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A Guide To Wood Countertops

Whether you want a large area to prep for dinner, or want a beautiful and maintenance-free focal point for your kitchen, we’ll cover the two best finish options for either choice.

A food safe butcher block oil is the best finish if you plan on cutting directly on the wood counter. Designed to absorb into the wood and seal from the inside out, this oil finish will slightly darken the wood's grain and will need to be re-applied regularly throughout the year. To achieve a light luster to the wood, choose a food-safe butcher block and wax blend (we like this combination from Boos).

If you do not plan on cutting directly on the wood top and are not concerned with food safety, then a water-resistant clear topcoat is ideal. While 2k polyurethane is the absolute best finish available these days, it can be both very expensive and hard to find a finisher familiar with spraying it. A conversion varnish topcoat will, also, be very, very water and scratch resistant, completely maintenance free, and enhance the natural beauty of the wood. Use a solvent-based topcoat if you're wanting to create warm, amber hues, and a water-based topcoat to keep the wood's unfinished color.

We love sharing advice and recommendations on this blog and have recently been pretty active in several home building and kitchen remodeling Facebook groups, as well. Given the need for homeowners to receive expert advice to help them better set their projects up for success, we created our own group for all things cabinets! You can join Ask A Cabinetmaker and talk with one of our cabinet and millwork Experts to get all of your casework, millwork, design, and finishing questions answered.


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