The Easiest DIY Project — Rejuvenating a Dry Cutting Board

by Katy on November 14, 2013 · 7 comments

I adore DIY projects! I love finding curbside finds and using nothing more than unicorns and baby sloths paint and creativity to transform something from trash into an idol-worthy object. I love the feeling that I took something destined for the landfill and transformed it into an something beautiful and functional. You know, like I did HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. However, it’s a thousand time easier to do DIY projects in the summer months than the rest of the year. Why? Because:

  1. Fall, winter and spring are wet.
  2. Oregon gets 43 minutes of usable daylight.
  3. Smelly projects can be made inoffensive by the simple act of opening a window.
  4. Spray paint is great for a backyard project and grounds for divorce in the house.

So yeah . . . summer is better for DIY. However, I’ve been able to sneak a couple of minor DIY projects into my dark and damp Oregon days. Nothing that normal bloggers would feel are worthy of inclusion into their perfect life blogs; but I am Katy Wolk-Stanley, and I am far from perfect.

Today’s project was to rejuvenate my cutting boards. As a labor and delivery nurse, I am very familiar with mineral oil. (Don’t make me explain it to you!) And my drier-than-the-Israeli-Negev-desert boards were mocking me at every turn.

“Hey there, Katy. Is there any reason why we must sit here all dry and neglected? Is it that you don’t love us? Must you be such an awful human being?”

My cutting boards are jerks.

However, I had stopped into the pharmacy at work, where a bottle of mineral oil caught my eye. DIY supplies + an employee discount?! Hell, yes! Armed with my $3 bottle of mineral oil, I took out my cutting boards and got to work. First off was a light sanding, and making sure that the board was bone dry. (Don’t want to trap moisture in the board!) BTW, I used a scrap of cut up old T-shirt for the rubbing of the oil, which I simply tossed at the end. Dry board:

Cry cutting board



And the completed oily-but-not-too-oily board:

Cutting Board

This DIY Project may seem like a no brainer, and really it is. But so often people do not take the steps to maintain their belongings, which means that they end up replacing things that should have lasted for years. Also, used wooden cutting boards are super easy to find in the second hand market. A quick sanding and a wipe down with mineral oil is all it takes to bring it back to life. And that bottle of mineral oil? It will last me until the end times.

I may not be able to spray paint in November, but I can still find satisfying little projects around the house.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather November 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Gah, thank you. I have been infuriated by the idea that I’m anal or snotty because I like to take care of my stuff. They’re just things, right? What’s the big deal?

The big deal is that if it is my house, I use it, and if I use it, it’s worth taking care of. Because it took money to purchase something, and if you break it, or don’t take care of it, you’ve just wasted my time. The time it took for me to make the money to buy the thing that is “just a thing.”

I’m a little pent up about this. I think I need to write a post about it.


Lisa November 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I love this? The cutting board is beautiful.
I enjoy reading you blog. I feel like we are kindred spirits. I am an RN (former L&D, now OR), frugal and love DIY and making do.


Katy November 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

It does sound like we’re kindred spirits!



tna November 15, 2013 at 7:48 am

Don’t have a cutting board, I just use a plate, but I did wonder if I ever had a cutting board could I use a food grade oil like olive or almond?


dusty November 15, 2013 at 9:37 am

Hi I always heard never to use food grade oil because it can spoil or become rancid. I always use mineral oil.


Mr. Everyday Dollar November 15, 2013 at 11:01 am

I use mineral oil on my cutting board every few months; I love how it gleams on my counter for a few days after that! A good tip is that your local hardware or drug store typically carries mineral oil for much less than a specialty kitchen supply store.


Diane C November 16, 2013 at 11:14 am

No siree. I once got hosed at the hardware store for “cutting board oil”. Best advice is to buy it in the pharmacy at Costco (Not all stores carry it and it’s not on the open shelves, it’s in the pharmacy area.) or Target. I’m sure Wallyland sells it too, but I don’t set foot in their stores unless there is no.other.option.


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