How Should You Finish Your Butcher Block Countertop?

Butcher block countertops are becoming a common site in modern homes. It is not a surprise when you consider natural wood’s random grain patterns and vibrant colors. Almost any pattern can be created by mixing different wood species. Naturally they go from light to dark, and you can pick up a butcher block countertop at the hardware store unfinished. If you have decided on butcher block countertops for your kitchen, whether you buy them from a hardware store or have them custom made, you will need to decide on what kind of finish to use.

How do you determine which one will work best for your home?

To answer this question, I would have to ask you a question: How do you plan on using your countertops? Are you planning on chopping up meat and vegetables on your countertops? If you want to, you can. However in my opinion they are too big of an investment to do so, but if you are okay with cutting on your countertops you will need a finish that is easy to clean. You won’t want a film product like lacquer, polyurethane or even epoxy. Why not? Well, with any type of film on your countertop you will chop up small pieces of it when you prepare your food. If you plan on using your countertops in lieu of a cutting board, I would recommend an oil and wax finish just like you would use on a cutting board. I typically sell and recommend a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil. It is easy to use, but the downside is that you have to reapply often. Now if you want your countertops to be just for countertops, where you store small kitchen appliances and some fruit or maybe even a box of cereal now and then, you still might want a finish that is food safe. Rubio Monocoat is a great example of a food-safe finish, it has some natural tones or you can choose some color variations. I recently also purchased some pure Tongue Oil which is a harder oil finish.

You are in luck!

It just so happens, SMW Designs has a few butcher block countertops to build. Over the next couple of weeks we will be trying several finishes and posting the results, pros and cons, so that you can see the difference. If you are in the market for a new countertop, you can easily add yourself to the list by calling SMW Designs at 406-698-7246. We have multiple options available and our countertops are made right here in Billings, Montana.

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