Caring for your butcher's block worktop - oiling

Posted by the Country Interiors bespoke furniture team on 4th Sep 2018

Caring for your butcher's block worktop - oiling

Having taken delivery of your beautiful bespoke butcher's block island, you'll no doubt want to look after it to ensure it looks as good in the years to come as it does now. 

About your worktop

Our butcher's block islands will not experience uneven shrinking / expansion due to the use of a solid single wood, and end grain is particularly notable for its ability to open and "accept" the blade of a knife, protecting it from damage and making it suitable for direct cutting. 

Applying your oil

Oiling a worktop is one of the best and also the most common ways to protect the surface, which is why we provide a free bottle of oil with each butcher's block island to help maintain the the lasting appeal of your furniture.The best way to apply the oil is with a lint-free cloth (an old T-shirt is perfect for this) because this will not leave any particles on the surface. You will need to apply several coats of oil to the surface of your island and will need to cover all sides. Start by pouring some oil on to the worktop and rubbing it in gently with your cloth. Try to smooth it out so the coverage is even, and when you are happy with your workmanship, leave it to dry for around 15-20 minutes. You could put the kettle on and admire your work if you feel particularly impressed. While you do so, make sure you have not left any pools oil drying on the surface - these will need evening out. However, if you notice the oil drying at different speeds in different areas, this is normal due to the grain and is not a cause for concern. When you've finished your tea (or coffee) go back and apply a second coat - and repeat the process until you have completed at least four.

Don't forget...

Oiling your worktop doesn't make it invincible! You should still take care with your worktop and protect it from extremes of heat, sharp edges etc. As end grain beech is relatively soft it can be scratched or chipped - and although these can generally be repaired it's best to avoid the damage if you can. We'd suggest using trivets or heat-resistant pads to protect the surface from hot pans and also keeping uneven or rough bottomed items away altogether to prevent scratching. 


  • If you do choose to cut raw meat directly on the worktop rather than a chopping board, you will need to purchase a sanitising spray to clean your island top after food preparation. 
  • If anyone in your home (or a guest) suffers from nut allergies, avoid replacing your free bottle of oil with a walnut oil - it may seem obvious but is definitely worth remembering!

Why not check out our collection of butcher's block islands?