Which Finishes Are Food Safe?
Exploring the menu of finishes for woodwork in the kitchen
Synopsis: Experts disagree about the best food-safe finishes. Finishes can be divided into two categories: film-forming finishes and penetrating finishes. For a cutting or chopping surface, rule out the film finishes — polyurethane, lacquer, varnishes and epoxy aren’t impervious to knives. Among penetrating finishes, there are unmixed oils and mixed oils. Jonathan Binzen of Fine Woodworking discusses each category and recommends which are best for which projects. He wades into the plastic vs. wood cutting board fray and lists edible finishes. He also includes a recipe for a fragrant finish.
From Fine Woodworking #129
I was hoping to compile a list of foolproof products and strategies for food-safe finishing. But I soon discovered that it wasn’t going to be that easy. What I found, after scores of conversations with chemists and regulatory agencies, finish manufacturers, finishing experts and woodworkers, is that although there are a few finishes that everyone agrees are…