ONE STAIN I’M HAPPY TO HAVE ~ island counter update

Hello Lovelies! Hope you’re ready for a long weekend and a wonderful celebration of The Risen Christ!!
Onto something a lot less important…BUTCHERBLOCK COUNTERTOPS
I finally got to stain the IKEA butcherblock countertop I got a few weeks ago. We practiced on the underside of the wood to see what colors we would like. We ended up sanding with 220 grit sandpaper, wiping away the dust, cleaning with denatured alcohol by Crown, conditioning the wood with Minwax Pre-Stain wood conditioner, then the exciting part….staining with Minwax English Chestnut Stain. I left the stain on for 15 minutes, then wiped it off.
 It looks so pretty!
Tomorrow I will put two coats of polyurethane on this baby. Then we’ll remove the old counter and glue and screw in the new countertop as directed by our wood guy. Please go visit his website if you’re in the Raleigh area. Charles is great!
Other plans for the holiday weekend (insert moans and groans from the offspring who don’t want to work!) include finally hanging the beadboard backsplash and trim. We’re being tortured by how the trim will look but the LOML is a pro at math and figuring out puzzles so I have faith that he will do a great job.
A before and after of our new island butcherblock countertop
I wish you and your loved ones a very blessed Easter.
Love ya,Linda


  1. Is the butcher block counter food safe? After the stain, did you apply mineral oil? If not, did you seal it with polyurethane? I just finished staining my maple wood countertop and I’m wondering how to make it food safe?

    Yours looks good!

    • Thanks Heather! Yes, we put about six coats of poly on. It has lasted wonderfully. I don’t cut on it but I put everything on it from food, to hot and cold. No marks at all. We still love it. Thanks for reading! ~Linda

    • This is a question for Heather who asked about food safe finishing her maple butcher block. Was just wondering how it turned out? If you have any pics of how it turned out? I've been given some maple butcher block as an option for my countertop and always thought of maple as quite light….was just wondering what yours looked like when it was all finished. Thanks in advance! And thanks Linda for posting this in the first place as I'm scouring the internet for all post butcher block and yours was very informative!

  2. Lucy Wilke says:

    What type of wood is your butcherblock made from? Ikea has three different types in stock? Please advise. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.

    • Thanks Lucy! It’s oak. It’s been a year and we still love it! No scratches, dings, nothing. Well worth all the work. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend! ~Linda

  3. Hi Linda. I’m just wondering if you used oil based polyurethane or water based? I’m teetering back and forth between finishing my tops with poly or mineral oil. Thanks do much!!

    • Hey Staci~I used Cabot Gloss Spar Varnish which is an oil-based varnish. Still holding up three years later. Good luck with your counters! ~Linda

  4. Did you use wood conditioner prior to staining?.

    • Andres~ Yes I did. I’ve not used conditioner in the past, and I find the stain goes on very blotchy. With the conditioner, the stain is very even. ~Linda

  5. patricia stone says:

    I just purchased a used kitchen island with a butcher block top. I will be sanding it down. I need to know what grit to use. I also need to know if I could use minwax fast-drying polyurethane clear satin. I will not be cutting directly on the butcher block top, but I will be using it to work from otherwise. If this is not a good product to use for this project, please direct me in the right direction.