One of the best places in the world is The Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Our local ReStore is lovely and full of wonderful people, too. One day, as I was purchasing supplies for an un-related project, I passed by a huge towering stack of maple cutting boards/butcher blocks that were brand-new, unfinished, and selling for $10 a piece. They were marked as regularly selling for more than $40, and they looked so clean and lovely all stacked together… so I impulse-bought.
Of course, since it was unfinished I needed to pick up something to “season” the board, and a brief Google research showed that I should head to my local hardware store and grab a bottle of food-grade mineral oil.
I really do live in a very nice place, as I also love my local hardware store. The nicest people, and run locally (it is a True Value) called Bloomington Hardware. They were all out of what I assume was a just-oil product for seasoning cutting boards; or I assume so, since below an empty spot on the self was a little sticker that said something to that effect. However, they had a product called “Butcher Block Conditioner” that had instructions on the back for seasoning a new cutting board. Sold! However, it was $8.99 which was a bit painful. Still, I didn’t feel like driving to another store, I had a three-year-old with me who was eyeing the candy stands, and I really do like my hardware store people.
So, I went home and gathered together my bottle of butcher block conditioner, my new maple cutting board, and an old rag.
I tried to take a nice over-head shot of the cutting board, just to show how ghostly-pale it was prior to being seasoned. The darker streaks are where it was still wet from my cleaning it. I may have gone ahead and used it a couple times before seasoning it and then tried to scrub away where juice from an orange had soaked in… and it may still have some orangey spots on it. Gives it character.
The instructions were simple; basically, rub a thin coat of the conditioner into the wood, rubbing in the same direction as the wood grain, until it was nicely coated.
Let it wait 20 minutes.
Do that again twice more.
Sorry, this picture really did not turn out pretty.
Below you can see the difference between the raw wood, and one still-wet layer of conditioner on the wood – it was taken two seconds after I swiped conditioner on half the board.
Below, you can see how I poured a thin line of the conditioner ahead of the area where I was rubbing it in, in the same direction as the wood grain. This is putting on the first coat.
The edgues were done pretty much the exact same way. Be careful not to get this on your clothes – I managed to avoid that for once, but since it is mineral-oil based it seems like it would be a bad idea.
The little grooves along the edges of one side were a little trickier. I had to spread a little of the conditioner along the middle of the grooves, and then use the rag to rub diligently to get along those tiny edges.
A little before and after comparison… although to be honest, the below pictures don’t really show the full tone of the wood now that it is conditioned. The above picture is a better gauge.
As you can see, although I did not love the $8.99 price-tag, three full coats left me with still almost the entire bottle left over… so the value seems worth it. I imagine I have to re-condition it eventually, right? Or buy 10 more?
This was a nice, quick project and a relatively low-cost… and this has turned out to be a super-handy thing to have around. I picture buying an antique dresser and re-purposing it as a kitchen stand, with this butcher block attached to the top of it someday… you know the Pinterest pin I mean. I hope that link works; I’ve never tried to link to a pin before…
PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.