Butcher Block Counters

Marian ParsonsKitchen, Miscellaneus, My House61 Comments

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 HGTV.com 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.

Butcher Block Counters

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61 Comments on “Butcher Block Counters”

  1. Your blog is simply amazing–and we are all so grateful for it! I can’t wait for your HGTV tutorials! -cd

  2. The butcher block is gorgeous! Oh how I love the warmth of the wood with the faucet. It’s hard to even fathom the deliciousness when the backsplash is there too! ;). Can’t wait to watch the progress.

  3. We move into our new house at the end of the month and I was JUST talking about replacing the old, sad laminate counter tops with butcher block! We’ve always done some sort of stone in every other home we’ve been in, but I’m ready for something different. Can’t wait to see your finished product!

  4. omgosh I have been waiting for this post ;). just can not wait until its all put back together as I am sure you are. What i like about the butcher block is it doesn’t look so bad with a few scratches and nicks I always figured I could sand them out. 😉

  5. We use & love Waterlox!!!! How funny was going to recommend that to you….
    Looks awesome…have been wanting to put butcher block countertop in & will be looking forward to that tutorial on HGTV!

  6. Amazing – great job Marian! I love you new faucet too – that’s a lovely gift from Moen, but they are an awesome company to work with and I know you’ll love it once it’s all installed!

  7. What a teaser. Looking forward to seeing how the sink mounts and the finished project. I own the “ugliest-counter-tops-ever-made” and would be so happy to put in butcher block.

  8. The butcher block stained looks likea shade of honey. Love the edge and the spigot also. Nice work. Anyone considering removing granite to do something different, maybe can think of a cool way to reuse it so that the precious rock was not harvested and cut in vain. Maybe a desk or table top or use in front of a fireplace or door….just a suggestion.

  9. Oh I do love Butcher block counters. They are so warm and different from all the granite we see. I hope the weather holds up for you, although you so seem to have the right attitude knowing it will all work out despite hiccups.

  10. I have to be honest. I just loved the green counter tops with everything else you’ve done. I can’t wait to see the butcher block.

  11. I’m loving how your counter top looks with that gorgeous faucet. Can only imagine how hard it was to get the sink opening perfect. Love how that looks. I had no idea Lumber liquidators had counter tops. We need new ones so badly. Ours are really bad, even lifting up around the sink. UGH! I think I’m going to have to peruse their website to see if getting counters from them is feasible on our budget, (ha, what budget?). There’ s no IKEA close so that option was out. I had heard of somebody using 1×6’s for counter tops and that may still be an option.
    As always, love your blog.
    Hope your weather will cooperate. Know what you mean, we live in Western CO and it’s so erratic from minute to minute. Spring is coming so will just have to be patient, yeah right, lol.
    Happy days. Good for you taking some time for yourself and family.

  12. Perfect timing for the Butcher Block counter top blog. I am actually getting ready to purchase the wood for my island, I will post pictures when complete. So excited to see this.
    Love all that you do and thank you so much! : )

  13. It is looking ahhhmazing! We recently had our faucet replaced in our kitchen (after we could not reattach the broken off handle anymore) and it was a glorious moment! Ours is a Moen Waterhill also! A side one handle off/on in bronze–love it! I think knobs and faucets should be second to paint in changing a room’s look!! Can’t wait to see the finished counters:)

  14. My BFF and I constructed a walnut wood countertop from 3 reclaimed wood boards and attached it to a new “built in” hutch in my kitchen…wish I had known about that finish you are using, though…wipe on poly is not quite up to the task, even though it’s not near water, people put wet cups, etc. on it.

  15. it’s so much fun watching you live your dream! thanks for sharing it with us 🙂 I love moen…they will replace any part that has a problem for free forever.



  16. Oh, the butcher block is gorgeous as well as the faucet is…Can’t wait to see the final makeover.

  17. Can’t even WAIT to see these finished and in your kitchen!!! I am on the verge of a DIY kitchen remodel with butcher block counters (it’s all my budget will allow, but luckily I LOVE them!) I’m thinking of doing a bridge faucet as well. Thanks for all the inspiration!!

  18. Looking so good Marian, Glad you chose the butcher block … so warm and wonderful.
    Great job you both are doing.
    Audrey z. @ Timeless Treasures

  19. I used to have butcher block counters and a copper sink. The water from the sink ended up staining the counter badly but they were beautiful anyway.

  20. Why do you continue blogging if it so stressful? Or is it like any full time job that we all need a vacation from time to time. I just couldn’t imagine doing something that was stressfull and kept me away from my family. Why don’t you think of some other way to satisfiy your financial needs but lends you more time with family…like writing more inspiring books? You dont need to do all the tours, we all know who you are.
    Just my advice.

  21. Oh no, I LOVE writing my blog and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. Yes, it’s become my “job”, but I wrote my blog for about 2 years before it really became profitable. I just thoroughly enjoy it. Like all things, though, there are times when it’s overwhelming or times when I get a little burnt out and have to take a small step back. Last week was just one of those times.

  22. Waterlox is amazing stuff! (Stinky but amazing!) The “Pop” it adds to the grain of wood is just breathtaking. It can make wood look like its dancing (just my crazy opinion!) Looking forward to seeing it on your countertops! Take care! — Pauline

  23. Loved your feature on the countertops.

    Just continue to love all your creative ideas and focus.

    Keep up the great works and all the good you put out into our world.

    Many thanks…

    All the best,
    Stephen Saint-Onge

  24. love what you are doing now in your home. My husband is PT in real estate.. full time.Director of Transporting all the kids to and from school and before a principle…but we have discussed home redo’s that may increase the value of our home…and you are well on your way. The kitchen is the number one and baths follow..Your bedroom will make the home sell faster but not necessarly increase the value but I do think you will still get a bump…the replacing to the carpet to wood yes faster selling of the home but again in your case a nice bump.It is the Kitchen that will make the biggest difference…and boy you are wowing us all on what you do….sometime you need a real estate person to come and revalue your home. Take care and sometime show your boys room I have two grandson’s

  25. I have Butcher Block Counters on my island, and a small sink in them. They are almost 9 years old now, and they still look gorgeous. I love the warm feel of the wood. I can’t wait to see yours all finished! Hope the weather holds!

  26. You where the first Blog I ever looked at years ago. And it was Wonderful then and it’s Wonderful now.But Please take time for yourself Go buy some shoes lol or makeip something just for you. Because Creativity can burn out. And I want to see you around a long time.
    Thank You

  27. I am loving this kitchen more and more….first the floor, then the backsplash, and awwww the butcher block countertops, and that faucet!!! <3 Looking great!

  28. Marion, I just want to say please don’t feel bad about not blogging. You do not have to account to us bloggers. Like a good friend,we realize you have a life. Let that go. Just do what you want to do.No obligation to us.Stay free of that “I should of posted today,I didn’t post today ” feeling. We will be here no ,matter what or when you post. Have a wonderful day. Oh and the kitchen looks great!!!!! Love the faucet.

  29. It is coming along beautifully! I love your choice of walnut, and I can’t wait to tell my Daddy. He is an expert on wood, and has been a master lumber grader, sawer, forman..etc. at his sawmill for 30 something yrs. He always said it was a strong wood. He’s always pointing out wood everywhere we go. We were in a shop once in the Blue Ridge Mts., Floyd, VA and there was this spiral staircase. He said, “Look at it, it’s Walnut!” He was so excited to see such a beautiful creation. I know you’re going to love it. You have inspired me to use it for mine too. Just this weekend another drawer front fell off in our kitchen…my husband said, “don’t worry, we’re going to be doing the kitchen too anyway.” This whole house needs a redo, and I was so excited when he said that. You definitely have a gift, and it’s so nice to see what you can do 🙂 I think it’s the perfect medicane. I’m going to make more time to be creative too. Thanks.

  30. Oh, I love that you did this! We are redoing our tiny kitchen and I’ve been waffling between Corian countertops (which truly would be just for looks) and butcher block. I’d about made up my mind to use butcher block but was feeling it would probably not look pretty enough. But I love all of your decorating choices, lol, and if it’s good enough for you I feel a thousand times better about doing it myself.

  31. Love the faucets, but I nearly chocked on my breakfast when I clicked on the website to see the price…lol

  32. Those are going to look wonderful! You and your husband are TRULY hands on remodelers and that is what is so appealing about you. Your changes in your house have been done by YOU and that is special. So many show a makeover but they are just showing what OTHERS have done for them. You can inspire people to tackle things they might be afraid of and I love that. One of my favorite things is to show other people that they CAN do these things. After all, the professionals are just people too….they just learned how to do something. You use the abilities God gave you and you are willing to stretch yourself and try. Our goal as believers should be excellence in all we do. We may not always achieve it, but it should be our goal. God wants us to try….not to be afraid. Just because it’s home remodeling doesn’t mean it’s not important. You are being good stewards of what you have been given. Saving money means the money can be used for other, perhaps more significant things! Blessings, Lorraine

  33. Even though I have only been blogging a short time I totally understand needing a break and time to recharge! I believe it is that way with all things in life. Keeping a balance. 🙂

    I love your counter tops! We are also doing the Walnut counter tops in our kitchen..with a farm sink. We haven’t decided on how we will finish the edge yet…but yours look fantastic. We live close to Lumber Liquidators in Williamsburg and will be getting it from there as well! Can’t wait to see yours finished!

  34. Please please show pics when it is finished! We are {FINALLY} getting out cabinets installed this weekend and now I need to pick out counters. We have reddish/dark wood floors and I’m afraid the lighter-coloed butchers block would clash. Can’t wait to see the color of yours.

  35. 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!

  36. 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.

  37. 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

  38. 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.

  39. 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???

  40. 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

  41. 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 <

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