Asked on Aug 16, 2013

IKEA Butcher Block Countertops - Best Treatments?

We just purchased Numerar Countertops from IKEA. I've read a lot about treatments- stain, waterlox, mineral oil, etc. Anyone have thoughts on the BEST method to get a good color but also seal and protect? Help!
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  17 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Aug 17, 2013
    This depends a bit on your use habits. I have found simple wood stair and a handfull of coats of wiping poly to handle most day to day stuff. This assumes you are not "cutting" on the butcher block...I always recommend a cutting board even if BB is installed. I treat my cutting boards with mineral oil
    • JoAnn Kokindo JoAnn Kokindo on Jul 02, 2017

      I have used olive oil on butcher block for years.

      secret: warm before applying. Use a soft cloth to apply and let it sit. Wipe any excess with another soft cloth

  • on Aug 17, 2013
    Mineral oil is the best. Other oils can turn rancid and change the color of the tops.
  • Carole Carole on Aug 17, 2013
    I agree with I would go with a food safe mineral oil specifically for cutting boards and butchers blocks. Linseed or food based oils can indeed go rancid over time whilst the food safe ones won't. I found a good one made by Howards, but I am sure there are other brands you could use. I think it is worth paying for a good brand to keep these lovely surfaces looking good going forward.
  • Shari Shari on Aug 17, 2013
    One of my favorite bloggers, Miss Mustard Seed, sealed her (gorgeous) butcher block counters with Waterlox. Here's the link: She did a tutorial for on the process of fitting, staining, sealing and installing them here: Also, here's another link to a blogger who used the IKEA butcher block in her kitchen. Looks like she has some good tips but I can't see where she said if/what they sealed them with. It seems to me, you would want the most water protection you could get, especially around the sink area, and I question whether mineral oil will protect the wood enough in chronically wet areas. At one time, I considered butcher block counters but ultimately decided I probably needed something that required a little less maintenance. If I hadn't changed my mind, I would most likely have used the Waterlox, based on what I've read.
  • Laura Trevey Laura Trevey on Aug 18, 2013
    Yours look great. I have been wanting a butcher block for our island!
  • Tina @ Repurposed Life Tina @ Repurposed Life on Aug 18, 2013
    We have the Oak Butcher Block from IKEA on our island. We used Howards Butcher Block Conditioner. It is mineral oil and natural waxes. Howards is food grade safe.
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  • Shari Shari on Aug 18, 2013
    @Julie @ When I first read your question, I got the impression you hadn't installed yours yet and were asking for advice on stains and sealers etc. But now I guess I'm confused... Are the photos above actually your kitchen countertops that have already been installed and stained? It looks like these are already sealed too, as I see a luster on them. ???
    • @Shari Hi Shari- nope, those photos were from other bloggers who suggested various treatments. We are in the process of installing and are going with mineral oil based on the general consensus.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Aug 19, 2013
    If it is your kitchen the practice of hanging a dish towel on the wood ( or even on the knobs or cabinet fronts) is a bad idea. I have done a handful of repairs over the years to cabinet fronts form this practice. Our damp kitchen towel gets hung on the handle to the oven...the glass front is impervious to moisture damage.
    • Sugardner Sugardner on Jul 02, 2017

      I SOOOO agree!! I live in a ranch-style home built in 1950. When we moved in (20 years ago), other than color, my cupboards were in MINT condition! I stripped and painted them white (front and back) and they were beautiful all these years until my Mom had to move in with us before she went into an assisted living facility. In the short 3 years that she lived here, she was notorious for hanging the damp kitchen towel on the doors under the sink!! I now have 2 warped doors!!!!

  • Sandra Hellewell Sandra Hellewell on Jul 12, 2014
    Good choice, Julie! I also am getting butcher block counter tops from Ikea & after much research found that mineral oil is the best choice! I think butcher block counters look so good with white cabinets which is what mine will be when I redo my kitchen. We're just in the planning stages at the moment & trying to get an idea of approx. cost. I'm on a tight budget! Good luck with yours!!
  • Lwalker Lwalker on Oct 21, 2014
    Hi! so how often do you all reapply treatment? Or do you not need to with Mineral oil?
  • When they were new I reapplied every other week for the first month or so. You'll see that they need it- sopping up the oil quickly. Now I try to apply just once a month.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Nov 02, 2014
    I found the ikea care sight. Your countertops are stunning. The care information is at the bottom of the page you have to open it. Care instructions Wipe clean with a soft cloth dampened with water and a mild dish detergent or soap, if necessary. Wipe dry with a clean cloth. Light stains can be removed with a damp sponge in water or a mild soapy solution, or with a fine sandpaper. To ensure that your countertop ages gracefully, treat it regularly with BEHANDLA wood treatment oil. It gives the surface a beautiful sheen, protects the wood and prolongs the life of the countertop. Product description Solid beech, Oil Sent from my iPad
    • Sherrie Sherrie on Nov 02, 2014
      Okay these aren't yours. But the information came from the Ikea sight. I linked it but what comes up is the information sight on the wood. You have to go to the bottom of the page and open up the care instructions.
  • Dee Dee on Nov 02, 2014
    I found a recipe online-mineral and beeswax melted together. It cools to a Vaseline consistency. Just store in a jar. It's similar to a few brand-name products. I treat my Ikea BB with it once a month. It really draws the dirt out too.
  • TMulhern TMulhern on Nov 03, 2014
    Amazing work! Butcher block countertops looks absolutely amazing and classy. Loved it.
  • Ruth Anne Ruth Anne on Oct 23, 2016
    I used polywhey by Vermont Natural Coatings on mine. Environmentally safe and really waterproof! Mine have looked great for four years. Also used AFM safe coat for my stain.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jul 02, 2017

    here is a kitchen remo i just finished up for a client in Crested Butte. New walnut butcher block, two large subway tile walls with walnut shelving and painted lowers

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    • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Jan 14, 2018

      To die for kitchen. Great remodel. Thanks for sharing. (Gives me ideas...... )

  • Swinnen Lisette Swinnen Lisette on Jul 03, 2017

    I had a white Ikea kitchen with a butcher block for 9 years. Every time O saw the wood was getting a bit dry, I applied line oil. I never had a problem. The kitchen still looked new after 9 years.