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.
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.