Hi Everyone, I have read a lot about pros and cons of different finishs for cutting boards. Is any finish better or worse for brightness and appearence? I have used plain mineral oil on the half dozen or so cutting boareds I have made.
Interestingly enough, that is also the same way that many shoe leathers are finished as well.To quote Howard Acheson:
An excellent treatment for wooden food preparation surfaces like cutting boards and butcher blocks is a mixture of mineral oil and either paraffin or beeswax. This is what is used on many commercial wood surfaces. It will last longer and be more protective than just mineral oil. Mineral oil can be found in most supermarkets in the pharmacy section or in a true pharmacy. Paraffin is found in the canning section of the store or in a hardware store.
Heat the oil in a double boiler and shave in some wax. The exact proportions are not critical--a 5-6 parts of oil to one part of wax will work fine. Stir the mixture until all the wax is liquefied. Apply the mixture heavily and let it set 10-12 hours or overnight. Next day do it again and continue until the wood will no longer absorb the finish. Let it set for 10-12 hours and then lightly scrape off any excess. Then buff it with a rag.
Reapply whenever the wood begins to look dry.
I use an old coffee maker to heat the oil and melt the wax. Pour the oil into the pot (not the resevoir!) and turn it on. The warming plate gets it just hot enough.
I've used salad bowl finish in the past. It's a little more durable than mineral oil, but there's always a hint of smell.