Get your scratched wooden cutting board looking bright and new

Get your scratched wooden cutting board looking bright and new

A wood cutting board is a practical, captivating part of any cooking area, however it’s likewise among the cooking tools that reveals the most indications of wear. Each time you utilize it, your knife scratches and gashes the surface area, slowly reducing the charm of the wood. Even even worse, small pieces of food can get caught in those cuts, making it more difficult and more difficult to clean.

Thankfully, getting rid of those gouges and bring back the wood’s initial appeal is a quick, simple job that anybody can deal with. When you’re done, your cutting board will look as fantastic as the day you got it– perhaps even much better.


  • Time: less than 1 hour (not consisting of drying time)
  • Product expense: $10 to $20
  • Trouble: Easy



Our cutting board went from scratched up (top), to looking almost brand name brand-new (bottom). Jean Levasseur

1. Prepare your workspace. No matter how cautious you are, sanding develops a great deal of dust. Ensure you’re working someplace that can get filthy: a basement, a garage, and even outdoors.

Instead of securing or holding the cutting board by hand, I like to sand atop an anti-slip mat to prevent working around and rearranging clamps. Cabinet liners work terrific. Lay the mat flat on your work table, and ensure there is absolutely nothing underneath the mat that might scratch or harm your board, like splinters of wood or screws.

2. Start sanding. Slap an 80- grit disc on your sander and concentrate on the scuffed and broken parts of the board. The coarse grit ought to chew through the scratches and knife marks in simply a couple of minutes. Keep the sander crossing the whole cutting board so you do not produce an unequal surface area. Ensure you eliminate every imperfection with the 80- grit paper– greater grits most likely will not remove them.

If your board likewise has scratches, ratings, or chips on its sides and bottom, you can strike those areas too. If not, however, there’s no requirement to touch the intact parts of the wood.

  • Caution: Constantly use a face mask when sanding. Breathing sawdust can cause health issue such as blockage, sneezing, coughing, inflamed respiratory tracts, and even cancer.
  • Note: You can sand by hand with routine sandpaper and a sanding block utilizing the precise very same procedure, however it’s a lot more work. Get an orbital sander. Your wrists will thank you.

3. Resolve the other sandpaper grits. When you have actually eliminated the knife marks, continue through the staying grits: 120, 150, then220 The objective here is not to get rid of any knife marks– there ought to be none left after the previous action– however to get rid of the whorls and roughness left by the grit prior to. Depending upon the size of your board, sanding with each grit must take less than 5 minutes.

  • Pro suggestion: If your board has a juice groove, cover some sandpaper around a wood dowel that’s close to the size of the channel. This will keep your fingers from getting tired and protect the shape of the trough.
  • Note: Unless there’s a problem that requires to be eliminated, I just sand the sides and bottom of the board with 150- and 220- grit sandpaper.

4. Spray the board with water. When wood gets damp (as your board will when you clean it), the fibers soak up water and swell. This will make it feel rough, even if you have actually sanded it completely. To prevent this and keep a smooth surface on the board, you’ll require to go through a procedure called “raising the grain.”

[Related: Your home build projects are only as good as the lumber you choose]

After the 220- grit sanding, spritz the cutting board and let it dry. It needs to feel rougher than when you ended up sanding. As soon as the wood is dry, gently hand-sand the whole board once again with 220- grit paper. This will tear down that raised grain and leave a sleek surface, even after the board gets damp once again.

5. Wash all the sawdust off the board. Get the wood as tidy as you can. I typically wash mine under a sink faucet and let it dry over night. Doing this offers you an opportunity to check your grain– if it’s still rough after you wash it, repeat Action 4.

If you can’t await the board to dry once again, you can utilize rags and a tack fabric to clean away the recurring sawdust.

6. Apply butcher block conditioner. Butcher block conditioner is a food-safe mix of mineral oil and wax. I personally utilize Howard’s, due to the fact that it’s easily offered in my location, however any brand name needs to be great. In addition to making the colors of your wood pop, this mix will secure the wood, keeping it from drying and splitting.

To use, squeeze a quarter-sized dollop onto the board and rub it into all surface areas of the wood with a lint-free rag (an old cotton Tee shirts likewise works well for this). Include more as required. You do not desire the conditioner to puddle on the board, however you do desire the surface area to look damp. Let the board take in the conditioner for 15 to 20 minutes, then clean away any excess. Generally, one coat on a properly maintained board suffices, however think about using a 2nd, thinner coat if it hasn’t been oiled in a long period of time.

  • Pro suggestion: It’s really best to re-oil your wood cutting boards on a monthly basis or two to keep them in leading shape, even if you do not sand them.

7. Let the board dry and get slicing. Once the wood is dry, it’s all set for usage. Do not hesitate to mark it up as you produce cooking work of arts in the cooking area, since whenever you refinish a board, you just get much faster.

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