Kitchen furniture pieces

A little update on our cabinets and island piece. Past weekend, we had some help from our friend Zach (thank you!) which was essential to putting together our Ikea pantry unit, since Sergey’s only got one useful hand as of two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, I played around with various finishes for our kitchen island counter top. I don’t think that we will be using it as a butcher block. I prefer using cutting boards for ease of clean up, and plus the joists are probably pine, which is a soft wood that wouldn’t take that well to constant cutting and chopping. Basically, I am not necessarily concerned about food grade safety when it comes to counters. So I am considering stains (which would be sealed with poly or waterlox), as well as, oil.

For both finishes I sanded my sample boards with 60, 80, 120 and 220 grit disks. And for the stains, I also used the pre-stain wood conditioner to bring out the grain.

I used all minwax stains – dark walnut, brazilian rosewood, and jacobian. I was pretty surprised that clear mineral oil brought out so much color is the board. See above how much lighter the wood is sanded and below for oiled (top) and three stain samples (bottom)

I am torn here. I really like the color of the oiled board. But I also like how visible the grains are on the three stain samples. Sergey and I both really like jacobian (the one on the right).

Any inputs here would be much appreciated!