How to Restore Butcher Block Tables

It is easy to restore a butcher block table with materials that are available at your nearest hardware store. The process is similar to the process of applying finish to new butcher block table tops. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind. For example, if you use your butcher block for everyday cooking, it is best to use a stain that is non-toxic and free from harmful fumes and odors that may affect the taste and quality of your food. Keep in mind that severely damaged surfaces will need to be cut off in order to provide an even finish. If you need to have it cut, you will need to take the block to a wood cutting facility.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Cotton rag
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Paintbrush
  • Polyurethane finish (optional)

Step 1 – Preparation

Wipe off the butcher block table with a wet cotton rag to remove dust and other solid debris on the surface. Wipe off the excess moisture and let dry.

Next, use medium grit sandpaper to smooth the surface down. You can use an electric sander to remove deep cuts on the surface. Wipe off excess dust with a damp cotton rag and run your hands over the surface.

Step 2 – Re-sand the Butcher Block

Use 80-grit sandpaper to produce a fine finish. This will further refine the finish to produce a natural and well-rounded appearance. Remove dust by using a damp cotton rag. Let the table dry and assess the finish before applying stain. If there are still rough spots on the finish then you will need to sand further to produce an even appearance.

Step 3 – Apply Stain

Use a paintbrush to apply stain on the surface of the butcher block. Apply an even coat and let dry before applying a second coating of stain. It is best to use at least two or three coats of stain to protect and seal the finish. Remember to let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next coat of stain. Allow the stain to dry for at least 5 to 8 hours. It is best to let it dry overnight in a well ventilated area.

Step 4 – Apply Polyurethane Finish

Use a clean paintbrush to apply a coat of polyurethane finish on the butcher block. Polyurethane is utilized on most hardwood floors as a protective coating against wear and tear. Let the first coat dry for at least 24 hours and make sure it is well ventilated. If you want to further protect the finish, sand the finish after applying a first coat of polyurethane using 100-grit sandpaper. Wipe off the dust with a wet cloth and let it dry. Apply a second coat of polyurethane and let dry according to the instructions indicated on the label.

Remember to keep your butcher block free of chemicals if you will use it for food preparation.