How to Refinish Wood Salad Bowls

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Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Coarse sponge
  • Rags
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Drop cloth
  • Food-grade wood sealer
  • 2- to 3-inch paintbrush

Improve the appearance of your wood salad bowl and protect it from warping and wear by finishing it with the appropriate wood sealer. Before you rush into this kind of do-it-yourself project, consider one fundamental point: Because salad bowls hold edibles, they demand a special kind of finish, specifically engineered for wood surfaces exposed to food. Prepare the bowl to accept its new finish, or absorption difficulties may occur. Employ the correct prep strategy, or you may damage the wood.

Use a sponge to wash the wood salad bowl with dish soap. Rinse the bowl with wet rags. Allow the wood to dry for 24 hours.

Sand the salad bowl until it appears dull and feels smooth.

Eliminate sawdust from the salad bowl by wiping it with tack cloths.

Place the item on a drop cloth.

Use a 2- to 3-inch paintbrush to coat the salad bowl with a food-grade wood sealer. Brush on a light coat. Be sure to smooth runs as they appear. Wait at least six hours before using the salad bowl.


  • Sand along with the salad bowl wood grain, or splintering will result.

    Do not finish a wood salad bowl with oil-based varnish or wood sealers.