Reclaimed Wood Bread Board
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I have a new collection!
Wood bread boards. I now have 3… I think this qualifies as a collection, right?
Ever since seeing a photo of Heather Bullard’s kitchen, I have been searching for interesting and antique bread boards to use as decoration when I am out and about, but have only been able to find paddle style or boards with little appeal. I like the paddle style, but they don’t fit where I want to keep and display my boards.
There is a little bit of wall space under the microwave in my kitchen where I have placed two boards I have when not in use. The paddle style are too tall to fit here or any place in my kitchen. I could place them on their side, but the look I am after seems off when I do this.
I finally figured if I want an interesting board as decoration to fit the space I am going to have to make it myself. I had looked at all types of cutting board tutorials that showed the only way to make a big board was to glue narrower boards together. This seemed like more than I wanted to do for something decorative and I put the project on the back burner.
Well, after my recent basement purge, DIY luck struck! We had 3 pieces of old furniture that no one wanted, not even the thrift stores. Ed had to break them apart so we could throw them out. Once he had them apart, he leaned the pieces against the trash can to await trash day. This is when I saw the visions of my bread board dreams…
It was one piece from the side of a wood desk. It was solid wood and the cracks on the one end were perfect…they would make the bread board look like it was an old board with a storied patina. If you want to use a board like this to make a bread board, make sure the wood is not pressure treated in any way. It would not be food grade safe.
Here is my new, but old reclaimed wood bread board that was custom made to fit the space under my microwave. I plan to use this as decoration, not to actually use. It is not perfect, but looks like it has been in use for many years. Exactly what I wanted to achieve.
One more reason why I enjoy to DIY. You get exactly what you envision.
How to Make a Wood Bread Board
- I realize not everyone is going to have pieces of an old desk or piece of furniture hanging around for your wood, but you can use high quality untreated wood to make the bread board.
- Jigsaw and saw blade
- Drill with a 1/2″ drill bit
- Rotary Tool with mini sanding drum attached
- Straight edge ruler
- 60 and 100 grit sandpaper
- Tracing paper
- Howard Butcher Block Cutting Board Oil
- Safety glasses
- Optional: Citra-Strip paint stripper if you need to remove paint from your wood and a scraper
1. I am using the board as a decorative piece only since there will be chemicals in the wood. To strip the paint off I used spray-on CitraStrip that I bought at my local True Value Hardware. It is the best stuff!! No smell and easy to apply since you spray it on.
I let the stripper sit on the board overnight. After 24 hours the paint was loose and crinkly. All I had to do was use a wide blade scraper to remove it.
TIP: Don’t rush the stripping process. Let the CitraStrip do its thing. You will be rewarded for your patience.
2. After all the paint was removed, I did a quick going-over of both sides of the board with a sander with 100 grit sandpaper. This was to remove any residual paint and to smooth the surface.
3. Find the horizontal center of the board using a ruler or tape measure. Mark this measurement along the entire length of the board. Don’t press too hard on your board if it is soft wood. The line is just a guide on where to center your design.
4. To draw the design symmetrically on the board, I drew out one side of my design on tracing paper. Use a soft pencil (more graphite) to draw the design on the paper.
5. Flip the drawing over so the penciled side of the design is face down on the board. Line up the center line of your design with the center line on the board. Draw over the design with a pencil. The pressure of the pencil will transfer the design to the board. Flip the paper over, then repeat for the other side of the board (at the same end). If adding a design to both ends of your board, then you’ll have to repeat the design transfer process twice again on the opposite end of the board.
Free printable sketch of my bread board design
My board measures: 29″ x 12 – 1/2″
6. Once the design is transferred, don a pair of safety glasses.
7. Use a drill with a 1/2″ drill bit to make a hole in the handle. This allows you to easily place the tip of the jigsaw into the hole.
8. Use a jigsaw to cut out the rest of the design.
9. Once the design is cut from the wood, you need to sand the surface and all edges to remove any previous finish and to expose the bare wood. I used 100 grit sandpaper. I wanted the edges to be rounded and used the sander to round the edges of the board.
10. To sand the detail areas, use the mini sanding drum tip on a Rotary Tool. If you don’t have one of these, fold a piece of sandpaper in half so the sanding side is out. Use this to push into the hard-to-sand areas.
11. Even though this board is only going to be used for decoration, I added a coat of oil to it. It brings out the patina. If you want to keep the wood on your board supple, add a coat of food grade butcher block cutting board oil with a paper towel. If your wood is dry or old, the first coat will soak right in. Let it dry for about 20 minutes and add another coat. After 20 more minutes, wipe away excess oil with a paper towel.
Here is the aged and cracked end of my bread board. I like the aged look…the cracks add a nice patina to the wood :-)
Here is the new looking end. If the cracked end ever breaks all I need to do is cut the handle off leaving me with a normal one-handled bread board.
I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.
I just stumbled on your blog post through a wormhole I went down on Pinterest. I love your bread board. I’m in the process of making a few myself. I love the really old, well loved and used board style. So I took chains, hammers, screwdrivers and anything else I could find and beat the heck out of my board to make it look like it came from a hundred years ago. I then took my sander and sanded all my square edges to look like they’d been well used. I’m loving how they will turn out. They could be used for bread boards, but I’m using most of mine to use in my laser. I have a recipe in my great-grandmother’s handwriting for her Chicken N Dumplings, I’ll engrave that on the board and use as a decor piece in my kitchen. Thank you so much for all the inspiration.
Im visiting from Finding Home and wow, I love this bread board! I want to try this myself. Yours looks lovely in your beautiful kitchen. Great job!
Love this idea! The wood really warms up the area over your stove.
Love it. I will definitely look at the extra wood slabs around the town differently.
I am in LoVe with chalkboard style mat in front of your stove…where did you get it?
Hi Robin – The mat is from the Ballard Designs catalog. It is called the French Bistro Comfort Mat
Love your design. I find old boards and like all the styles. Love your posts.Thanks
AMAZING !!! I love the idea of having the design on both ends! Just beautiful!
What a great idea Diane! Love it!
I love your French kitchen mat. May I ask where you got it. Lovely and what fun.
Hi Linda – The kitchen mat is from the Ballard Design catalog. It is called a French Bistro Comfort Mat. They have two different shapes.
How pretty! Nice job repurposing. Showed this to DH (darling husband!),as a hint!! Since he’s my carpenter, he did make a cautionary statement about “stripping” the wood. If the stripper is powerful enough to dissolve paint, even after neutralizing, sanding and oiling the surface, those chemicals are still there. Once you cut something on it, the surface is compromised. If it were me, decoration only. Could I borrow some of your talent?!!
Your creative mind astounds me! I never would have thought of this!
What a gorgeous board. I am so impressed (yes again). I don’t have the tools, but if I ever get a jigsaw, I will surely try to copy this one. Your mind just amazes me.
Hi Diane ~
I love the look of this cutting board ~ having two handles is so helpful when carrying from one place to another.
Thank you for the template that is so helpful, because I am not so good with art.
Have a wonderful day.
Hi! I found this recipe on a blog and I wish I could give credit but I don’t remember where :-(. Instead of using mineral oil which is a petroleum based product, make “Spoon Butter”. Use to moisturize wood utensils and cutting boards. Melt 1 pt beeswax to 3 pt coconut oil in a mason jar. Stir to emulsify. When slightly cool, add a few drops of lemon essential oil. Lemon oil is antiseptic, antifungal & antibacterial. This stuff is WONDERFUL!!! Meanwhile, I love your creative use of scrap wood. What a great and beautiful idea!!!
Hi Tess – Thanks for the recipe for spoon butter. I love using essential oils, this sounds like a perfect way to use Lemon EO…it is my favorite.
Please make sure the old furniture wasn’t made from treated wood.
Not all woods are food safe.
Hi Mary – I did check this and will add it to the post. The wood only had the paint and stain on it that I throughly removed by stripping and then sanding very well to reveal the bare wood. It was not treated beyond that, like some woods, especially for construction are.
I was worried about that too. I give the Citri-strip the side-eye for food prep… It’s a very pretty decorative piece but I’m not sure I would actually use it for food.
BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!………..I want to make one now!, hey I love your stove does your microwave vent outside or inside, I have a gas stove with over the range microwave that vents inside the house “just dumb”, we have high ceiling and lots of windows but Iv been sick for a year now and wondering if it could be low levels of carbon monoxide since my stove is not working right anyway……..so Im shopping for an electrical stove, how do you love or not yours?.
Hi Ivy – We have had the venting to the inside microwave for over 20 years. Our home was already built when we moved in and it would have been too costly to change where the stove was located so it could be vented to the outside. It has never made anyone in my family sick, but we never use the vent since it has no effect on removing cooking smells, plus it makes way too much noise. If I am cooking something that needs venting, I open the window above the kitchen sink. I have been doing this for so long, that I can’t even remember what it is like to have an actual vent remove the cooking smells from the kitchen. :-)
This makes me want to go buy more tools! I think I really need a jigsaw. Lovely, just lovely!
Thanks Christy – A jigsaw is my favorite power tool and not scary at all like using a big daddy saw. I call it my dainty saw.
What a great design and you did achieve old patina, it looks like it has been used for years – good job
Thanks Heather – When I saw the cracks on the one end of the board, I almost dismissed my idea of using it to create the bread board. I am happy that I didn’t make a rushed decision since the cracks helped me achieve the look I was after.
This is such a great idea. Love how it turned out
Good morning Julia Thanks. I hope you had a nice Easter. It felt so nice to be able to get out in the sunshine. Looking forward to seeing more of that today.