When renovating our kitchen last fall one thing I KNEW that I wanted was a butcher block countertop. I heard that they were expensive and a lot of upkeep so being me, I started my research...my Pinterest research that is. I toyed around with the idea of completely starting from scratch and building our own countertops, I looked at Ikea's website, I searched every countertop website around to try and find the best deal but I was never truly convinced.
We knew that we were going to refinish some of our old countertops but I didn't want to carry that same look throughout the entire kitchen. So that left me with the island. One day while we were making one of our many Menard's supply runs my husband found a raw butcher block slab in the back of the store for $180.
Based upon everything I had researched this was a GREAT deal and what's even greater...it was the EXACT size we needed for our island! We were sold and brought it home immediately. This is how we turned that slab of raw wood into this beautiful countertop we use on the DAILY!
DIY Kitchen Butcher Block Step 1:
Before I started in on the stain I made sure to prep my wood for color by lathering on some "minwax pre-stain" wood conditioner. This is a clear solution that goes on before you stain your piece to ensure that the wood takes on the stain to the best of it's ability. Seriously this is such a simple step and takes no more than 5 minutes. Leave it penetrating for about 2 hours and you're ready to start on your next step.
DIY Kitchen Butcher Block Step 2:
I wanted to "warm up" our kitchen so I chose to go with "Minwax Provincial 211" wood stain. I knew I didn't want a super dark stain (because you tend to see more on darker wood) and I had heard great things about this color so after doing a little test strip on some old wood planks, I was sold! I ended up doing two coats of the Provincial stain and again....this was SUPER simple. I used an old t-shirt to "wipe" the stain on and after it had dried I was ready for the finishing touches.
DIY Kitchen Butcher Block Step 3:
This step is the longest and quite possibly the most annoying but it's the MOST important step of all...adding the protecting finish to your surface. For this we wanted something that was shiny but not super shiny and easily wipe-able. We went with a semi-gloss polyurethane for this step and were very pleased with the finish.
For this step we ended up using a foam roller to apply it very thinly. This can often times causes a lot of bubbles when it dries so it's important that you take a very fine hand sander in between each coat to rub down any/all of the hardened bubbles. After you've gently sanded it down, wipe it down with a lint-free rag and then you are ready for your next coat. We ended up doing 9 coats of the polyurethane! Holy smokes that's a lot you're probably thinking. But wood is a tricky surface to deal with, especially when it's in the kitchen constantly being exposed to water, heat, cold, sticky, etc. You want to make sure that your wood is COVERED.
After 9 or so coats you are done! Rub your hand along the surface to make sure you've worked out all the bubbles and have a soft, smooth texture and you are ready to go! It's seriously that simple!
We absolutely LOVE our island and couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out! We get more comments on the island than any other part of the kitchen so I know we did something right when we decided to go for it! If you have any questions let me know in the comments section below!
As always, thanks for stopping by!
To see more before and after pictures of our kitchen check out our Fixer Upper Revealed right here!