Food Safe Wood Finish - 9 Best Finishes for Cutting Boards, Toys, & More (2023)


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With all the toxins that exist around us, in what seems like everything…. It’s no wonder there’s been a surge in the popularity of food safe wood finishes. I mean, we have to be careful about what we ingest, right? So it only makes sense to use food safe finishes when we’re working on wood projects that will come in contact with our mouths, our food, or our children in any way.

I have found some incredibly interesting facts around the topic of food safe wood finishes. Not only 9 great options, but even some more controversial matter that, while I agree with what I’ve read, I’m only 50% sure that you’ll agree.

But regardless, I’m going to give you all the details. Below you’ll find the 9 best food safe wood finishes, but also the 2 basic categories that all wood projects fall into, which will determine which kind of finish to use. Plus, the nitty gritty “Reality” of food grade finishes and why you may not need to be so concerned.

But first…
Here are the 4 main project types you should consider using a food safe wood finish on:

  1. Kitchen utensils (bowls, spoons, platters, etc…)
  2. Raw meat prep surfaces (Cutting boards, butcher blocks, etc…)
  3. Eat-on surfaces (bar tops, tables, counters, etc…)
  4. Childrens Toys.

So if your project sounds like it fits in one of these categories, then it’s worth considering using a food safe wood finish.

Word of Caution – before we continue, please be aware. Not all commercially produced finishes are made the same. No matter what the finish is named, it may or may not be “pure”. In other words, many options are concoctions that include solvents, thinners, dryers, metal compounds, and other popular wood-finishing ingredients. So be sure to read all labels! Also, as with any wood finish, follow instructions on the container, and dispose of your rags properly.

With that said, let’s jump right in, shall we?

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9 Best Food Safe Wood Finishes

1. Shellac

This is a surface sealing, natural finish that comes from the Lac bug. You can bet it’s safe to consume, they coat candy with it after all. Shellac is a film-forming finish, and provides good protection from moisture. It leaves a glossy finish if applied thick enough and buffed out.

Learn more about shellac wood finish here.

2. Pure Tung Oil

This is one of the few popular “Drying Oils” (I’ll explain what that means below). It actually hardens as it cures and has water-resistant properties. And contrary to popular belief, pure tung oil does not affect those with “nut” allergies.

3. Food Grade Beeswax

This literally comes from the honeycomb of honey bees. There is a process used to refine it, but once complete, it’s safe for consumption. It’s commonly used to glaze fruit, as well as in the production of gel capsules and chewing gum. Avoid on surfaces that will get hot, as the wax can melt off.

4. Carnauba Wax

This is plant-based, and is considered safe for consumption because it is inert, non-toxic, and cannot be digested by humans. It’s often used for it’s “Shiny” properties, and can be mixed with beeswax to add water-resistance.

5. Food Grade Mineral Oil

This is a non-toxic, non-drying oil that is commonly used on butcher block tables and cutting boards. It must be re-applied as often as monthly, and will become brittle and crack if not maintained, so be sure to keep a bottle on hand.

6. Walnut Oil

This sweet-smelling finish is non-toxic and resists water and alcohol. It can however go rancid over time (if left “un-cured”). Be sure to leave it exposed to oxygen after application. Once fully cured, it should not affect those with nut-allergies, but caution should still be taken.

7. Raw Linseed Oil

This drying oil comes from flax seeds, and offers protection from sun and water damage. It’s not refined so it literally goes from seed, to container, to your project. It does however take a really long time to dry, as long as a few weeks, and even up to over a month.

(Video) Stop Using Mineral Oil for Cutting Boards and Utensils!

8. Paraffin Wax

Similar to Mineral Oil, this wax is derived from petroleum. But don’t let that scare you. It’s food safe and is commonly used in the preservation of jams and cheeses.

9. Coconut Oil

This is a food safe finish good for butcher blocks and cutting boards. Be sure to get the “distilled” or “fractionated” variation, which is refined so it won’t go rancid.

How Do You Choose A Food Safe Wood Finish?

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With all these choices, how do you decide what’s going to work best for your project? Well, it first comes down to one main decision, and possibly one followup decision:

Do you want a penetrating oil, or a surface sealer?

If you go with a penetrating oil, then do you want higher maintenance or lower maintenance wood finish (non-drying oil vs drying oil, I’ll explain below)?

Let me break down each of these choices to help you get closer to your decision…

Penetrating Oil vs Surface Sealer

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The main difference between penetrating oil finishes, and surface sealer finishes, is probably pretty obvious, but I’ll explain anyway. The penetrating oils soak down into the wood and stay inside. They provide less protection, but they are easier to apply, and leave a more natural looking finish.

A surface sealer, also known as a film finish, remains on the surface and leaves a layer that can be built up for added protection. And as you probably expect, it’s more protective than penetrating finishes, but it can be trickier to apply.

For me, I prefer a surface sealer for most projects that will get more physical abuse, wear and tear, cleaning agents, or moisture. But for most other projects that don’t need quite the protection, like toys, picture frames, book cases, and decorative shelves, I prefer penetrating finishes for their simplicity, but also for the fact that they excel at really bringing out the grain, leaving a beautiful, satin finish.

Common Surface Sealers

Note: Not all of these finishes are commonly considered a food safe wood finish, which is why only 2 of them are on my list above.


Penetrating Oil Finishes: Drying vs Non Drying

These are the 2 categories of penetrating oils, so let me break it down a little further so you can understand the difference.

A drying oil goes through a process where it cures and turns solid (though not as “solid” as a surface sealer). The process is called polymerization and it most commonly happens when the oil is in contact with oxygen, which means once it’s applied to the wood surface, it begins the curing process.

A non drying oil stays wet indefinitely. This type of oil is often considered a ‘treatment’, and not a true ‘finish’. Because it doesn’t actually cure, it can be washed off over time, and will be transfered on to anything that comes in contact with it. It will require the most frequent re-application, depending on how much wear the wood surface is subjected to.

Common Drying Oils

Tung Oil
Walnut Oil
Linseed Oil

Common Non Drying Oils

Mineral Oil
Coconut Oil
Peanut Oil
Olive Oil
Rapeseed Oil

And just to clarify, peanut, olive, and rapeseed oils are not on my list of food safe wood finishes. If you’re going for a ‘treatment’ type of oil on surfaces that need a food safe finish, you’ll want to stick with Mineral or Coconut oil, which I explained above.

(Video) Applying Food Safe Finishes (Woodturning How-to)

The “Reality” Of Food Safe Wood Finishes

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Most (if not all) modern types of wood finishes no longer contain the extremely hazardous adds, like lead dryers. That means there’s no reason to avoid certain finishes like their a plague. Add that to the fact that some commercially available surface sealers and film finishes dry fast, last a long time, and provide the highest level of protection, and you’ll see why these choices are commonly used in ‘food grade’ applications.

Mostly, I’m referring to what many people consider “Non Food Safe” finishes, specifically things like Boiled Linseed Oil, Danish Oil, Varnish, Polyurethane, Lacquer, and even paint.

And here’s where the controversy lies… Commercially available wood finishes of all kinds, if given adequate time to fully cure, are actually safe to eat off of.

Now, by “fully cured”, I don’t mean that the finish has become dry to the touch. If you can still smell the finish, it hasn’t cured. Rule of thumb is any wood finish needs a good 30 days to fully cure…

The fact is, there’s no evidence of these wood finishes, even the ones that initially have dryers or solvents in them, have actually caused any harm by coming in contact with food, or with a persons mouth.

Even many of the commercially concocted finishes that are labeled a “Food Safe Wood Finish” still have dryers or solvents. Many times that’s what’s needed to make sure they can be applied in thin layers, or cure in a reasonable time.

The point is that these additives are used to help with application and curing. But after that, they are no longer a threat. That’s great news right?

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Now, this doesn’t mean that ALL finishes are food safe. We still need to be careful, and use common sense.

The FDA regulates this type of thing, and has guidelines for what makes a food safe wood finish. They provide a long list of products that can be included in the finish, and it just so happens, the ingredients in modern wood finishes are all on that list!

What’s not included? Well, the main things would be mercury and lead. Lead is no longer used in modern wood finishes, and mercury never was.

The other guideline the FDA uses is that it must not leach more than a certain amount of its ingredients within a very specific set of parameters. This can only be determined by way of expensive testing of each and every batch, so obviously, it’s a test that is not commonly performed.

That means most finishes cannot be “properly” claimed as FDA Approved as a food safe wood finish. But that doesn’t mean they don’t meet the standards.

So let me conclude with this…

If you are the type of person that gets highly concerned about toxins in things like wood finishes, then you’ll be much more comfortable using the finishes on the list I’ve provided you above.

If you’re like me however, you may feel that we live in a world that is constantly bombarding us with un-avoidable toxins, and the possible trace of chemicals leached from a standard wood finish may not even come close to the toxicity of the VOCs we breath that come off of new car interiors, newly installed carpet, or even our comfortable memory foam pillows…

(Video) This SIMPLE wood finish will save you DAYS of shop time! (Shellac)

So if that sounds more like you, then do what I do. My standards are based on this simple question:

Will the finished product, once fully cured, be cut, hammered, or chewed on? If so, I figure that maybe the finish needs to be something that is practically edible. If not, then I personally prefer polyurethane for it’s extreme protective qualities and low-maintenance.

How To Apply An Oil Finish

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I’m talking about penetrating oil finishes here, from the list above. This is the same whether it’s a drying or a non-drying oil, and please don’t forget to discard your rags properly!!! (more on that below)

To apply an oil finish, you need some lint-free rags and some nitrile gloves. Pour some oil on to the rag, or directly on the wood surface.

Now spread it around and rub it in, with the direction of the grain of the wood (it’s ok to put it on pretty thick). It really is that simple, and it’s almost impossible to mess up!

Let it soak 10 minutes, then wipe off whatever didn’t soak in with a clean rag. Apply extra coats after the previous is dry to the touch.

To leave an even smoother finish, sand with 400 or 600 grit wet/dry sand paper after the first coat, before it dries. This creates a slurry that fills tiny pores and leaves a glass-smooth finish. Lightly wipe it down again to remove sanding slurry build-up with the same rag that already has some oil in it (not enough to pool up on the top), then let it dry before applying the next coat.

This is a very general guideline to applying an oil finish, but always read the instructions that comes with your finish and make sure you include any additional suggested steps, or coat quantity limitations.

How To Properly Discard Oil Finish Rags

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Oil finishes (the drying kind) go through a process as they cure, called polymerization. This happens when the finish is exposed to oxygen, which is why a closed container of oil on your shelf does not easily polymerize.

A byproduct of polymerization is heat. With the oil applied thinly and evenly on a wood surface, that heat is wide spread enough that you won’t even notice it coming off the finish.

But your application rags are a different story. These rags are soaked all the way through, so there’s quite a bit of oil within.

If you couple that with lack of fresh air flow, the heat coming off the rag can build up.

This happens typically when you wad up the rag and toss it in a box or the trash can. There’s a lot of pockets of space in a wadded up rag that can hold heat.

This heat can build up and increase to the point of spontaneous combustion, catching the rag on fire (and may even include a small explosion effect).

In fact, this very thing happened to my dad when I was just a kid, and had he not heard that small explosion of the rag combusting, our house would have burned down. He had left his staining rags wadded up, sitting on a vacuum cleaner, during the construction of the house (he was the builder). He was upstairs and heard this happen, ran down, and found the rag and the vacuum on fire.

So yes, this is a very real threat, but don’t let that scare you. I use boiled linseed oil and various stains all the time, and both of these can combust like that.

Note: Wood stain has the same combustable properties as the drying oils have, so treat your staining rags the same way.

(Video) What Kind of Finish Should You Use? | WOOD FINISHING BASICS

There’s a simple process I use in my shop, ensuring that I never have to worry about burning my house down. Here’s what you do.

  1. Get a 5 gallon metal bucket.
  2. When you’re done using the oil or stain rags, open them up and spread them out.
  3. Drape them over the edge of the bucket.
  4. Set the bucket in the middle of the floor.
  5. After a couple days, once the rags are good and dry, toss them into the bucket.
  6. After a week has passed, throw them out with the trash.

Here’s why I use this process. The metal bucket won’t burn down, so worse case scenario, the rag burns up and that’s it (all I have to do is clear the smoke out of my shop).

The combustion can only happen while they’re drying. That’s why I leave the bucket in the middle of the floor while the wet finishing rags are draped over the side.

And finally, just in case there’s still any heat being released after a couple days have passed, I put the rags into the metal bucket and leave them there for another week (or longer) before taking them out and throwing them in the trash. This just ensures that in the unlikely event they combust, they are still in a metal bucket that won’t catch on fire.


So we covered the 9 best food safe wood finishes, the difference in surface sealers and penetraing oils, the difference in drying oils and non drying oils, how to apply, how to safely discard, and why regular wood finishes may be considered safe for food grade projects.

Hopefully that helps you decide which finish is best for your project.

For additional related topics, check out these other articles I’ve done on common finishes that I personally use and love:

How To Apply A Polyurethane Finish
How To Apply Wipe On Poly
Wood Finishes – Choosing The Right Type For Your ProjectWood Finishes 101 – Poly vs Varnish vs Lacquer vs Shellac

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“Thanks for stopping by!”

(Video) How to apply Danish Oil to any wood!


About The Author
Adam has been woodworking for the last 10 years. He considers himself a 'Small Shop Woodworker' and practices his hobby in his garage. With the lack of time, space, and proper tools, he always finds ways to get great results without over-complicating or over-thinking the process. Various shop jigs, table saw sleds, and tricks of the trade have served him well. God has blessed him with a beautiful family, as well as a passion for teaching others about woodworking. You can read more about Adam here.


Food Safe Wood Finish - 9 Best Finishes for Cutting Boards, Toys, & More? ›

Pour some of the mineral oil on the wood slice surface and rub it in with a rag. It'll soak up a lot at first. As this is the first time you will want 3 to 4 coats. Allow it to dry at least half an hour in between each coat.

What wood finishes are food safe? ›

Food Safe Finishes for Wooden Bowls and Wood Cutting Boards
  • Pure tung oil. Extracted from the nut of the china wood tree. ...
  • Raw linseed oil. Pressed from flax seeds. ...
  • Mineral oil. Although derived from petroleum, it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and entirely inert. ...
  • Walnut oil. ...
  • Beeswax. ...
  • Carnauba wax. ...
  • Shellac. ...
  • Nothing.

How do you seal wood slices for food safe? ›

Pour some of the mineral oil on the wood slice surface and rub it in with a rag. It'll soak up a lot at first. As this is the first time you will want 3 to 4 coats. Allow it to dry at least half an hour in between each coat.

What is the best wood finish for a charcuterie board? ›

Pure Tung Oil ranks high on the list when you want to know how to treat wood charcuterie boards. Also known as chinawood oil, this all-natural finishing oil is FDA approved for food contact and contains no VOCs, heavy metals, additives or distillates for added peace of mind.

What wood finishes are non toxic? ›

Natural oils are some of the most commonly listed non-toxic wood finishes. These include linseed oil, tung oil, walnut oil, and hemp oil. Additionally, some waxes such as beeswax and carnaubu wax are also non-toxic.

Is polyurethane wood finish food safe? ›

Polyurethane is considered safe for food contact when it is fully cured. This means that the polyurethane has had enough time to off-gas any harmful chemicals and has hardened completely. You can typically tell if a finish is fully cured if it feels hard to the touch and does not have a strong smell.

What should I seal my cutting board with? ›

Sealing your wood cutting board periodically

Using 3 or 4 tablespoons of mineral oil (look for food-grade mineral oil which contains no perfumes or chemicals, you can also purchase cutting board oil ) coat the cutting board. Let the board sit for 30 minutes or so to allow the oil to be absorbed by the wood.

What oil is best for a cutting board? ›

Mineral oil for cutting boards is the best option to care for your wood cutting board and make sure it doesn't absorb water. Just be sure to choose a mineral oil that is labelled as food-safe or food-grade.

What is a good substitute for mineral oil on a cutting board? ›

If you don't want to use mineral oil, you can also use beeswax, beeswax-based board cream (usually a blend of beeswax and mineral oil), or fractionated coconut oil.

Is there a food grade polyurethane? ›

PSI manufactures FDA approved cast urethane products for food processing applications. We manufacture urethane rings, gaskets, and custom-molded, food grade polyurethane parts for food processing applications.

What is the best way to seal raw wood? ›

Polycrylic topcoats are my sealer of choice for most projects, as they don't tend to yellow as often as polyurethane. Clear furniture wax can also be used to seal natural wood projects. Furniture wax provides a soft, silky finish to a piece, which can be lovely.

What wood is not good for cutting boards? ›

Soft woods like pine, fir or cedar aren't recommended for cutting boards because they tend to splinter or crack easily. These types of wood should generally be avoided.

How do you seal wood for charcuterie board? ›

How to season a Charcuterie Board
  1. Lightly sand down the board with very light sand paper. Wipe clean with a soft towel.
  2. Lightly rub beeswax and mineral oil over the board. ...
  3. Continue to apply and buff the oil into the board until the wood is no longer absorbing the product. ...
  4. Gently wipe again before using the first time.
Mar 7, 2020

Is Minwax tung oil food-safe? ›

Among natural finishes, tung oil surpasses shellac and linseed oil in hardness, durability, and water resistance. It's also food-safe, once cured.

What is 3 ingredient wood finish? ›

In the Mason jar, mix equal parts boiled linseed oil, oil-based polyurethane, and mineral spirits (the amounts don't matter, as long as it's all equal parts, I try to only make as much as my project needs so I'm not having to store jars of unused furniture finish). Stir well with a stirring stick.

What is the least toxic wood? ›

  • Acacia.
  • Apple (Pesticide residue likely)
  • Ailanthus – Tree of Heaven.
  • Almond.
  • Aralia/Fatsia japonica.
  • Ash – Fraxinus.
  • Aspen – Populus.
  • Bamboo.

What is the best natural finish for raw wood? ›

Shellac is the best natural wood finish when a hard, durable coating is needed to protect the wood. 100% oils, on the other hand, are perfect for cutting boards and other projects that benefit from a finish that soaks into the wood.

Is polyurethane food safe for cutting boards? ›

Polyurethane is resistant to mineral and vegetable oils, and aromatic hydrocarbons, making it a perfect choice for food grade applications. This material meets FDA requirements and NSF regulations for food processing applications, and is non-toxic, non-marking, and non-allergenic.

What is a food grade polyurethane for cutting boards? ›

What's a food safe polyurethane for cutting boards? A food grade polyurethane for cutting boards is one that is fully cured and forms a hard film. Varathane cures faster than other polyurethanes and is therefore a good choice for cutting boards.

Can you put polyurethane on a charcuterie board? ›

According to finishing expert Bob Flexner, all finishes are food-safe once they have cured. Polyurethane varnish does not present any known hazard.

How do you protect a homemade cutting board? ›

Simply apply a good amount of mineral oil to the entire surface of the board and let it soak in overnight. This will make the board much more moisture resistant, while keeping the wood lubricated enough to avoid drying out and warping.

Can you use olive oil to seal a wood cutting board? ›

Not Recommended. Olive oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil, should never be used to maintain a cutting board or butcher block. As touched on above, these oils experience rancidification – a process that yields a rank smell and unpleasant taste.

Do you wax or oil a cutting board? ›

The pros recommend using mineral oil (or a blend, like Boos Block Mystery Oil) because it's flavorless and odorless, and it won't go rancid on your board like olive or vegetable oils tend to do. Mineral oil is also inexpensive and easy to find at most hardware stores.

Can I use Vaseline on my cutting board? ›

Many cutting board manufacturers and chefs recommend food-grade mineral oil , an oil derived from petroleum, just like Vaseline and paraffin.

Can you oil a cutting board too much? ›

There is no such thing as over-oiling your wood cutting board! When it can't absorb any more oil, it will simply stop and oil will collect at the top. When you see this, you can easily wipe away the excess.

What is a good substitute for food grade mineral oil? ›

The most common alternatives to mineral oil include linseed oil, tung oil, and walnut oil. Similarly, these other oil finishes are also non-toxic and food-safe (in their raw form).

What happens if you don't oil a cutting board? ›

If you don't oil it, it'll eventually dry out and crack.” When you first get a wooden cutting board, clean it and—just as you might a cast-iron skillet—season it, coating it with a thin layer of mineral oil or any other food-safe oil (I use veggie), pushing the oil into the board with a cloth or paper towel.

Do you oil both sides of a cutting board? ›

Oil both sides of the cutting board as well as the edges. Prop the board against a wall or sink to dry overnight. If any excess oil remains on the wood the next day, you can wipe it off with a rag.

How do you make a homemade wood finish? ›

The Recipe
  1. 1 part Mineral Spirits (paint thinner is fine too)
  2. 1 part Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO)
  3. 1 part Satin Polyurethane.
Sep 9, 2012

What is the best food safe wood filler? ›

Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue fits the bill — it's FDA-approved for using on food preparation surfaces, and easy to clean up since it's water-soluble when wet. Though the glue has no noxious odor, do wear safety goggles and a respirator mask while you're sanding it down.

What is better than polyurethane? ›

Because of the higher ratio of solids, varnish is less susceptible to ultraviolet light damage. This protection makes varnish an excellent choice for projects such as outside decks and exterior furniture. This finish gives a more tinted color when applied and requires more coats than polyurethane.

What is the best stain for cutting boards? ›

The best finish I have found for any wooden cutting board is a product called Odie's Oil. I have tried countless other products (like butcher block oil, board cream, natural oils, pure tung oil, coconut oil, and raw linseed oil, to name a few) and Odie's Oil always comes out on top.

Is Polycrylic better than polyurethane? ›

Which is better: polyurethane or polycrylic? Polyurethane is better for durability, but polycrylic is better for interior surfaces like cabinets, furniture, and trim. However, for light painted furniture and cabinets, polycyrlic is preferred because it doesn't yellow on the surface.

What is the best oil to finish raw wood? ›

Linseed oil is one of the best oils to use for wood finishes because it penetrates deep into the grain of the wood, giving it a rich color and protecting it against moisture. If you want to clean your wood furniture with linseed oil, make sure to dilute it first with water.

What is the fastest way to seal wood? ›

There are three surefire ways to waterproof your wood for years to come.
  1. Use linseed or Tung oil to create a beautiful and protective hand-rubbed finish.
  2. Seal the wood with a coating of polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer.
  3. Finish and waterproof wood simultaneously with a stain-sealant combo.
Feb 22, 2023

How do you seal wood but keep natural color? ›

Water down white paint and lightly whitewash the wood.

The sealant will (very, very slightly) darken the wood, but if you whitewash your piece it will help maintain the natural and original color.

What are the worst surfaces for cutting boards? ›

Avoid using your knife on surfaces made of glass, granite, marble, or ceramic. These materials are much harder than steel and will weaken your knife's edge. Even a quick slice on a ceramic dinner plate, a marble cheese board, or a granite countertop can dull your knife.

What should cutting boards not be made of? ›

Over time, any cutting board (plastic or wood) can develop deep scratches or grooves that may trap bacteria, which could then spread to your food. Harder materials, such as bamboo and maple, are less prone to scarring than softer woods, such as cypress. Replace any cutting board when it becomes heavily scarred.

Why shouldn't you cut meat on a wooden cutting board? ›

Saunier says that wood cutting boards are more porous, giving bacteria easier access into the grooves than say, a plastic or pyroceramic board.

How do you treat a new wooden cutting board? ›

With the proper tools and technique, oiling a cutting board is quite easy.
  1. Select your oil. The best cutting board oil is a mineral oil rated for food contact. ...
  2. Cover your wooden cutting board with oil. ...
  3. Rub in the oil. ...
  4. Wipe away the excess oil. ...
  5. Repeat steps two through four. ...
  6. Let the board air-dry overnight.
Jan 11, 2022

How do you season a new wooden cutting board? ›

How to Season a Wood Cutting Board Step-by-Step
  1. First, wash, rinse, and dry your cutting board.
  2. Apply Emmet's Elixir wood conditioner.
  3. Rub the Elixir into the wood using a cloth. ...
  4. Let it set for about an hour, until most of the oil is absorbed.
  5. Buff the board with a dry cloth to remove any excess oil.
Nov 11, 2021

What is the best oil for live edge wood? ›

The three main players on the market are Odie's Oil, Osmo, and my personal choice, Rubio Monocoat. Unlike film finishes, hard-wax oils provide protection by penetrating and binding to the top most wood fibres on the live edge slab and then a seal layer of wax cures on the surface.

Is MinWax tung oil good for cutting boards? ›

Uses for Tung Oil

The food-safe formulation makes it a great choice for oiling cutting boards and wooden spoons, and it works equally well on concrete and butcher blocks.

How many coats of tung oil on cutting board? ›

For a total of 4 coats (recommended) on a medium sized cutting board, mix 30ml (1 fl oz. or 2 tbsp) of Tung Oil and the same quantity of solvent in a clean recipient. The mix can be kept for a long time if you prepared too much for your needs, and can be used to apply a maintenance coat every year.

Can you use polyurethane on a charcuterie board? ›

According to finishing expert Bob Flexner, all finishes are food-safe once they have cured. Polyurethane varnish does not present any known hazard.

What is the best food safe finish for wood countertops? ›

Waterlox is a superb choice for finishing wood countertops because it produces an incredibly appealing and durable surface. It is waterproof, food-safe and easy to maintain. Waterlox literally locks out water and locks in the natural beauty of wood.

What oil do you use on a chopping board? ›

The best cutting board oil is a mineral oil rated for food contact. Linseed oil and beeswax can also do the job nicely. Some companies also make a wood board cream using these same ingredients.

What is the best wood for food grade? ›

Maple, linden, birch, and beech are all food safe woods. They're ideal cutting board material, or to make wooden spoons, and other food-contact items. Because they inhibit bacterial growth, maple trees are the best choice. Avoid open-structured wood and wood that emits toxic chemicals.

What is a good natural wood preservative? ›

Linseed Oil

Lots of uses, actually, including food, medicine, and fiber. The oil pressed from flax has also been used for centuries as a natural wood preservative because of its ability to penetrate deep into porous fibers, and protect wood from moisture and rot.

Can you put food directly on wood? ›

Many health departments know bacteria can be an issue with wood and as such, don't allow for its use as serveware, which could put you in a pickle upon inspection.

How do you seal a homemade cutting board? ›

To protect your cutting board, you have to apply oil to seal the surface of the hardwood. Squeeze a liberal amount of butcher block wood oil or food-grade mineral oil onto a cloth rag. Apply the oil to all sides of the wood by rubbing thoroughly. Reapply until the wood stops absorbing the oil.

How do you seal wood for a charcuterie board? ›

How to season a Charcuterie Board
  1. Lightly sand down the board with very light sand paper. Wipe clean with a soft towel.
  2. Lightly rub beeswax and mineral oil over the board. ...
  3. Continue to apply and buff the oil into the board until the wood is no longer absorbing the product. ...
  4. Gently wipe again before using the first time.
Mar 7, 2020

Is beeswax wood finish food safe? ›

Yes! That's a great use for it. Beeswax Finish is food safe and a great water-resistant finish for a butcher's block.

Is Minwax tung oil food safe? ›

Among natural finishes, tung oil surpasses shellac and linseed oil in hardness, durability, and water resistance. It's also food-safe, once cured.


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