How to Paint a Butcher Block Countertop

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Butcher block countertops are generally constructed from a thick piece of teak, walnut or sugar maple and made to stand the wear and tear of cutting, chopping, slicing and dicing. The block of wood is also treated with mineral oil, almond oil or beeswax to preserve its appearance and prevent the absorption of bacteria and food odors. Turn your utilitarian butcher block countertop into a decorative feature with a coat of paint. Before application, prepare the butcher block to accept the paint and prevent peeling.


Step 1

Wipe down the butcher block countertop with a mixture of 1 tablespoon mild liquid dish soap and 3 cups warm water to remove any loose dust, dirt and food particles. Dry the block with a soft cloth.

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Step 2

Sand the butcher block with 120-grit sandpaper. Using smooth back-and-forth motions, gently rub down the countertop to remove the oil finish and roughen up the surface, which prepares it to accept the paint.


Step 3

Wipe away the dust from the sanding with a damp cloth. Allow the butcher block countertop to dry completely before continuing.

Step 4

Cover the countertop with a thin layer of oil-based paint using a natural-bristled brush. Don't attempt to use water-based or acrylic paint because neither will effectively adhere to the butcher block surface. Allow the first coat of paint to dry completely or for at least two to three hours.


Step 5

Apply a second and third light coating of the oil-based paint with the natural-bristled brush. Allow the final coat to cure for at least 24 hours before using.



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