There’s nothing like butcher block countertops, especially if it looks well worn. Save yourself the trouble and the expense of finding a perfectly distressed butcher block countertop by distressing one yourself. All you need is a couple hours and a few basic tools and supplies. Here’s what you need to have on hand to take on this project:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Orbital Sander
- 120-Grit Sandpaper
- Drill/Driver and Bits Nail
- Flathead Screwdriver
- Paint Brush
- Clean Rags
When taking on this DIY task be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
- Eye Protection
Sand countertop. The first step to give your countertop a well-worn look is sanding, and the best tool for the job as an orbital sander. Sand the entire block with 120-grit sandpaper, giving special attention to corners and edges to give them a well‑worn look. After you’re done, wipe down the counter with a damp rag or tack cloth.
Distress countertop. Now comes the really fun part, distressing the countertop. Start by making small punctures in the wood with a nail punch or 16d nail and hammer. Avoid any kind of pattern — the more random the damage, the better. Add additional marks with a pry bar and large flat head screwdriver. If you have a brick handy, hold it by one and drag a corner across the countertop. And rounded dents by dropping it a few times. As you work your way around the wood, make sure you get the sides and edges too. However you decide to distress your countertop, keep the effect random, and don’t overdo it. If the wood splinters in any area, sand again with fine grit sandpaper before moving on to the next step.
Stain. Now that you’re done distressing your countertop, it’s time to stain it. A dark stain is best to bring out variations in the wood. As you work, you’ll see the stain seek out bare wood where the finish has been pierced. It will also naturally pool in dents. All of this will help give the countertop a realistic distressed look.
Seal. If your countertop will be installed in a kitchen, after staining give the quick sand and wipe it with a damp rag or tack cloth before sealing with mineral oil for a food-safe butcher block finish. If it will be installed in another location, and polyurethane and let dry.
Your project is done. Step back and admire your brand new, perfectly distressed butcher block, counter.