Do-It-Yourself Butcher-Block Kitchen Countertop

Swap dated laminate for a classic butcher-block countertop. Unlike stone or solid surface, butcher block can be fabricated in a basement or garage workshop, making it the perfect DIY project to totally transform your kitchen on a budget.

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Drill Holes for Faucet

Measure and mark desired location for faucet (Image 1). Use appropriately sized drill (Image 2) and/or Forstner bits (Image 3) to drill holes in marked location. Drop faucet in holes to ensure fit is correct.

Fill and Sand

Press wood filler into any holes with finger (Image 1). Wipe away excess with a clean, slightly damp cloth (Image 2). Allow it to dry. Sand surface of countertop with an orbital sander, starting with 150 grit and gradually working up to 220 grit (Image 3). Countertop should be smooth to the touch once sanding is completed properly. Sand routed and exposed edges by hand.

Apply Finish

Remove dust with a soft cotton cloth, tack cloth or vacuum brush attachment. With a clean cotton cloth, wipe entire countertop surface with mineral spirits (Image 1). This will remove any remaining dust and also reveal any imperfections (excess filler that hasn't been sanded away, sanding marks, etc.) that will be revealed by the finish. Fix any imperfections and remove dust again. Clean work area to make it as dust-free as possible. Allow dust to settle before applying finish. Follow manufacturer's instructions to apply finish (Image 2). Plan for 7-10 days to apply coats and allow for cure times before installing. Tip: There are many finishes available for butcher-block countertops that can be applied depending on how the counters will be used. If countertop will be used as a cutting and food preparation surface, apply food-safe oil like hemp or mineral oil. If a more durable, water-resistant finish is desired, use a product that's made to penetrate like an oil, but will protect like a polyurethane. Traditional polyurethane is not suggested, since it sits on the surface and will bubble or peel over time. For an even more durable and water-proof finish, use a marine finish made for yachts and sailboats.

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