Finishing Birch Butcher Block

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Forum topic by RN254 posted 07-12-2018 09:29 PM 2332 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 725 days

07-12-2018 09:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question birch

I have 8’ of birch to be used for top of a desk like the images I’m sharing. I’m curious how to achieve similar color without leading to excessive blotchiness. I can’t afford better wood types like oak.

Of course it comes from pinterest.. where every DIY project comes out amazing. Instructions read:Dark walnut on ikea birch butcher block and sealed with tung oil.

I don’t mind this color either:

Either or I’m not getting clear instructions on how to. I figure to sand it well and then proceed with staining. But that’s where I don’t know what to do.

Edit: I dont have anything, not even sample wood pieces. I have to make a trip to Lowes/Menards to buy all my supplies for this project. I’d rather know what all I need now then make 100 trips. This is my reprieve for the weekends I’ve had to do something or go somewhere with the wife. Last weekend was their family reunion.. ugh. This is me time at its best. I want to make the best of it doing something I want.

4 replies so far

View LesB's profile


2553 posts in 4215 days

#1 posted 07-12-2018 09:39 PM

Your easiest best option would be Walnut colored Danish oil. It comes in two shades, medium and dark, but on birch I don’t think you will notice much difference if you follow the instructions. It will probably take two or three coats but if you get the color you want after the first coat then switch to the “neutral” color Danish oil for the successive coats. Allow it to cure between coats. When it is fully cured (Danish oil cures in the presence of oxygen it doesn’t “dry”) apply a top coat of paste wax with a white 3M bad and buff for a nice polish.

-- Les B, Oregon

View OSU55's profile


2646 posts in 2761 days

#2 posted 07-13-2018 12:25 PM

The colored danish oil will blotch the same as a stain. Write up on blotch control here. I am not a big fan of danish oil. While there is some urethane in it, it doesnt get very hard. I prefer Minwax poly thinned 1:1 with mineral spirits. The liquid portion of otc stain is dye and can be mixed into the poly for color (I use dyes but you cant get just dye at the bbs). I dont like to use pigmented stain. For the 1st 2 coats follow the directions for the danish oil, then follow directions for poly wipe on to get the film build desired, or the poly can be brushed. Advantage over danish oil is a harder, tougher coating and a thicker film build if desired. Also you control the color.

View enazle's profile


66 posts in 780 days

#3 posted 07-17-2018 10:00 PM

I do not suggest any type oil finish for a desk surface your going to place drinks on. Maybe Penofin is water resistant? I haven’t looked lately but maybe Watco makes an outdoor finish now?

View RN254's profile


2 posts in 725 days

#4 posted 07-18-2018 02:27 AM

Well I’ve applied a gel stain to the back side of the piece. So, well see what happens..

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