cutting board finish

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Forum topic by bryano posted 12-19-2007 07:05 AM 9355 views 2 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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546 posts in 3961 days

12-19-2007 07:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finish cutting board

I just finished building some cutting boards. I bought some walnot oil for the finish. what is the best aplication process? Do I just wipe it on and wipe it off?

-- bryano

12 replies so far

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4092 days

#1 posted 12-19-2007 07:36 AM

The Wood Whisper episode 7 has the low-down on cutting board finishes. Walnut oil may not be the best choice due to the slim chance of nut allergies. You’ll have to scroll down the page to get to the video named “A Cut Above, Part 2”.

Mark recommended Mineral Oil, Mineral Oil plus paraffin and Salad Bowl finish cut 50% with mineral spirits as good choices. Have a look.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Kent's profile


42 posts in 3863 days

#2 posted 12-19-2007 07:46 AM

I am real happy with walnut oil on my boards. From the research I have done, there is a pretty good consensus that walnut oil is not bad for you and is an excellent choice to finish cutting boards with. Some say is it superior to mineral oil because over a few days time, with light and air, it forms a hard finish unlike mineral oil. The harder the finish the better seal you get. I gave it as much walnut oil as it can take with a cotton rag over 3 days , 3 applications per day, keeping the rag in a zip lock. After that dried well, I then put some wax on it for a nice luster. The wood whisperer uses plastic boards for meet and he prefers the salad bowl varnish because of the harder finish and better seal.

View danlee's profile


1 post in 3840 days

#3 posted 12-19-2007 09:53 AM

Has anyone used 100% pure tung oil? And is it any good? Also, if anyone has used both walnut oil and pure tung oil how do they compare?

View schwingding's profile


133 posts in 3854 days

#4 posted 12-19-2007 02:17 PM

I think mineral oil is a lousy choice for cutting boards. Mineral oil never dries, and thus attracts dirt, food particles, etc.. and can get rancid.

Walnut oil is a good choice IF you are not concerned about nut allergies. Personally, I don’t police the world for food problems, if I use walnut oil I will tell the recipient about it and let them act appropriately. Walnut oils can be terribly yellow however, and can add a lot of sometimes undesired color to the wood.

There are lots of commercially available “salad bowl finishes”. Many of them have tung oil bases. Behlen salad bowl finish is a wonderful product, and its use should not be limited to just salad bowls and cutting boards. 3 coats is plenty to provide a great sheen, follow the directions.

Kent has expressed a good finishing regimen in his post. He is also correct that walnut oil is the only true nut oil that hardens as it dries.

Pure tung oil is very thick, you may want to thin it down and also warm it up before application so it’ll soak further down into the wood. I wouldn’t build up a heavy base of tung as it can start to form a film that will be damaged with use, but the nice thing about tung finishes is they are easy to repair.

I have made many many cutting boards and have experiemented with a lot of finishes. Sometimes wax is all I use, sometimes the Behlen product, sometimes I use Waterlox. No finish is going to be permanent so some thought to how it will be restored is needed.

-- Just another woodworker

View CaptainSkully's profile


1601 posts in 3587 days

#5 posted 09-11-2008 03:17 AM

I used mineral oil for my pizza peel, and if you do the one coat an hour for a day, one coat a day for a week, one coat a week for a month, and one coat a month for a year regimen, it will be and stay completely saturated. Once saturated, it allows no other oils, grease, etc. to penetrate. Mineral oil does not go rancid. The pizza peel gets all kinds of stuff on it and it just wipes right off. The only time I’ve ever had problems is when I didn’t have enough mineral oil on a piece.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View calacalou's profile


13 posts in 3586 days

#6 posted 09-11-2008 03:49 AM

I did cutting boards and I used worktop oil from LES ANCIENS √ČB√ČNISTES 3hto dry between coats. I currently use mineral oil in the kitchen for my cutting bords and the job is well done too. I guess it all depends on you plan to use it or just display it.Both of them gave me good results but the worktop plan oil gave me the shiniest finish.

-- Chantal L., Montreal

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3702 days

#7 posted 09-11-2008 05:11 AM

All my worker cutting boards get the mineral oil treatment. These aren’t finish once type things so going to any length to finish is crazy. Your going to cut through a film finish quick if you do any real amount of work on them.

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 3844 days

#8 posted 09-11-2008 11:13 PM

first off I’ve asked a doctor this. If you have allergies to peanuts(which is not a nut) there is a very slim chance that you are allergic to walnuts. Most people who have a “nut” allergy are allergic to peanuts, and they are actually legunes.
Tung oil is also from a nut, tung nut. It’s a good finish, but takes forever to dry.
On my spoons, spatulas, and cutting boards i use a salad bowl finish. On a cutting board i do cut it some because if you’re not carefull in can build up on you. It’s basically a polyurathane thined and once the solvents flash off, (the can from general finishs which i use says 3 days) it’s safe to use.
Mineral oil won’t stay on. the first time you wash the board, it’s pretty much gone.
I would suggest experimenting and finding the one you like.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

View BillHoyer's profile


5 posts in 4054 days

#9 posted 09-12-2008 02:10 AM

Don’t forget that the cutting board-user is supposed to wash the board with warm, soapy water “once in a while.”

-- Bill, Oregon

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3961 days

#10 posted 09-24-2008 04:10 PM

Thanks for your coments guys, sorry its been so long since ive been on line. Computer problems.

-- bryano

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 4011 days

#11 posted 09-24-2008 04:21 PM

I have been using mineral oil for years and it works great for me, a quick scrape and the board is clean. Did I mention it is cheap?

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3794 days

#12 posted 09-25-2008 02:57 AM

I agree with snowdog. I usually put a few light coats of mineral oil on the wood and if it gets to the point where it’s not absorbing it, I just wipe off the excess. It makes the wood look natural but not dull.

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