Cutting Board Care

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Forum topic by ScottM posted 02-27-2017 03:25 PM 563 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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681 posts in 2295 days

02-27-2017 03:25 PM

A while back I made my daughter a cutting board and finished it with GF Salad Bowl Finish. I followed the can directions and cut it 50/50 with mineral spirits and applied maybe 4 coats over several days until it stopped soaking it up.

I was at her house yesterday and noticed it on the counter and the finish looked pretty ragged. She’s used and cleaned it properly, i.e. no dishwasher or soaking it, but it looks like it needs a refresh.

I started to suggest that she pick up some mineral oil but second guessed myself and thought I would run this question by the experts.

So the question is, can I, or she, simply apply a mineral oil finish over what’s left of the salad bowl finish or do I need to do a complete finish “re-do” of it before that can happen?

6 replies so far

View Rich's profile (online now)


3668 posts in 738 days

#1 posted 02-27-2017 03:51 PM

Their salad bowl finish is just a urethane that cures to food safe, just like every other urethane, shellac, etc. It’s intended for safe food contact, not cutting. Since it cures hard like all urethanes, it will chip when used on a cutting surface.

In fact, the General Finishes product page states: “For actively used butcher block counter tops that are used for chopping and cutting, only use Butcher Block Oil.”

Oiling it at this point won’t fix the surface. You need to get it down to bare wood first.

Edit: I forgot to mention that Boos makes a product called Board Cream that is a mixture of bee’s wax and mineral oil. I think it does a better job of preparing and maintaining a chopping block surface than mineral oil alone.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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126 posts in 1167 days

#2 posted 02-27-2017 04:26 PM

I used Howard Butcher block conditioner on a cutting board I made over the weekend. It is mineral oil and beeswax. It soaked up pretty well, I did 4 coats Of apply wait 20 minutes and buff in, wait 2 hours and reapply. Im not sure this is the right way as this is my first one. I would assume If by ragged you mean heavily knicked and gouged you will have to replane it. But if you mean dried out you may get away with just reapplying oil.

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1576 posts in 3215 days

#3 posted 02-27-2017 04:39 PM

Go to youtube and look at this dudes cutting boards. I subscribed just to watch the amazing things he can do. Anyway he goes into what to use. Mineral oil and beeswax combination. I’ve got a cutting board I wipe with bleach to disenfect and then wipe in mineral oil only and i made it in high school. That was a long long long time ago.

Cheers. His channel is amazing.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Kazooman's profile


1151 posts in 2101 days

#4 posted 02-27-2017 04:39 PM

Rich nailed it. The salad bowl finish is not really made for a cutting surface. The problem now is that even if you sand the surface to remove the layer of finish and flatten it, the board may not take a coat of oil well if the pores are sealed with urethane. Probably best to get it as smooth as desired and apply more of the salad bowl finish. Lesson learned.

Now…... iI can’t think of a better reason to head to the shop to make a new cutting board. The Wood Whisperer’s end grain pattern is easy to make and gives an impressive result. Use one of the mineral oil and beeswax finishes mentioned above. I have given at least a dozen end grain boards as gifts and I always include a sheet of care instructions and a bottle of Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner with each one.

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398 posts in 768 days

#5 posted 02-27-2017 05:27 PM

You may want to consider taking a card scraper to the cutting board to remove the old finish. I use a 4:1 blend of Mineral Oil and bees wax. Heat the mineral oil to about 140 F then stir in the bees wax. Double boiler works best.

After the mix cools, it looks like a thinned wax. Just wipe in on, let it soak for a bit, then wipe off the excess. Leave the mix with your daughter and tell her to wipe on more when water no longer beads on the surface.

I made a cup of the mix for the wife and she is no where near using it up after about 6 months.

-- Sawdust Maker

View KimR's profile


25 posts in 699 days

#6 posted 03-07-2017 08:32 PM

I use a 4:1 blend of Mineral Oil and bees wax.

4:1 measured by weight or volume. Or am I being to picky?

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