A butcher block can be a great addition to any modern kitchen. These blocks of wood or stone are built to provide support for heavy cutting tools, and they also insulate the wood, helping to keep the kitchen warmer during cooking. These practical and pleasing to the eye, make butcher block countertops a popular choice for kitchens across the country.
Wood butcher block countertops are very resilient and durable. They can handle hot pots and pans, and because they don’t absorb much heat, you won’t be left with a burned countertop on your first attempt at cooking something on it. Many wood kitchen countertops are also insulated, which is good if you want to keep your electric bill down. This type of insulating material helps reduce energy costs in your home. In addition, wood is attractive and appealing, making wood butcher block a highly desirable kitchen surface.
Wood butcher block countertops have many benefits that other types of counters do not offer. For one, butcher block allows for longer cook times, because the heat is held up outside of the food being cooked, rather than being absorbed into it. The space underneath the block makes for ideal surface area, meaning you can cook more dishes at once. Additionally, these blocks don’t need to be replaced as often, saving you money in the long run.
However, like any other type of hard surface, wood kitchen countertops require some care and maintenance. You should wash wood countertops with a specially formulated wood cleaner designed to help clean out the pores from grime and food particles. Although there isn’t usually any need to scrub hard surfaces down, wiping them down periodically can help keep them looking nice. Use a wood cleanser with a light, non-abrasive application formula. Hard wood kitchen countertops may require that you use a wood polisher on occasion to restore shine and luster. Be sure to read the label and follow the cleaning directions carefully.
Although they are great at removing surface dirt and grime, wood blocks can also be stained to give them a brighter, whiter look. Before you begin staining, ensure the block is clean and dry. Apply the stain using a clean sponge or cloth and work in small sections so that all the food particles are removed and the color is consistent throughout the entire surface. If you are just staining a block, you may consider applying the stain for a few minutes before cooking to give it time to soak into the surface. This will ensure that the stain will be better absorbed into the wood.
Once the block has dried thoroughly, scrub it with a soft bristled brush to remove surface dirt and stains. Follow with blotting paper towels to absorb any excess stain. If a lot of food particles are present after scrubbing, you may need to apply more pressure when wiping the surface with blotting paper towels. Once all the surface dirt has been removed, it’s time to apply the stain.
Before applying the stain, you will want to mix a base color and a stain color by using a color mixing stick or paint brush. Make sure the base color is a lighter shade than the wood color you are applying. Using a metal sponge or brush, apply the stain to the wood block in smooth, even strokes. You should be able to cover the entire block with a single application.
As you stain the wood, allow it to dry for about 24 hours. Then apply a finishing gloss to the wood surface to seal the stain and protect it from moisture. Use low-quality wood polish or a wood putty knife to smooth out any bumps or lumps in the wood after it dries to avoid scratching your new block. It’s easy to find wood cleaners and polishes to use for your project. You can purchase them at any hardware store.