some of the most asked questions i get on instagram are regarding my wood countertops. so, since i've had them for just over a year now, i thought i would share my experiences with them. if you've followed me for a while, you know the history behind these salvaged beauties, if not, let me give you a little backstory. the wood for my counters (and wood shelves) all came from a home that was around 100 years old. the wood is actually the boards from the roof, the trusses to be exact. our good friend gerard from rusticrecreations rescued these beauties, before the house they originated from was completely demolished, and we are SO glad he did! once we got all of the lumber home, my husband built and installed the countertops, and he hung the shelves. i told you he's crazy handy! i decided to answer the most asked questions from you guys regarding these beauties. plus, you'll get a closer look at the detail in the wood, including our live edge above our barstools.
so here are the deets:
what type of wood are my counters/shelves? they are old growth pine. apparently, old growth pine is denser because it is cut from mature trees and warps less easily. apparently, newer lumber is often cut from younger trees and is more likely to warp.
what do i use to seal/sanitize my work surfaces? we seal our countertops with howard's butcher oil, which has worked really well so far. it also sanitizes the wood. for daily cleaning, i simply use hot water and dish soap to wipe off my counters. i also use a paint brush to brush out any crumbs that may get into the crevices i can't simply wipe. it's worked wonderfully! just a side note on the butcher oil - it does darken the color of the wood a bit, but it does bring out the grain beautifully. the more liberally you apply, the darker the color.
do i cut food directly on my countertops? yes and no. i know that's a complicated answer. i'm not opposed to cutting directly on its surface, and we have countless times, but i still use cutting boards the majority of the time, for sanitation purposes. however, the cutting marks from knives only add to the character, which i love. i typically cut lemons, limes, and things of that nature directly on it.
have the countertops warped yet? so far, we've had zero warping! i do try to be mindful in blotting up any big spills right away, but spills are life, so i don't drive myself crazy over it.
how have they held up? they have held up GREAT after an entire year of a family of five (plus countless guests) using them constantly. we cook a lot, so our kitchen is a working one. since they are salvaged wood that had a lot of character to begin with, any added character/blemishes, have only been a plus in our eyes.
i definitely recommend going the wood route for your kitchen surfaces IF perfection isn't your thang. i love character, so scrathes, notches, holes, etc, don't bother, but actually excite me (my hubby too), so wood counters have been perfect for us. in my opinion, they are low-maintenance, and easier on the budget than most of the alternatives. as you know, this probably isn't our forever home, so expensive stone countertops (although i absolutely love carrara marble) just don't make sense for us at this time. i think we found a lovely alternative and how wonderful is it to recycle something with so much character?!?