Save the chopping board

Wooden chopping boards. They’re an absolute necessity in my kitchen. A couple of years ago, when I had to replace the old one, I bought two cheap Ikea chopping boards. They may not be the best chopping boards around, but I loved them even so. They did the job, and did it well.

Over time, however, the chopping boards became worn. Not a little, but a lot.

There were cuts and splinters, and I was already beginning to fear I had to throw them out and replace them, when I thought of something else.

I’d been working with wood a lot last summer. I bought myself a nice little sander and got quite a few sanding jobs done. What if I got my sander out again? Couldn’t I just sand the chopping boards and give them a second life?

As I was still mulling this idea over in my mind, I read this blog post on The Shabby Creek Cottage on how to revive old cutting boards. Now I was sure. If this Gina could do it, then there was no reason why I couldn’t, right?

But still, I put it off. There were always other things that needed to be done. The dishes, the laundry, grocery shopping, courses, home education… The list is endless. And even when in reality I didn’t really get all that much done, I still pretended I’d been busy. (Yeah, right. Wasting time on Facebook and Pinterest.)

Today I decided I’d done enough loitering. I cleaned up the larger of the two chopping boards and got out my trusty sander.

Then I sanded. And I sanded some more, and then still some more. I spent half the afternoon – I kid you not! – sanding that poor, neglected chopping board.

When I was done, my entire body was vibrating, but my chopping board was smooth.

No more cuts and splinters, and I even smoothed the edges to give them that soft, distressed look.

When I was happy with my work so far, I put away my tools, wiped the sawdust from the board, and took it back inside. I got a bottle of white mineral oil out of the cupboard under the stairs, and poured some onto the board. I found a soft cloth and wiped the excess off. With oily hands, I turned the chopping board and applied oil to the other side as well – and wiped off the excess with my soft cloth.

The results are quite stunning. Look at the difference between my treated chopping board and its untreated little sister!

Even though I may have cursed myself once or twice – or perhaps a little more often – while sanding this little beauty, I now think it was worth all the effort. I’m so happy with how it came out.

Here’s a close-up of the softened edges.

Gorgeous, even if I say so myself. I’m head-over-heels in love with my chopping board all over again. So here’s another picture.

Just because I can.


About Liam

Poet, writer, aspiring minimalist
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4 Responses to Save the chopping board

  1. Leah says:

    Hey Susan, thank you! I usually just rinse my cutting board with hot water and let it air dry. And about once a week, I spray it with a solution of essential oil of lavender and water. This (I've been told) is a natural disinfectant – and it smells nice to boot!
    However, there are many ways to clean and disinfect your cutting boards.
    Personally, I would recommend against using plastic cutting boards as once they get knife-scarred, it's pretty much impossible to get rid of the bacteria that are hiding in the cuts and scratches. There's reason to believe wooden chopping boards are actually more hygienic and a safer choice for cutting meat.
    I think, if we did eat meat, I'd get myself a marble (or other stone) cutting board. I've got a glass one now, which I use for cutting up the occasional fish, but glass is really hard on your knifes.
    I've got a website for you, where you'll find a lot of useful information about wooden chopping boards.
    Aw, and thank you for the compliment on my photographing skills. I never really thought about it (it's just something I do) but this is much appreciated.


  2. Leah says:

    Thank you Patti. I really love how it looks now.


  3. Susan says:

    It does look fabulous and the edges are very nice indeed. But I have to ask: after using your board, do you wash it or wipe it with anything in particular? I have one wooden one which I reserve for bread only and meat and veg get chopped on those horrible white “nylon” ones which get thrown in the dishwasher and bleached often. I know you don't eat much, if any, meat but wonder if when you do, you chop it on your wooden board? I also have to say you are a very good photographer. I am practising with my phone camera taking pics of vignettes around my house – with not a great deal of success I'm afraid mostly due to my very shaky hands!


  4. Good job. It looks great.


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