How to Finish Butcher Block Table Tops

What You'll Need
Terry cotton rag
60-grit sandpaper
80-grit sandpaper
Sanding block or electric sander
Wood stain
Paint brush
Clean rag

Butcher block table tops affect the overall appeal of a kitchen. The appeal usually stems from the patterns of the wood blocks. However, you can change the look of a butcher block table by applying paint or stain. The stain application can be challenging. The first step is to choose the type of stain you want for your butcher block. Choose the stains that do not contain harmful and toxic chemicals, especially if the table is largely used for the preparation of food. Oil based stains are the best choice. Here are some easy steps that you may find helpful when finishing your butcher block table top.

Step 1 – Examine the Condition of the Butcher Block

Examine the surface of your butcher block. Run your hands over the top and the sides to determine if the surface is smooth and even. If you feel an imperfection, you will need to sand them down until you get a fine finish. Refinishing the table top will require numerous sanding and meticulous care to  bring back the original glow and color of the finish.

Step 2 – Sand the Table Top

Smooth the entire surface of the butcher block using a 60-grit sandpaper. For a more refined surface, you can use an electric sander. Sand and remove everything until you have a smooth finish. Do not forget to sand the sides of the block as well. If you sand with an electric sander, use gentle and precise movements so that you get an even finish throughout your table.

Step 3 – Clean the Table and Repeat Sanding

Next, wet a terry cloth towel and use it to remove all dust and grit on the entire surface of the table. Run your hands on the surface and look for any remaining rough spots. Then, use 80-grit sandpaper to further smoothen the surface. Remove the sanding dust with a wet terry cloth towel once you are done.

Step 4 – Apply Stain

Use a dry cotton rag to apply stain on the surface. The rag will produce a more natural and linear look. You can also use a paintbrush to apply stain on all the surfaces of the wood block. Remember that oil based stain will be absorbed by the wood fibers and may not produce the color that you like. To get your desired color, you may have to apply a second coat of stain. Make sure that the first coat is sufficiently dry before you do this step.

Always follow the recommendations by the manufacturer. Read the label thoroughly before using and applying the stain. Also, if you are sensitive to chemicals, you should wear protective gloves when you apply the wood stain. If you are applying the stain on surfaces that will be used for food, applications, it would be best to only apply a single coat of stain. Also, be sure to follow the directions exactly if the surface will be used for food.