Here's a follow-up to our kitchen remodel that we've been meaning to share with you that wasn't covered when we talked about the kitchen remodel details: how Brian found an easy and accurate butcher block countertop cutting technique for our Ikea butcher block countertops using a circular saw.
We know how popular these counters are firsthand: they were never in stock when we wanted them! We ended up buying the thicker, more expensive counters, but this technique will work with any butcher block countertop, regardless of thickness.
Brian has made a video that walks you through each step (see below), but at its basic the butcher block countertop cutting technique works like this:
- With your countertop face down, you simply attach a straight piece of molding to the back, which will act as a "jig" (a guide) to slide your saw against as you make the cut.
Using this method Brian was able to easily cut the 1 1/2" thick oak to exactly the right size for our kitchen. And he can NOT cut a straight line freehand to save his life (uh, his words, not mine - just in case you think I'm dissing my husband!).
We sure hope this helps you if you are looking to install wood counters - we sure love ours!
Carolyn Saunders says
Exactly which butcher block did you purchase from Ikea? I was thinking it was the Karlby - because of the color, but as I saw the demo of the but, it appears you had unfinished wood.
If this is the case, what stain and exact finish did you use?
Ikea doesn't carry the counters we used anymore, Carolyn. These are solid oak and looking at their site the solid oak option is Hammarp. The Karlby is a veneer. We sanded and then stained and finished the wood. I wasn't happy with this stain - I tried a water based stain and I'll never to that again (it goes on like paint!). A similar look can be achieved with oil-based Dark Walnut stain. We finished the wood on all our counters (including our bathrooms) with 4 coats of water-based polyurethane. We talk a little about why in the 2-year follow-up video: https://anoregoncottage.com/diy-ikea-wood-butcher-block-countertops-2-years-later-video/
Hope that makes sense!
Hi,I just came across this as I was looking for some information on how to stain the beech wood counter top that we bought at ikea . My husband sand it and has been trying to stain it with a water base and oil base stain. It is not staining .. can you help me on whatb your husband used?
I actually do the staining on our woodwork, Vickie, and I've stained both the solid oak (which it looks like they don't sell anymore) and the beech tops. I've also used both oil based and water base, though I wouldn't recommend water-based to anyone and it's worked after sanding, so I'm surprised you're having trouble. 🙁 It does come with an oil rubbed surface so I do a really good job of sanding (start rough and move to smooth paper). The only other thing I do is to use a wood conditioner first before staining. There are some online posts that say water works as well, but I haven't tried that, only the purchased conditioners. Maybe that would help? If I were you I'd probably try sanding more again and use a conditioner and see if that doesn't work. Good luck!
Thanks for the info. Great lesson. Any suggestions on what blade and any hints on cutting the opening for the sink bowl.
Here's what Brian says, Mick:
I recommend buying a new 40-teeth finish blade - you can ask them which would be best for the type of wood you're cutting. The sink opening is a hole different issue - I used a jigsaw for that, cutting it after the counter was installed and I put tape on the skids to it didn't scratch the finish on the counter.
Hope that's helpful!
I'm so glad I came I came across this post! We're in the process of planning our kitchen reno and I was unsure of what I wanted for a counter top. When I saw your photo it was exactly the look I want and I love the wood. I can't believe I never thought of it as it's exactly what our daughter just put in her home and they love it. I particularly love the darker stain and love the tips you shared so we all have a chance to learn from your experience!! Thanks so much for sharing and I'll be checking back to view the video when we're ready to do some cutting! LOL Thanks again! Nancy 😀
Glad to be of help, Nancy! We do love wood - and we have it in our bathrooms, too!
We just bought beech countertops from Ikea. I was wondering what you used as a sealer and how the tops behave around the sink. You are the best source I know of since you do as much in your kitchen as I do...or more! Anything that you would change? Thank you.
We love our wood counters, Karen! Since I love them so much, it's not a big deal to me to make sure they are wiped down, but every once in awhile a bit of water might sit on them and the finish turns white in that area after wiping - but only for a few minutes and then they go back to looking good! I've always used water-based poly for wood counter sealing - in our old kitchen and our bathrooms here and been very happy with it - super easy to apply, clean, and touch-up when necessary (though it's not often needed). It's not 'food safe' though food rarely touches the counters in my kitchen - everything is done on cutting boards. Many people choose go with Waterlox (which I believe is 'food safe' thought it's oil based) and love it - I wasn't willing to pay the extra money or time involved with that, though. 🙂 We use thick microfiber dish mats on the side of the sink when we have hand washed dishes and remove it when they're dry (wood is not the type of surface you leave a dish drainer/mat on at all times!).
Two things I'd do different: 1) NOT use a water-based stain - it looks like paint and doesn't soak into the wood like oil-based stains. That's a long story, but it's fine to use oil stain with a water-based topcoat and that's what I'd do if I have to do counters in another house. 2) Make sure the sink is centered on the counter - we moved ours too much to the front (in order to make cleaning the back easier...) and ruined the integrity of the butcher-block construction so that the places where the wood is glued together is coming apart. Another long story - we've attached metal braces under the counter - but it could've been avoided just by leaving enough room at the front of the sink.
Hope that's helpful and you enjoy your new counters!!
Thank you soooo much! Your info is exactly what I needed. I used waterbase overcoat on my white painted upper cabinets and like the finish and the yellow-ish color it turns. (went with light cherry on the bottom, 3 boys and a big dog makes for too much dirt on white base cabinets) I'm glad you told me about the placement of the sink because I would have done the same thing! Thank you again. Karen in Indiana
Nevermind, I clicked thru and saw the info on the counters, will research them more!!
We are in the process of deciding what to do to replace our counters and I want wood so badly. My hubby is not really on board because he thinks they are a lot of work. Which ones did you get from Ikea and how do you care for them Jami? I would love to find a less expensive counter than quartz or something like that.
I always love watching Brian's videos... He covers everything...and he's pretty "cheeky" too.
Right now, I appreciating him re-enforcing the" measure- twice- (write- it -down) -cut- once- RULE.
I'm going to drag my husband in here and make him watch this video REPEATEDLY... so as to (no NOT Brian wash him)... but, brain wash him...you know to re-enforce the whole measure twice thing.
Great video. Your counter tops look fabulous!
Thanks, Pat! I know Brian will be glad to help your husband not make the mistake he's made too many times in the past, ha! 🙂
I know it's been a whileggshell now, but how are the countertops holding up? Do you remember what color stain you used?
They've held up great, Trina! I've only had to do 2 fixes for knife cuts in the 5 years since and they were just a matter of dabbing a bit of stain and then a bit of poly when it dried. We've sold the house since then and the owners say it's still going strong.
We used Special Walnut by Minwax. Hope that helps!