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Butcher block countertop - should I seal it?

1065 Views 29 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Sharon MH
We have this butcher block countertop and it is currently not sealed or varnished. I try to keep up with applying Howard brand oil and wax, but it seems to not last very long. Should I seal it, and if so, with what? Danish oil, or some type of polyurethane/varnish, or ? We do food prep on it (not directly on it of course) so that might be a consideration.

We live in the PNW so it is frequently humid during winters and then quite dry during summer, and I worry that this cycling will make the blocks separate or I will otherwise somehow inadvertently ruin this very nice counter. I did not install it, so I do not know what type of wood it is, where it came from etc.

TIA!


Brown Table Countertop Wood Rectangle
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We went with a clear acrylic urethane, no stain.
We didn't want to change the cover so we stayed away from oil based.
Cabinetry Property Tap Countertop Sink

Just FYI, I believe the slab we picked up from HomeDepot stated that it needed to be sealed within 24 hours of unwrapping.
 

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Thanks to everyone for their input! And agree that @wallsonwheels has a very posh van kitchen, super sharp interior!

It sounds like sealing is the way to go, given the temperature and humidity cycling in the van. I appreciate a good patina as much as anyone, but I would prefer not to have to replace this countertop if it starts to split, etc.

@wallsonwheels was there a particular finish (semi-gloss etc) for the acrylic urethane you used, or do you remember the specific product? I would prefer a less shiny countertop (yours looks great in the picture). @Swamplizard a two part epoxy is very nice, but probably too much hassle (for me) to put on. Hardness is less important to me, I just don't want it to split and warp.

Thanks all!
Thanks, this is what we used:
Ingredient Food Animal product Tin Rectangle

This is only our first season out, but so far so good, it has held up very well for us.
Spar urethane was the other way I was thinking of going (bulletproof) but that would have changed the color a bit.
The wood is clear birch from HD or Lowes.
 
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