How to Resurface a Wooden Cutting Board: Easy Steps to Bring Your Board Back to Life

If you’re an avid cook, you know the importance of having a good cutting board. Over time, wooden cutting boards can become scratched, stained, and even warped. But before you toss it out and buy a new one, consider resurfacing it instead. Not only is it a more sustainable option, but it can also save you money in the long run.

Resurfacing a wooden cutting board involves sanding down the surface to remove any scratches or stains, and then applying a food-safe finish to protect the wood. It’s a simple process that can be done at home with just a few tools and materials. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to resurface your wooden cutting board and make it look like new again.

Understanding the Importance of Resurfacing

If you have a wooden cutting board, you need to resurface it from time to time to keep it in good condition. Here are a few reasons why resurfacing is important:


When you use a cutting board, tiny grooves and scratches can develop on the surface. These grooves can trap food particles and bacteria, making it difficult to clean the board properly. By resurfacing the board, you can remove these grooves and create a smooth surface that is easier to clean.


Resurfacing your cutting board can help extend its lifespan. Over time, the surface of a cutting board can become rough and damaged, making it more difficult to use. By resurfacing the board, you can remove any damage and create a smooth surface that will be easier on your knives.


A smooth cutting surface can make a big difference in how your knives perform. If your cutting board is rough or damaged, it can cause your knives to dull more quickly. By resurfacing the board, you can create a smooth surface that will help your knives stay sharp for longer.

In summary, resurfacing your wooden cutting board is important for hygiene, longevity, and performance. By taking the time to resurface your board, you can keep it in good condition and make it easier to use.

Identifying When Resurfacing is Needed

Wooden cutting boards are a staple in many kitchens, but over time they can become worn, scratched, and stained. While some minor scratches and stains can be sanded out and cleaned, there comes a point when resurfacing is needed to restore the board’s smooth surface. Here are some signs that it’s time to resurface your wooden cutting board:

Deep Scratches

If your cutting board has deep scratches that cannot be sanded out with fine-grit sandpaper, it’s time to resurface. Deep scratches can harbor bacteria and make it difficult to clean the board thoroughly. Plus, they can make it harder to cut food evenly and safely.

Stains that Won’t Come Out

Wooden cutting boards can develop stains over time, especially if they are not cleaned properly. While some stains can be removed with a mixture of salt and lemon juice or baking soda and water, there are some stains that won’t come out no matter what you try. If your cutting board has stubborn stains that won’t budge, it’s time to resurface.

Warping or Cracking

Wooden cutting boards can warp or crack over time, especially if they are not properly cared for. If your cutting board is warped or has cracks that cannot be repaired, it’s time to resurface or replace it. A warped or cracked cutting board can be dangerous to use and can also harbor bacteria.

In summary, if your wooden cutting board has deep scratches, stubborn stains, or is warped or cracked, it’s time to consider resurfacing it. Resurfacing can help restore the board’s smooth surface and make it safe to use again.

Materials Needed for Resurfacing

Resurfacing a wooden cutting board is a simple process that requires a few basic materials. Here are the items you will need:


Sandpaper is an essential tool for resurfacing a wooden cutting board. You will need sandpaper with different grits to achieve the desired smoothness. Start with a coarse grit, such as 80 or 120, and work your way up to a finer grit, such as 220.

Cutting Board Oil

Cutting board oil is a food-safe oil that is used to protect and seal the cutting board after resurfacing. Mineral oil is a popular choice for cutting board oil. It is affordable, readily available, and easy to apply.


Beeswax is a natural wax that is used to condition and protect the cutting board. It helps to create a barrier against moisture and bacteria. Beeswax is usually melted with other oils to create a wood butter that is used to seal and shine the cutting board.

Orbital Sander

An orbital sander is an optional tool that can be used to speed up the sanding process. It is a handheld tool that uses sandpaper to sand the surface of the cutting board.

Lint-Free Cloth

A lint-free cloth is used to apply the cutting board oil and wood butter to the cutting board. It is important to use a lint-free cloth to avoid leaving fibers on the cutting board.

Face Mask

A face mask is recommended when sanding the cutting board to avoid inhaling dust particles. Dust particles can cause respiratory problems and should be avoided.

Tack Cloth

A tack cloth is a sticky cloth that is used to remove dust and debris from the cutting board after sanding. It is important to remove all dust particles before applying the cutting board oil and wood butter.

With these materials, you can easily resurface your wooden cutting board and keep it in top condition for years to come.

Step-by-Step Guide to Resurfacing

If you’ve got an old wooden cutting board that’s seen better days, don’t throw it away just yet. With a little elbow grease, you can resurface it and give it a new lease on life. Here’s how to do it:

Cleaning the Board

The first step in resurfacing your wooden cutting board is to clean it thoroughly. Use a mixture of warm water and dish soap to scrub the surface of the board, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Rinse the board with clean water and dry it with a clean towel.

Sanding Process

Once your board is clean and dry, it’s time to start sanding. Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper (around 80 grit) and sand the surface of the board in the direction of the grain. Be sure to sand evenly across the entire surface of the board, paying special attention to any areas that are particularly rough or scratched.

After you’ve sanded the board with the coarse-grit sandpaper, switch to a finer-grit sandpaper (around 120 grit) and repeat the process. Continue sanding with progressively finer-grit sandpapers until the board is smooth and free of scratches.

Oiling the Board

Once you’ve finished sanding, it’s time to oil the board. Apply a generous amount of food-grade mineral oil to the surface of the board, using a clean cloth to spread it evenly across the entire surface. Allow the oil to soak in for several hours, or overnight if possible.

After the oil has had a chance to soak in, wipe off any excess with a clean cloth. Your board is now ready to use!

Resurfacing a wooden cutting board is a great way to extend its life and keep it looking great for years to come. With a little bit of effort, you can restore your old cutting board to its former glory and enjoy using it for many more meals to come.

Post-Resurfacing Care Tips

After resurfacing your wooden cutting board, it’s important to take proper care of it to ensure its longevity. Here are some post-resurfacing care tips to keep your cutting board in top condition.

Cleaning Post-Resurfacing

Cleaning your cutting board after resurfacing is crucial to prevent bacteria from growing on it. Here are some tips to clean your cutting board:

  • Wash your cutting board with warm soapy water after each use.
  • Use a scrub brush to remove any food particles.
  • Rinse thoroughly with hot water and dry it with a clean towel.
  • Sanitize your cutting board by rubbing it with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of bleach and 1 gallon of water. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water and drying.

Storage Tips

Proper storage of your cutting board can prevent it from warping or cracking. Here are some tips to store your cutting board:

  • Store your cutting board in a dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Do not stack heavy items on top of it.
  • Use a cutting board oil or wax to condition it regularly.
  • If you have multiple cutting boards, label them to avoid confusion and use them for specific purposes.

By following these post-resurfacing care tips, you can extend the life of your wooden cutting board and ensure it stays in great condition for years to come.

Leave a Reply