A few years ago we bought an olive wood chopping board. It’s an irregular shape with lots of nice wood grain, bit of a keeper. I’ve neglected it lately and it was looking really parched so I made some wood butter to bring it back to life. Most of the recipes I found contain mineral oil (a petroleum by-product) which wasn’t really what I wanted. I bought some Cornish beeswax on our trip to Cornwall at Christmas and used that with coconut oil to make a natural alternative. I’ve been using it on our kitchen utensils and wood furniture and they look great. If you want to make some, here is the recipe.
You will need
- 25g beeswax
- 100g coconut oil or nut oil
- Jam jar with lid
1. Choose your oil
I used coconut oil with the beeswax. It’s food safe, natural and we already had a jar of it in the cupboard. If you don’t want to use coconut oil and need help deciding on an alternative, have a look at this article on food safe wood finishes. I want to try walnut oil next.
2. Chop the beeswax
Chop your beeswax into small chunks with a knife. It’s hard stuff so it’s easy for the knife to slip. I’m a total clutz with a knife and I found it easier to put the tip of the knife into the wax and then cut down slowly. You can chop it into whatever size you like but the larger you leave the chunks, the longer they will take to melt.
3. Melt the beeswax and coconut oil
Put 25g of beeswax into a jam jar. Place the jam jar (without the lid on) into a pan of shallow water and heat gently. Once the wax has melted add 100g of coconut oil. Once both have fully melted* give it a good stir and take it off the heat.
*Coconut oil is semi-solid at room temperature and turns into a liquid when heated. If you are using an oil that is already liquid, such as walnut oil, it just needs to be warmed through and stirred in order to mix it with the wax before removing from the heat.
4. Leave to solidify
Carefully lift the jar out of the pan and leave to solidify.
Then it’s ready to use! The wood butter will be solid but soft enough to get a spoon in. On cold days you might need to microwave it for 10 seconds to soften.
Use a clean cloth to scoop out some of the wood butter and rub a generous amount onto the wood. Leave it on for a few hours (ideally overnight) and then wipe of any excess oil. If you are feeling energetic you can also buff the wood with a clean cloth for a bit of extra shine.
Ta-dah! This is how our spoons looked after applying the butter. Less tatty with a nice sheen! You can also see how well the butter has bought out the grain in the board underneath.
I made a simple label – you know how I am, I like things to have labels! Without one, I can imagine myself accidentally using it for cooking as I’ve put it in an old coconut oil jar.
So there you have it. Really quick and easy and makes all your wood look like new again. If you make it, drop me a comment and let me know what you think!