How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board

26 July

Our kitchen in our new fixer-upper house has a pull-out cutting board. I haven't had one of those in my house for a long time, I don't think they are very common anymore but almost every old house I've owned had one.


Fun fact, they were not originally intended to be cutting boards, did you know?


They were really breadboards, an extension of the counter that was used for making and slicing bread! As people stopped making their own bread, the use of these built-in boards evolved and people started using them as regular cutting boards.


But frequent use and abuse can be damaging to them, as was the case with ours. In fact, ours was downright GROSS!


At first, I thought we'd just completely replace it but they are not something you can just go buy, and trying to cut one ourselves seemed like too much... the wood is thinner than common lumberyard boards, it has to be hardwood so knives won't rip it up, and it has a recessed area on the bottom where your fingers can rest to pull it out and I wasn't sure how to recreate that easily.


So instead, I decided to try to restore it!


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board


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Honestly, I wasn't sure I could do this either, it was in horrible shape... 


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board


It was sticky and almost black in some areas ๐Ÿ˜จ


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board


And this is the part they were using!! I mean... what the hell?! Aren't you afraid of splinters in your food?? ICK!


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board

But what's the worst that could happen right? It's already almost garbage in its current condition and I barely wanted to touch it let alone put any food on it!


I used common, old-school household cleaners: bleach, Dawn dish soap, and Comet. NOTE: Do NOT mix these cleaning agents together... ever... they can create a very toxic mix. In fact, here are 5 Cleaning Products That Should Not Be Mixed With Bleach.


First, I wanted to clean it. I made a bath of water and bleach in the sink and soaked it in there for probably about 30 minutes.


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board

It looks a lot better in that picture but that's actually the bottom of the cutting board, I put it face down in the bleach water to soak.


Next, I rinsed it off, drained the water, and started with fresh water and good old-fashioned blue Dawn dish soap. I mean, if it can clean oil from an oil spill off little baby duckies, I figure it can clean this sticky mess off my cutting board! ๐Ÿ˜


I scrubbed vigorously with the scratchy side of a Scotch-Brite kitchen sponge. Look at the water!!


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board


Then I drained that water and ran a sink full of fresh water again and this time I used Comet and same as before, scrubbed vigorously. Again with the dirty water!


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board

When I didn't feel like I could get the board any cleaner, I let it dry for about a week. If you can dry it in the sunshine that would be even better (and faster) because mother nature has her own bleaching and stain-removing power! When I did this it was winter and only about 20 degrees outside so I wasn't able to do that.


Once it was completely dry, I was ready for the next step... sanding. Don't think that you can skip the whole cleaning part and just sand the grime off. It won't work, you'll just end up with a nasty, gummed-up mess on both the board and your sandpaper.


Since my cutting board had that whole splintery, gouged-up area, I needed to flip it over so we could have the nice side facing up which meant I also needed to flip the finger pull piece.


This was a separate piece on mine so I placed it in my vice and gently pushed and pulled the board back and forth until I could pull it off.


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board


All that soaking and cleaning probably helped disintegrate any old glue that may have been used so it was just a couple of long finishing nails holding it in place.


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board

Then I sanded both sides and the finger pull piece with my palm sander starting with 80-grit sandpaper and finishing with 120-grit sandpaper. Then flipped the board so the better side was up and reattached the finger pull piece with wood glue and nails, clamping it to dry.


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board

The last and oh-so-satisfying step is to recondition the board with cutting board oil. Use a clean, dry cloth to apply a generous coat of oil to the board and let it soak in for about 5 minutes, then wipe it off.


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board

Look at that! ๐Ÿ˜ It's as good as new!


We use regular countertop cutting boards so this one is going to live out the rest of its life as a breadboard again ๐Ÿ˜Š


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board

How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board

How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board


So now that it's been restored and flipped over, here's a picture of what the bad side looks like now because I know you're wondering! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It's SO much better than it was too!


How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board


Do you still have one of these pull-out cutting boards in your kitchen?


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How to Restore a Pull-Out Kitchen Cutting Board



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  1. Hi Tania! What a great job you did on this cutting board. It looks fabulous now! Hope things are going well for you. Take care!! Anne from DesignDreams by Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well hello! I am doing well, hope you are as well!

      Delete
  2. The restored board looks awesome! What a lot of work! I think i might have disposed of it and blocked the slot where it went. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We need all the extra counter space we can get in this tiny kitchen!

      Delete
  3. I love those old cutting boards and wish I had one now. Why did they stop putting them in homes; they were useful for so many things. Gold Stars for you on a good job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I love them too! My favorite one I ever had was in a tiny 728 sq. ft. home I had and that pull-out cutting board spanned the entire width of the counter it was built underneath... so it was about 3 feet wide, it was so awesome! I think people have gone to portable cutting boards much more so cabinet manufacturer's don't see a need maybe.

      Delete
  4. We had one of these growing up and we used it as a cutting board. I remember it being quite gross too. LOL Knowing me, I would've taken the sander to the cutting board first and then sworn my head off about how gummed up it was getting. Your vintage cutting board looks fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well... ask me how I know about the sandpaper and board getting gummed up, LOL!!

      Delete

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