When is the finish... You know, finished?

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Forum topic by GerardW posted 11-13-2014 12:36 AM 897 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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44 posts in 1851 days

11-13-2014 12:36 AM

If anyone has been following my cutting board posts, first, I’m sorry. I’m sure you are very much over it by now. But this has the very real potential to be my last one.

These end grain boards (walnut, cherry, hard maple) have gotten two coats of straight salad bowl finish (not thinned). They are keeping their color nicely after the second coat, and I checked to ensure that water is beading nicely on the surface, which it is. Is that it? Other ways I can test to see if another coat is warranted? I don’t want to build a film so I am wary of putting on too much.

If that’s it, I may hit them lightly with 400 grit to smooth them out and then call it good.

-- Gerard in Bowie MD

4 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2515 days

#1 posted 11-13-2014 01:36 AM

My answer reflects Leroy Jethro Gibbs: Rule 38: “Your case, your lead.”

If you are satisfied, it is done. If it isn’t, fix it, finish it or redo it.

No other opinion matters.

(Edit): And I wouldn’t bother going to 400g on a cutting board. I usually go to 180 or 220 and then use a scraper if I absolutely have to.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2054 days

#2 posted 11-13-2014 01:49 AM

I’m certainly no expert here, but my grandfather used to say keep adding the oil until the board will not absorb anymore. He was using mineral oil and beeswax though.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3070 days

#3 posted 11-13-2014 03:02 AM

Put it on till it won’t take no more. The oil never dries so you will probably just gum up your paper if you sand it. This isn’t like Tung oil or varnish, no need to sand afterwards, just my opinion.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3130 days

#4 posted 11-13-2014 06:16 AM

Maybe your over thinking this.

On all the boards I’ve done, I sand to 220. Rub on Mineral Spirits to raise the grain. Let it dry. Lightly sand again and then rub on one generous coat of what ever looks good for cutting boards from the local hardware store. I wipe off any excess that didn’t soak in well enough and call it good.

I then give the board and the can of oil to the lucky party and tell them it’s all up to them from then on. Apply more as needed. If the board begins to look dry or needs a shine, they can spiff it up. I’ve never had any negative feedback from those instructions.

Good luck…...........................

-- mike...............

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