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Butcher Block Counters


Last night, as I crawled into bed, I declared, “I didn’t post on my blog all weekend!”  There was something liberating about that.  I love my blog, but I recognize that I can sometimes be a slave to it and it’s nice to step away for a day or two every now and then.  I hardly even looked at my computer at all.  Last week was a busy and intense work week and I was feeling a little burnt out, so I just spent time with my family.  Of course, spending time with my family did involve a bit of DIY…  My husband and I finished up the butcher block counters, so I could work on the finishing this week.


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We decided to buy the walnut butcher block from Lumber Liquidators made by Williamsburg Butcher Block Co.  I wanted a richer looking wood and I didn’t want to have to stain them.  Wood is a great option for counters if you’re okay with the maintenance.  I like the fact that it’s a good DIY project.  Most natural counter materials, like granite, quartz, etc.  require professional fabrication and installation.  This will give me a beautiful looking kitchen at a fraction of the cost.


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This is another project for a freelance tutorial article, so all of the details on how to do this project DIY style will be available on the website in a few weeks.  There were parts of this project that were tricky and time-consuming to figure out, but overall, I was surprised with how doable this project is.  We spent the most time on the cutout for the under-mount sink.  Since it’s going to be visible, it had to be perfect.  If we were installing a regular sink with a lip, we could have just cut out a rough hole with a jigsaw.

Once the hole was cut and we dropped the faucet in place, we experienced one of those awesome DIY moments.  One of those wow-WE-are-the-ones-who-just-made-THAT kind of moments.

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…and the faucet is gorgeous.  It’s the Waterhill Faucet in Stainless Steel by Moen.  (I’ll share more about the faucet in another post.)  I can’t wait to see it against the herringbone marble back splash, finished counter and under mount sink.

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We did a slight round-over edge around the sink and a classic Roman Ogee edge on the rest.  It’s amazing what a difference a router can make on a project like this.  

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…and I just put the first coat of finish on this morning.  I did a lot of research and decided to use the Waterlox original finish.


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 It’s looking glorious so far.

Anyway, I have to laugh at myself a bit.  It occurred to me that I’m always tackling big refinishing projects in March, which probably has the most unpredictable weather of any month of the year.  I was looking at the weather report, hoping for an unusually warm week, so I can air out the house really well while applying the finish.  I’m working in my basement, but I am still opening some windows for a few hours after each coat.  So, I’m snuggled under blankets as a damp 40 degree cross breeze blows through the house and praying there won’t be snow on Wednesday!

I know it’ll all work out.

It always does…


Disclosure: I was given the Moen faucet in exchange for a review on my blog.  I paid for all of the other products mentioned.

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  1. Your new counter is a real beauty. I agree with your natural choice. Wood really warms up any space and I can’t wait to see your herringbone back-splash. Please post the finished results ASAP. And you made a good call to step away from your blog and the computer! Everyone needs that!

  2. It’s looking gorgeous so far! Can’t wait to see it all put together. Love the faucet too!

  3. Making the cut for the sink must have been a difficult one since there is no margin for error. Love the router edge detai! Can’t wait to see the final reveal and look forward to your tutorials.

  4. Kelli says:

    We JUST installed that same Moen faucet (in chrome) on our black walnut butcher block counter tops that have a Roman ogee edge! We also went with the Waterlox finish on the wood. Loving it so far! Most people can’t understand why I chose a wood countertop, (“that’s an…unusal choice…”), but I love the warmth they bring to the kitchen <3

  5. First: absolutely gorgeous! Your home is so inspiring to me and I have read thruough your book countless times. We are about to seal our ikea butcher block and am wondering which waterlox you used? I was told marine quality is good for heavy use but not sure. We have a very heavily used kitchen with 5 kids so we’ve got to get it right! Thanks for all you share, just now getting to enjoy your blog.

  6. Patricia says:

    Your kitchen is gorgeous. I was wondering how you maintain your butcher block. What do you use to keep it’s beautiful luster, and how often do you have to do it???

  7. Your new kitchen counter, white cabinets and everything looks beautiful!! Wood makes everything warma nd adds character to any room. As the waterlox wears and before you refinish it, you can use a mineral oil to heal the scars it might get.

    I am a woodworker and one of my many things I make is cutting boards. I use mineral oil on the raw wood, then use my own mineral oil and beeswax mixture to ehlp protect the wood, keeping it from drying out. check out the cutting boards I made for Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa.

    Cutting Board for Ina Garten

  8. Meggan says:

    Can you post the link to the tutorial you made? Thanks!

  9. Leesa says:

    Hi! I love Love LOVE your kitchen!! I was considering these exact countertops and wanted to see them finished with waterlox and found you! Would you mind telling me how many coats you ended up needing to put on??? What do you think of them after having them a few months?? Have they held up?? I think I may need to change some of my dirty dish piling up habits…
    Many thanks!
    Leesa <

  10. Charisse Losito says:

    link to cut???

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