How To Finish A Walnut Wood Cutting Board

Wood cutting boards are a popular choice for kitchen use because they are durable and attractive. Walnut wood is a favorite material for cutting boards because it is both attractive and resistant to wear and tear. Finishing a walnut wood cutting board is a rewarding and satisfying task that requires some basic knowledge and skill. This article will provide the necessary steps for finishing a walnut cutting board with a protective sealant and finish.

The process of finishing a walnut cutting board involves several steps, such as preparing the wood, applying a sealant, sanding the surface, applying a finish, and caring for the cutting board. Each of these steps requires special attention and care to ensure that the cutting board is properly protected. With the right supplies, knowledge, and careful attention to detail, anyone can successfully finish a walnut cutting board.

Preparing the Wood

To create a lasting and beautiful piece, careful preparation of the material is essential. Before beginning to cut the walnut wood board, it is important to treat the grain and check its moisture content. The grain should be sanded down with a fine-grit sandpaper and then treated with a light coat of mineral oil. This will help protect the board and give it a smooth finish. Additionally, it is important to check the moisture content of the wood, as this will affect the stability of the board and its overall longevity. To do this, you can use a moisture meter to gauge the moisture content before making any cuts. Once the grain and moisture content have been treated, the board is ready to be cut and finished.

Applying a Sealant

Sealing a wooden surface is a critical step to protect it from moisture and wear, but what type of sealant is best to use? For walnut wood cutting boards, the best sealant to use is a food-safe mineral oil. This type of sealant is easy to apply, has a low odor, and will provide a long-lasting protection. To apply the sealant, use a clean cloth and work it into the wood in a circular motion. Allow the sealant to sit for up to 10 minutes before wiping off any excess. Make sure to allow the sealant to dry completely before using the cutting board. It is recommended to reapply the sealant every 3-4 weeks to keep the wood protected.

Sanding the Surface

After the sealant has been applied, the next step is to sand the surface to create a smooth finish. This can be done using a polishing technique, with the selection of the grit dependent on the desired finish. The surface should be sanded in a uniform motion, with the sandpaper following the direction of the wood grain. It is important to start with a coarse grit, and gradually move to a finer grit, such as 400 or 600. This will help to prevent any scratches and create a smooth finish. Sanding the surface will also help to ensure that the sealant is applied evenly and uniformly.

Applying a Finish

Once the sanding process is complete, the next step is applying a finish to the cutting board, which has been found to prolong the wood’s life by up to four times. The most common finishes used on walnut wood cutting boards are mineral oil, beeswax, and polyurethane. Each of these finishes has its own pros and cons, and the type of finish chosen should be based on the individual’s preference. Mineral oil is the easiest to apply, is food-safe, and requires no drying time, however, it needs to be reapplied every few weeks. Beeswax is also food-safe and requires no drying time, however, it is more difficult to apply and also needs to be reapplied more often than mineral oil. Finally, polyurethane is the most durable of the three finishes, but it is not food-safe and requires a lengthy waiting period – usually 24 hours – for the finish to dry.

Caring for the Cutting Board

Proper maintenance of a cutting board is essential for ensuring its longevity. Cleaning and storing the cutting board correctly can help to maintain its life. It is important to clean the cutting board with warm water and a mild detergent after every use. After it has been thoroughly cleaned, it should be dried with a clean cloth. To avoid warping, it should be stored in a dry location. To protect the board from scratches, it should be stored in an area where it is not in contact with other objects. Additionally, the cutting board should be oiled regularly with mineral oil to maintain its surface and prevent it from cracking. This will help to extend the life of the cutting board and keep it in its best condition.


The finished product of a walnut wood cutting board is sure to be a beautiful addition to any kitchen. To ensure a long lasting, high quality product, a few steps must be taken in order to properly finish the board. Preparing the wood, applying a sealant, sanding the surface, and applying a finish are all necessary for a successful end result. With the proper care, these boards can last up to ten years. This is an impressive statistic considering the amount of wear and tear that the board will experience. Taking the necessary steps to properly finish a walnut wood cutting board will ensure a long lasting, beautiful product that you can enjoy for years to come.