Butcher Block Oil

Butcher Block Oil is a natural protectant for all wood surfaces that come in contact with food. Use this oil-based finish on wood cutting boards, utensils, bowls and butcher blocks. The mineral oils used in General Finishes Butcher Block Oil meet all the requirements for use on wooden products that come in contact with food. Butcher Block Oil is a PFAS-free wood maintenance product, and as General Finishes strives for a cleaner and healthier environment, all future product development will be free of “Forever Chemicals." 

General Finishes Mineral Oil Based Butcher Block Oil, 16 oz Bottle


Step 1: Preparation for Butcher Block Oil

Preparation for New, Untreated Butcher Block
See our video: How to Prep Sand Raw Wood

  1. Prep sand with 120-grit sandpaper.
  2. Remove dust with a vacuum, compressed air, a tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.  
  3. Do not over-sand with fine-grit sandpapers; this will close and seal the wood grain, preventing ideal product absorption.

Preparation of an Existing Surface that has Previously Been Treated with Butcher Block Oil

  1. Remove food residue using a pastry scraper or spatula to gently scrape areas where you find dried-on food or residue. Avoid gouging the wood by keeping the blade at an angle that just skims the surface.
  2. Scrub using a scrub brush, Scotch Brite Pad, or sponge and scrub the butcher block with hot water and mild dish soap.
  3. Rinse with hot water: Run a clean dishcloth through hot water and rinse several times.
  4. Dry thoroughly with a clean dish towel or paper towel.
  5. Let the surface dry overnight before applying another coat of Butcher Block Oil.

Step 2: How To Apply General Finishes Butcher Block Oil

General Finishes Butcher Block Oil Application Steps 

  1. Apply 2 coats of Butcher Block oil with a soft cloth. 
  2. Let the first coat soak in for half an hour and then wipe off the excess. 
  3. Apply the second coat. Let it absorb into the raw wood for 5+ minutes, then wipe the surface completely dry with a clean cloth.
  4. Butcher Block Oil is a maintenance product. Regular applications are recommended to keep the surface stain-repellant and looking its best.

Cleanup of Butcher Block Oil

Clean application materials, hands or spills with mineral spirits. 

Protect your workspace with a tarp, your hands with gloves, and your clothes with an apron.

Maintenance of Surfaces Treated with Butcher Block Oil

Wipe up food and water spills immediately. Do not leave standing water or wet materials on a butcher block. Never let cutting boards sit in a sink.

General Finishes Butcher Block Oil is a maintenance product. Regular applications are recommended to keep the surface stain-repellant and looking its best.

Storage of Maintenance Products

Life of Product
Maintenance products are best used within 1 year of the manufacture date listed on the bottom of the can. The following best practice will increase the life of your product:

Store in moderate temperatures of 50-100°F/10-38°C. Heat-damaged product cannot be revitalized. Temperature-controlled spaces, such as a basement, are ideal for storage. Do not store product in an attic, garage, in direct sunlight, or next appliances with heat or flame such as a furnace.

Warnings, Personal Protection & Warranties

Do not use water-based products with Linseed Oils or Danish Oils.

Limited Warranty
General Finishes products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using. General Finishes will not be responsible for color satisfaction, misapplication, nor compatibility with other manufacturers' products. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of our products, and not for costs such as labor, damage or project replacement. 

Contamination and Compatibility
Our finishes are engineered as a system and are compatible with each other. General Finishes cannot guarantee an ideal refinish when applying our products on top of or combined with another company's products or over surfaces that have been in contact with waxes, polishes or sprays containing contaminants such as silicone. Test for adherence and aesthetics before beginning. 

If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH-approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log onto www.epa.gov/lead.

Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms occur due to the following. EYE CONTACT: Remove any contact lenses. Flush eyes with water for 20+ minutes while lifting upper and lower eyelids. SKIN CONTACT: Wash thoroughly after handling. INHALATION: Move to fresh air and loosen clothing. If not breathing, if breathing is irregular or if respiratory arrest occurs, provide artificial respiration or oxygen by trained personnel. INGESTION: Call physician immediately. Wash out mouth with water. Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. 

This product contains a chemical known to the State Of California to cause cancer and birth defects. Do not swallow; first aid: drink water to dilute product. May cause eye or skin irritation; first aid: flush eyes thoroughly with water.

Keep out of reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes. Keep container tightly closed when not in use. Wash thoroughly after handling.


Hand protection
Chemical-resistant, impervious gloves complying with an approved standard should be worn when handling chemical products if a risk assessment indicates this is necessary. Considering the parameters specified by the glove manufacturer, check during use that the gloves still retain their protective properties. It should be noted that the time to breakthrough for any glove material may differ for different manufacturers. In the case of mixtures, consisting of several substances, the protection time of the gloves cannot be accurately estimated.

Eye protection: Safety eyewear complying with an approved standard should be used when a risk assessment indicates this is necessary to avoid exposure to liquid splashes, mists, gases, or dust. If contact is possible, the following protection should be worn unless the assessment indicates a higher degree of protection: safety glasses with side shields.

Respiratory protection:
Based on the hazard and potential for exposure, select a respirator that meets the appropriate standard or certification. Respirators must be used according to a respiratory protection program to ensure proper fitting, training, and other important use aspects.

Body protection Personal protective equipment for the body should be selected based on the amount and repetition of exposure. It should be approved by a specialist before handling this product.

Environmental exposure controls:
Emissions from ventilation or work process equipment should be checked to ensure they comply with the requirements of environmental protection legislation.

Appropriate engineering controls:
Good general ventilation should be sufficient to control worker exposure to airborne contaminants.

Hygiene measures: 
Wash hands, forearms, and face thoroughly after handling chemical products, before eating, smoking, and using the lavatory, and at the end of the working period. Appropriate techniques should be used to remove potentially contaminated clothing. Wash contaminated clothing before reusing. Ensure that eyewash stations and safety showers are close to the workstation location.

Other skin protection: Appropriate footwear and any additional skin protection measures should be selected based on the task being performed.


Basic Features
Product Colors Clear
Base Type Mineral Oil
Ambering No
Interior or Exterior Interior only
Type Mineral Oil
Coats 1+ coats
Application Method Wipe On with Clean Rag
Brushable Yes
Usable over existing finishes Yes
Sprayable No
Dry Time
Dry Time - Recoat 5+ min.
Can Sizes 16 oz. bottles, Gallons
Technical Data
Weight Solids 100%
0 g/L


Butcher Block Oil FAQs

*What Finish Would You Recommend for a Butcher Block Counter Top?

It depends on the type of use you plan for your butcher-block top and the look you want.

If it is a statement piece and not intended for high use, almost any finish would work. General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Topcoat is a good choice. If you intend to prep or chop food General Finishes Butcher Block Oil should be applied.

However, neither product will withstand continuous water use or standing water, or hold up to knife cuts. We always use a cutting board just as we would on a standard kitchen counter. Basically, all horizontal wood surfaces in a kitchen must be maintained, and will easily wear with high water use.


  • Butcher Block Oil is a maintenance product that should be reapplied over time. It has a lovely matte finish that soaks into the wood and is an excellent protectant for wood surfaces that come in contact with food. Simply wipe on, allow 5 minutes to penetrate and wipe off the excess. It can also be used on cutting boards, utensils, or bowls. It is one of our most popular finishes for butcher-block counters.
  • Arm-R-Seal is a fine furniture finish, offers several levels of sheen and is a durable finish. It has been successfully used on home bar projects with this caveat: no fine furniture finish is impervious to water. Spills must be wiped up in a timely manner.

For a more water-resistant finish, we recommend visiting a finish dealer that carries lines specifically designed for high water use such as an Epoxy or a professional two-step catalyzed finish such as General Finishes Conversion Varnish.

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