How to refinish a butcher block or cutting board

refinish a cutting board

butcher block after refinishing with Boos Cream

Some DIY projects are a lot of work. Some are successful and others aren’t.  I wanted to share how easy it was to refinish a butcher block, because WOW! What a success for such little effort.  (The hardest part of this project was carrying the butcher blocks downstairs!) If you have a butcher block, cutting board or even wood utensils you want to refinish to look like new, you should definitely give this project a try. With just a little sanding, wiping and drying, your wood cutting boards and butcher blocks will look like new.

Here’s what you will need:

When my husband and I purchased these butcher blocks 15 years ago, we purchased a lemon oil block conditioner that smelled great but left this weird sticky residue that simply would not dry. We didn’t have the bottle more than 1-2 years before it started smelling rancid and I threw it out. After that, I didn’t take care of the blocks other than wiping them down after use. This Spring I had a massive cleaning fit and it seemed like a good time to try and restore our butcher blocks to new.


Refinishing our butcher block

We use our blocks more for counters than for cutting – but that doesn’t mean they don’t get a lot of use and incur a lot of stains. There was a large dried out area in front of our grill and stains from the grill feet that we weren’t sure would come off.

Butcher block before


Sanding our butcher block

First, we sanded down the entire surface with an 80 grit sandpaper. We went through about 3 sheets quickly, since it was picking up layers of black gunk from the top.

We then used a 100 grit sand paper and and then finally 120 grit sandpaper for a smooth finish.

When we were done sanding it felt amazingly smooth. Here is after result:

after the sanding

The darker spot on the lower right is where I laid a paper towel to let the toasted almonds I make for one of my favorite salads cool.  (Which is Kale & brussels sprout salad, recipe courtesy  I didn’t realize the olive oil soaking through the paper towel was leaving an oily residue, so I now put the paper towel on a plate.


adding the Boos Board cream

Next, we worked in the Boos Block Board Cream by hand, following the manufacturer’s instructions. We wiped it on the sides, legs and edges, then let it dry overnight.

refinishing a butcher block - after

And here it is finished – amazing!  They look and feel brand new.  The cream is a mix of bee’s wax and food grade mineral oil which creates a wonderful surface.  Water just beads up magically on the surface.

how to refinish a butcher block



cutting block after sanding

Refinishing the butcher blocks worked so great I wanted to try it one of our cutting boards too. We used the same steps.

Begin sanding with 80 grit sandpaper, then go to 100 and then 120.

Wipe on Boos Block Board Cream following the instructions.

And it worked great, again.



The overall project only took about 30 minutes, but oh what a difference! Maybe this quick project will inspire you to refinish a butcher block or cutting board.


  1. Sweet I think you just inspired me a little bit.

  2. Wendy Caldwell says:

    Do you think it would work on a wooden salad bowl? And where did you get the board cream?

  3. Neat :) thanks for sharing

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