How to Finish Wood Utensils

Wooden utensils are attractive elements that can add an earthy, natural look to your dining room table.

Wooden utensils are beautiful and durable if sealed properly and regularly.Wooden utensils are beautiful and durable if sealed properly and regularly.
However, unlike plastic, metal or ceramic utensils, wooden ware often requires a protective finish to prevent it from splintering, cracking or warping with repeated use. Protective finishes also help to repel moisture and prevent acid damage and permanent stains from marring the wood. Coating products, however, often leave a film that sheds or cracks with time, so non-drying edible oils --- ones that penetrate the wood --- are generally a durable and safe option.

Wash your wooden utensils and let them dry thoroughly overnight.

Lightly sand your utensils with fine grit sandpaper if you notice a fuzzy texture on them. Wipe each one off with a clean cloth.

Use non-drying oil such as walnut or olive oil. You can find both types of oil at your local grocery or health food shop. Walnut oil does not have a noticeable odor so it is a suitable option. Neither walnut nor olive oil is prone to rancidity, but vegetable oils do have that tendency.

Dip a clean cloth into the oil of your choice and rub it into the wood in an even, circular motion. When you coat both sides of a spoon, for example, put it down onto a dry, clean surface and let it dry.

Continue to rub oil into each utensil, back and front, and let each one dry.

Reapply oil to each utensil at least twice to ensure thorough and even coverage.

Repeat this process in the future when you notice dullness or a difference in texture on the utensils.

Things You Will Need

  • Walnut or olive oil
  • Clean rags
  • Fine grit sandpaper (optional)


  • Wash wooden utensils by hand to extend their lifespan. Dishwashers can damage wooden utensils.
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  • Do not use a finishing seal that is non-edible as it may contain harmful chemicals that can leach into your food.

About the Author

Based in Olympia, Wash., Linda Mitchell has been writing education-related articles since 2001. She began as a journalist - covering education, business and entertainment sectors - at the "Drayton Valley Western Review" and the "Lloydminster Meridian Booster." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and psychology from Concordia University of Alberta.