top from Lumber Liquidators. Great tip. Also I could open the link tot he product you use. You can try your request again, but if you continue to experience problems, please contact the administrator. Comment Policy: I love comments, especially if they make me laugh. We have found your site useful, thank you! There's another use for the product you didn't think about. We had the same experience when we first started using it. Howards – available at Home Depot, -- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush. I’m planning to experiment soon with a new product and will share those details when I do, but I still use the same Howard oil mixture I’ve been using since the beginning, and a few blog friends who installed butcher block are also using the same product. This second step wasn’t really an inconvenience; I have always used cutting boards and hadn’t really considered using the counter surface itself for cutting (I like character in wood as much as the next gal, but I can imagine this looking terrible if doing this all the time). I’m just wondering if that is normal from natural wood or did I do something wrong. Since it’s wood, you should expect that butcher block will change a little over time, have a few color differences (such as some spots getting darker), etc.