What to stain/finish butcher block bar top with?


Old 06-10-19, 04:22 PM
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What to stain/finish butcher block bar top with?

I am just about done wrapping up a basement project in my home. I built a bar and I am using an 8ft maple butcher block that was made at a local lumber company. It is currently unfinished. There will be no sink attached to the bar.

The bar will get low use and most likely not alot of food use on it.(but I would like it to be food safe if at all possible)

I really do not want to do polyurethane as I do not want that shiny look. I like the look of the natural wood but I want to slightly darken it if possible but keeping that "matte" look and not the shiny clear/poly look.

My first idea was to use Howards Cutting board mineral oil and conditioner which is also food safe. The maintenance involved in using that is not a big deal for me, I do not mind applying more when need be. My main concern with that is, will it darken/tint the finish at all and how will it hold up to staining? Say from beer bottles and glasses being on them. I cannot find definitive information if it helps prevent staining if cleaned up quickly?

My next choice I was looking at was the Watco stain going slightly darker than the finish is now. With the watco stain though, do I just stain it and leave it as is, or do I need to apply some sort of food sealer over it? If so, what do I apply to it after the stain?

Below is a picture of the bar currently.

Thanks in advance

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Old 06-10-19, 04:51 PM
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See this recent thread:


Beeswax and mineral oil are naturally water resistant.
Old 06-11-19, 12:01 AM
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I like gloss poly but, if that's not for you, satin oil based poly would add a little color to the wood with minimal shine.
Old 06-21-19, 03:06 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. I tried the Howard mineral oil on a small spot on the underside of the butcher block just to test it. It is making it a more golden color. Not sure if that is going to look good with my color combo. I am still undecided on how I want to approach this as I do want to darken it a little
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