My wife brought home a very used butcher block table from a garage sale.
After an all-day session with the sander and scraper, the thing looked
pretty good. Sent the wife off to the hardware store to get a food-grade
finish for it. I was expecting a drying oil, which I've used many times
before, but what she brought home was mineral oil, and I was tired and
started wiping it on before I noticed (Big words on the front "WOOD OIL;
FOOD SAFE"; tiny letters on the back "mineral oil").
I hate the stuff. It shows fingerprints, and the least bit of water
makes it very dull. Further, there's a very fine "fuzz" on the wood that
I know a drying oil wouldn't have produced.
So the question is, can I now put a food-grade drying oil finish (like
walnut oil) on the block, or am I stuck with it the way it is? There is
absolutely no possibility of getting the mineral oil off; it's soaked in.
I have built about 6 cutting boards and full sized butcher blocks. I use a
ROS with 80 grit to start than go to 120, 150, and finally 180 grit. The
surface is satiny smooth and I use mineral oil on the surface.
It should NOT shine unless you did not wipe off the excess or applied too
many times. The fuzz may be that you did not sand fine enough.
Yes you can add another oil but do you want to use the board or just look at
My main cutting board I made from a piece of rock maple counter top. I
worked it to 320 grit with the ROS and it literally shone. I have never
oiled it, and don't intend to.
Sanded to 220 with the ROS. The previous owner had also used mineral oil
on it, and the oily dust was clogging up the sandpaper like anything.
Using a finer grit would have been useless.
It was perfectly smooth before I put that oil on it. I know from
experience with drying oils, that if they're rubbed in with, say, 600
grit paper, the fuzz gets cut off, the imperfections get filled by the
sanding "mud", and the surface becomes very smooth. That's what I wanted
on this table.
Both. That's why I asked if a drying oil would work, if applied over the
mineral oil. There's nothing about a drying oil that would prevent using
the table. For one thing, the sides of the block, which never see any
use, would look a lot better.
Does anybody know if a drying oil will actually harden, if applied over
that mineral oil?
Agreed, IMHO going past 180 or even 150 on something that you will be
cutting on is probably pointless.
Strange, last week I posted pictures of a couple of cutting boards, end
grain up, that I made and put mineral oil on. I went to 180 grit only and
the surface does not shine nor do I want it to, as I intend for these to be
Well I often use a different oil or varnish for the side of a butcher block
but the surface is not going to have that factory finish after cutting on it
and washing it, regardless of what you use.
Is it an end-grain or long grain block. End grain blocks absorb oils deeper
and at a greater rate than long grain blocks. Even after sanding and
scraiping, an end grain block may still be saturated with oils. Adding
more, mineral or otherwise may just be a waste of time.
On a new long grain bucher mineral oil, liberally applied and left standing
all day will need wiping of the excess. A new end grain block will soak in
the oil and after sitting all day, will look like no oil has been applied.
In your case, just wipe it down, wash it with a light detergent/hot water
mix and let it dry out.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.