How to Restore a Wooden Bowl
Antique wooden dough bowls, salad bowls and cutting boards can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Learn how to refinish vintage wooden bowls to make them food-safe, and how to keep them properly maintained.
We found this wood bowl at a thrift store for just $1. The wood was stained, scratched and missing all of its original finish. See how we brought it back to life for just a few dollars and a little elbow grease. The process is really easy and pain-free — just 3 steps! Here's how you do it:
1. Sand the Surface
Thoroughly smooth the wood and remove any scratches or surface stains with sandpaper. Start with a coarse grit then work your way up to medium grit then finish with a fine-grit sandpaper. (The lower the number on the sandpaper, the courser the grit). Remove all sawdust and residue with a tack cloth or slightly damp rag.
2. Apply Mineral Oil
Liberally coat the bowl with food-grade mineral oil, really rubbing the oil into the parched wood.
3. Apply Second Coat if Necessary
Wait a few hours for the wood to fully absorb the oil then enjoy your like-new bowl. Seriously, that's it! This project takes a little elbow grease but the results are well worth the effort.
Here's a side-by-side comparison that demonstrates how much richer the wood is with just a little TLC:
Best of all, you can keep your "new" old bowl looking great with another coat of mineral oil anytime the wood looks a little dry; sanding is only necessary again if your bowl becomes scratched or stained.
H. Camille Smith