Kitchen Update: Revitalizing a Butcher Block Island


 About a month ago we finished designing a home that was on the market for sale (now pending).

It is my job to know what’s hot and what’s not in the marketplace (visually) for a buyer. When I studied the photos of this home, I observed its “Country French” pale green enameled cabinetry and yellow walls, which in my opinion just looked too green.

We had choices and even considered replacing all the countertops with granite or a combination of materials… The most cost effective decision was to distress the base of the island from green to black

and the hood was distressed from green to cream.

The center island countertop was an oak butcher block sealed with polyurethane. The preexisting wood countertop was stained with colored markers and had gouges in it; it looked tired and worn. With a polyurethane finish it would not be useful for cutting and or food prep – so I decided to sand the island instead of replacing to granite or other material thus keeping the integrity and usefulness of the product. The superb natural warmth and beauty of wood to this kitchen was a welcomed staple. The butcher block is not only stunning but also practical which turned out to be the perfect fit for this kitchen.

Here is the process for making YOUR butcher-block island useable again:

1. Sand using a fine sand paper block


2. Wipe all dirt, dust, crumbs and residue from the butcher block with a damp cloth


3. Dry thoroughly

4. Pour a mineral oil product OR Boos Block “Mystery Oil” (Boos Mystery Oil is a special combination of pure mineral oil and raw linseed oil, and slightly orange essence)

5. Smooth oil into the countertop and follow the wood grain remembering the sides and edges


6. Wipe the excess oil with a dry cloth and then reapply. The wood drinks up the oil.

7. Let the oil penetrate and soak in for a few days and reapply.

Going forward, a wood countertop can be stained from water, pop cans, crayons, markers, knife marks, etc. you can use a fine sand paper block – sand away the imperfection and re-apply your mineral oil product and you are back in business!

If you need design services or have questions about your design project give us a call Cindy at 612.226.8044 and we would be happy to assist you.

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