How to Repair Butcher Block Countertops

  • 4-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-300
What You'll Need
Hard Wood Strips
Water Resistant Glue
Oribital Sander
Mineral Oil
Wood Putty
Small Rotary Tool with Cutting Blade

Butcher block countertops are a great option for any kitchen. This type of countertop is very attractive, highly durable, and easily maintained. While it does require a little more care and attention, when something does need to be fixed on it, butcher block is very easily repaired. A butcher block countertop that is used on a continual basis is going to have its fair share of cuts, gouges, chips, and stains that will detract from its great looks. If you have had a butcher block countertop for many years and want to put some life back into it, here are some steps to follow.

Step 1: Clean Countertop

To fully realize the full extent of what you will need to do you should clean the countertop thoroughly. Take everything off of it and wash it down with some warm water. Chances are you will see that it is going to have a dull finish and any scratches are going to be very noticeable.

Step 2: Sand Countertop Down

A butcher block countertop is great to have because when it begins to lose its luster you can simply sand it down and refinish it. With an orbital sander you should go over the countertop with a light grit sandpaper. Do not press down into the wood strips, but do apply a little bit of even pressure throughout.

WARNING: Consider wearing safety glasses and a face mask while using an orbital sander, especially if you have a history of respiratory issues.

Step 3: Fill Scratches

One way to fill in some of the scratches and small gouges is to use a little bit of wood putty. Roll up some wood putty with your fingers and press it into the scratches and gouges. Make sure that it is packed in tight. Sand this putty down when it dries so that it is flush with the rest of the countertop.

Step 4: Replace Broken Blocks

There are times when you will notice that a whole section is ruined from water, heat damage, or even a heavy object cracking it. When this happens you have to replace the broken pieces. Use a rotary tool with a cutting blade attached and carefully cut out the broken blocks. Clean out the hole in the countertop and apply a layer of glue to the individual blocks. Set them into the countertop and lay something heavy on them for a day. Once the glue has dried you can sand off the glue that has seeped out.

Step 5: Refinish Countertop

Once all the repairs have been made you can give the butcher block a like new appearance by refinishing it with mineral oil and beeswax. Apply mineral oil to the butcher block with a sponge and wait until it has all been absorbed. Once that happens you can apply a second coat. Wipe off any excess with a rag.

Step 6: Apply Beeswax

Spread beeswax over the countertop with a clean rag. This will help give a protective shine as well as fill in any scratches you may have missed. Give the countertop at least 2 coats and make sure that it is evenly distributed.