Food Safe Finishes for your DIY Projects

When designing wood projects that will come into contact with food, it is essential to use a food-safe finish.


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When you are designing and making wood projects that will come into contact with food, make sure that you use only food-safe finishes. There are plenty of choices that you can consider and all are easy to apply. Keep in mind that treating your wood projects is an ongoing process to extend the life of any wood project. Below you will find our recommendations on using the right food-safe finishes:





Butcher Block Oil, Conditioner and Cutting Board Oil

Howard Butcher Block Oil and Conditioner are an excellent food-safe finish that can be applied to your wood projects. Butcher block oil contains a range of food-safe ingredients that not only enhance the beauty of the wood, but that are also perfectly safe for wood projects that come into contact with food. As with many finishes, regular application of butcher block oil is necessary to extend the life of the wood project.

Butcher block conditioner isn't really intended as a finish but can be used in combination with butcher block oil to offer a protective surface that is food-safe. The use of conditioner helps combat drying and cracking of wood projects and help to seal knife marks..

Another Howard product that is food-safe and ideal for use on wood projects is cutting board oil. With mineral oil as the main ingredient in this product, it protects the wood and should be applied periodically, as and when the wood starts to look dull and dried out.

Howard products can be found at select hardware stores countrywide, or online at


Tung Oil

Used for centuries as a water-resistant finish for wood projects, pure tung oil penetrates into the surface of wood to protect and preserve. When used in it's 'pure' form, tung oil is perfectly safe for projects in contact with food. Pure Tung Oil is a natural oil that is suitable for interior and exterior application. Tung oil is highly resistant to water, alcohol and food acids and provides a hard wearing finish for surfaces such as wooden worktops, tables and the like. Tung oil is available at select hardware stores, or from






One of the most natural ways to protect wood is to use beeswax. Beeswax is produced by honey bees of the genis Apis, and the resulting product is food safe when applied to wood projects. When used as a polish, beeswax protects and seals the surface of wood to ensure a long-lasting finish and natural shine. Beeswax should be applied periodically for maximum protection of wood projects.

Raw Linseed Oil

Raw linseed oil, as opposed to boiled linseed oil, can be used to finish wood projects that come into contact with foods. This product can be used on butcher block countertops, cutting board and similar wood projects where a food-safe finish is required. Boiled linseed oil is not safe for use on projects that come into contact with food, as it contains chemicals.



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