staining my butcher block counters

Hello!

Thanks for popping in today. Since it has been six months since we finished our butcher block counters I thought I’d share what we stained them with and how they are holding up.

Finished butcher block countertops

Finished butcher block countertops

A little backstory first. The butcher block was part of our kitchen refresh project for the last Spring and you can see that we started with Formica countertops. They were 17 years old and in need of replacement. One Room Challenge kitchen refresh.

I knew when we bought this house I was going to add butcher block. I love the warmth that wood brings to a space and you cannot beat the price. It was a bonus that we could DIY them and I wasn't worried about the upkeep as we are empty nesters which means our kitchen doesn’t receive nearly the daily wear and it once did. Butcher Block does take some upkeep.

Installed Butcher Block

Installed Butcher Block

Installation of the counter tops went fairly well (says she that did not have to cut for the sink twice) The problem was I procrastinated (remember we were on a deadline for the challenge) and I didn’t realize it would take over two weeks to have the countertops shipped to our Lake House. So our only options were to look at the big box stores in order to meet the challenge deadline. Luckily we ended up finding the sizes we needed at Menards. They were only available in birch (solid wood but lighter than I wanted) But I thought, hey okay, I’m flexible. Insert laughter here if you don’t know me well.

-A side note if you are buying from a big box store lay them on the ground to make sure they are not warped. We had to return two of ours that were horribly warped when we went to cut them.

So now I had the beautiful wood I wanted but the color was off. The light color which I usually like was driving me crazy in the space. I kept trying to talk myself into loving them but I just didn’t.

I knew I had to prep the countertops before I could go any further so I conditioned them.

Butcher Block Condioner

Then I filled in all the cracks where the counter tops has seams. For this I used the wood shavings from where we had cut the counter tops and added wood glue. I just mixed it together in a plastic bag and apply it using my finger. I then used the edge of a butter knife to get off any excess. This stains close to the same color as the top. It works like a charm. The seams are a little darker but they have the same wood tones.

Butcher Block

After an entire day of google research I decided to try Dark Tung Oil. I was trying to keep them food safe which is a concern for me. It seemed like a great solution. And I have to say….they were darker. But they also pulled a bit orange (which I think is from the birch). I applied 4 coats here.

Conditioned with Butcher Block oil and four coats of Dark Tung Oil. Very pretty but not working with the tile floor.

Conditioned with Butcher Block oil and four coats of Dark Tung Oil. Very pretty but not working with the tile floor.

I went back to researching more options. Just when I was about to give up I must have typed a new combination into google and this AMAZING product popped up.

Rubio Mono coat

What is sooo amazing you asked? It’s food safe, comes in over twenty colors and only takes ONE COAT! I ordered two samples the Black and the Walnut. I ended up using the Walnut with just a touch of Black and here is the final color. (Excuse me for a second as I am still happy dancing).

Walnut stained Butcher Block using Monocoat.

Walnut stained Butcher Block using Monocoat.

After six months of use we are very happy with how they are holding up. I have touched them up (I don’t bother to mix the two colors I simply use the Walnut) a time or two for nicks but mostly just use tung oil every few months when they start to look a bit dry. We are so happy with them we will add them to our rentals when we need to replace.

Butcher Block with drop in sink

Butcher Block with drop in sink

Until next time,

-Libbie

Stained Butcher Block

Stained Butcher Block