Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our Butcher Block Island

In addition to our Richlite kitchen countertops that I've shared previously, we have the luxury of having an expansive kitchen island in our kitchen.  We were drawn to wood butcher block and decided upon a John Boos butcher block countertop.  It arrived in a huge slab of wood (our island is just over 10 feet long).  After installation, we cut out the area for the small prep sink and our plumber got that installed.

When we were ready to oil the countertop for the first time, we made sure it was clean and gave everything a final wipe down.  Sorry for the poor photo lighting.  We tend to do everything at night after the girls are in bed.

While we were prepping everything, we had our John Boos Mystery Oil hanging out in some warm water.

After everything was clean and dry, we start squirting the oil on the wood and rubbing it on with a clean rag.  After five minutes, we lightly wiped off the excess oil with a paper towel.  We went to bed and repeated the paper towel wiping in the morning, although it didn't really seem like there was anything to wipe up.  The wood had pretty much soaked up all of that oil by morning.

The next night, we applied some Boos Block Board Cream to seal everything in. This is a creamy beeswax that helps to hold in the moisture.

We rubbed it into the grain of the wood with our hands and let it sit overnight.

The next morning, it looked like this!  If you look closely, you can see some of the wax still on the wood.  We wiped off any excess with a paper towel and it was good to go!

So far, we're pretty happy with the butcher block.  The huge expanse of space is wonderful for prep work and having three little girls lined up on barstools at the counter.  We have had a couple of places that we have sanded in between oilings.  The wood definitely seems to dry out quicker than we expected.  We are oiling it at least once a month at this point.  I'm guessing that the dry winter air is partly to blame. 

I'll be giving you updates as we live with the butcher block.  Hopefully, it will continue to be durable and beautiful!

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