How to Refinish a Butcherblock Table

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Butcher-block tables are great dining room furniture to have when raising children. These sturdy tables can take a lot of abuse. Even if your butcher-block table looks a little rough, it only needs a little revitalization. You can easily refinish your butcher-block table and eliminate any scratches or stains in the wood. Refinishing your butcher-block table makes it look like a brand new piece of furniture.

Preparing the Table

Wipe the table off using rags to remove any loose debris. Spread stripper on your table according to the manufacturer's directions. Continue following the directions for removing the existing finish.


Sand the table using a 60-grit sandpaper. Use an electric sander to help speed up this process if you have one, otherwise just use a block sander. Use a damp rag to wipe off any sawdust. Examine the surface of the table looking for remaining scratches and stains. Go over the surface again with the 60-grit sandpaper if necessary.

Clean the table again using a damp rag to remove all the sawdust. Re-sand the table surface using 80-grit sandpaper. Sand until the surface is perfectly smooth.

Wipe all the dust off the table with a damp rag. Allow the table to dry completely.


Apply the stain using a clean rag. Wipe in one direction along the grain of the wood. Make sure to cover the tabletop completely and evenly. Let the stain dry for 24 hours. Check over the table surface to make sure the stain is even before applying the polyurethane. Go over any spots that need evening out.


Use a heavy-duty polyurethane such as Diamond Varathane. This type of finish is mainly used on floors for extra-strong protection. This finish will stand up to a lot of use. Brush the polyurethane on the table in one long motion. Follow the grain of the wood. Continue applying the polyurethane in a thin, even coat. Let the first coat dry for approximately 24 hours.

Rough up the polyurethane a little by sanding lightly with 100-grit sandpaper. Wipe off all the polyurethane dust with a slightly damp rag.

Cover the table with another coat of polyurethane. Keep sanding and applying polyurethane until you are happy with the look of your table. Add three to four coats of polyurethane for extra protection for your tabletop.


Keep in mind that these directions are for a butcher-block table. Do not use polyurethane if you cut food on your butcher-block surface. Use a consumer safe mineral oil to finish butcher-block cutting tops.

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Ruth O'Neil

Ruth O'Neil has been a freelance writer for almost 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles and stories in dozens of publications including "Parentlife," "CBA Retailers and Resources," "Lookout" and "Standard." She has also worked with a publishing company editing and preparing manuscripts for publication.