Refinishing a wooden cutting board is a great way to give it a new lease on life and keep it in good condition. Over time, cutting boards can become scratched, discolored, and worn, but with the right care and maintenance, you can restore their beauty and functionality. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to refinish a wooden cutting board:

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Wooden cutting board
  2. Coarse sandpaper (80-100 grit)
  3. Fine sandpaper (120-220 grit)
  4. Mineral oil or food-grade cutting board oil
  5. Clean, lint-free cloth or paper towels
  6. Scrub brush or sponge
  7. Mild dish soap
  8. Warm water
  9. Plastic wrap (optional)


  1. Safety First: Ensure you’re working in a well-ventilated area. Wear protective eyewear and a dust mask while sanding to protect yourself from wood dust.
  2. Clean the Cutting Board:
    • Wash the cutting board thoroughly with warm, soapy water and a scrub brush or sponge. Rinse it well to remove any soap residue.
  3. Sand the Surface:
    • Start with coarse sandpaper (80-100 grit) to remove any deep scratches, stains, or rough spots. Sand in the direction of the grain to avoid creating new scratches.
    • Switch to fine sandpaper (120-220 grit) to smooth the surface further. Sand until the surface feels smooth and any imperfections are gone.
  4. Remove Dust: After sanding, wipe the cutting board clean with a damp cloth to remove any wood dust.
  5. Apply Mineral Oil:
    • Apply a generous amount of food-grade mineral oil or cutting board oil to the entire surface of the cutting board. Make sure you use an oil specifically designed for cutting boards.
    • Use a clean, lint-free cloth or paper towel to spread the oil evenly over the surface. Pay extra attention to the edges and any areas that may have absorbed more oil.
    • Allow the oil to soak into the wood for at least 20-30 minutes. If the wood appears to absorb the oil quickly, you may need to apply more coats.
  6. Reapply Oil as Needed:
    • Repeat the oiling process several times, allowing the board to absorb the oil between coats, until the wood no longer absorbs the oil. This helps to ensure the board is thoroughly hydrated and protected.
  7. Buff and Polish: After the final coat of oil has been absorbed, use a clean cloth to buff the surface of the cutting board. This will remove any excess oil and leave a smooth, polished finish.
  8. Let it Rest: Allow the cutting board to rest for a few hours or overnight to ensure the oil fully penetrates the wood.
  9. Optional: Wrap in Plastic: To speed up the oil absorption process and prevent dust from settling on the board, you can wrap it in plastic wrap or a plastic bag for a few hours or overnight.
  10. Maintenance: To keep your cutting board in good condition, regularly apply a thin coat of mineral oil or cutting board oil every few weeks or as needed. Wash it by hand with mild dish soap and warm water after each use, and avoid soaking it or putting it in the dishwasher.

Refinishing a wooden cutting board not only rejuvenates its appearance but also extends its lifespan. Proper care and maintenance will keep your cutting board looking beautiful and safe for food preparation for years to come.