"Do you want to cut on your counter tops or not?"If your answer is "Yes!", all you really need to do is get yourself a bottle of mineral oil or tung oil , oil your counter tops and start cooking. You'll end up using lemon juice and salt to remove stains and sand and re-apply more oil on a regular basis. Sounds awful but it's really not that bad. A friend of mine showed me the butcher block next to her stove that she uses to cut and prep food on and she even uses bleach to wipe it down and it still looked lovely.
Waterlox". Waterlox is your basic tung oil with some resin added for extra "oomph" when it comes to locking out water and stains.
[In-Progress: First coat]
One deep breath - and since I went with the VOC compliant version, the smell wasn't too bad - and down went the first coat. Oh boy! It's NICE! Applying Waterlox is really simple. I used a foam brush because they are cheap and rather than dealing with cleaning paint brushes using the method described in the instructions I could just chuck them. Yes, I know, that's not very green of me, but it's probably as green as washing a paint brush in copious amounts of paint thinner having to wear and toss protective gloves.
[In-progress: Here you can see how the Waterlox brings out the woodtones - left/unfinished vs right/finished]
[After: First coat applied]
Applying the first coat went quick. The wood greedily soaked up the finish/sealer and we're well on our way to glossy rich butcher block counter tops. Each successive coat will help fill up all of those pores and create a satin gloss finish on the top that will keep the beauty of the rich golden oak counter tops preserved. I hope I'll be able to add the next coat tomorrow afternoon. I want to give the finish as much time to cure as possible before having to actually use the kitchen.