Subscribe here. If you’d like information on other top-coats and sealers, click here. Possibly two coats. I would use General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish. The finish may be maintained by re-applying tung oil as needed. It dries to an amber color with a gloss finish. Wood stain is not typically food safe. There are some finishes that most experts agree as to the safety of use with food preparation. Dry shellac is so safe , it is certified by the Food and Drug Administration as a protective glaze for candy and pharmaceuticals. So it only makes sense to use food safe finishes when we’re working on wood projects that will come in contact with our mouths, our food, or our children in any way. No matter what the finish is named, it may or may not be “pure”. So we covered the 9 best food safe wood finishes, the difference in surface sealers and penetraing oils, the difference in drying oils and non drying oils, how to apply, how to safely discard, and why regular wood finishes may be considered safe for food grade projects. He had left his staining rags wadded up, sitting on a vacuum cleaner, during the construction of the house (he was the builder). See full review. The products I’ve listed below are recommended by woodworkers, finishing experts and manufactures and chemists. Multiple thin coats of shellac … This is plant-based, and is considered safe for consumption because it is inert, non-toxic, and cannot be digested by humans. Also feel free to leave questions or comments below! But regardless, I’m going to give you all the details. Zinsser ® Bulls Eye ® Shellac is an alcohol-based solution of lac, a natural resin imported mainly from India and available in clear and amber tones. About The Author Adam has been woodworking for the last 10 years. With the date stamp, and the fact that the company-issued literature states its shellac was good for three years after the stamped date, you had a good idea as to when the shellac would reach it’s end. Most often these are done in a foreign country with no safety paint standards. Linseed oil is obtained from the dried, ripened seed of the flax plant. Zinsser® Bulls Eye® Shellac is an alcohol-based solution of lac, a natural resin imported mainly from India and available in clear and amber tones. Beautifies wood with a lustrous glow that will not darken with age Dries lightning fast and can be coated in under 45 minutes. – The Why And The How To Apply A Wax Finish, How To Stain Wood – Easy Process That Works Great. Various shop jigs, table saw sleds, and tricks of the trade have served him well. guidebook by kali brooke. This happens when the finish is exposed to oxygen, which is why a closed container of oil on your shelf does not easily polymerize. During my time as a paint department manager, I had many customers ask me what type of food safe wood stain and sealer would best for things like butcher blocks, cutting boards, salad bowls, wooden utensils etc. But that doesn’t mean they don’t meet the standards. A drying oil goes through a process where it cures and turns solid (though not as “solid” as a surface sealer). For me, I prefer a surface sealer for most projects that will get more physical abuse, wear and tear, cleaning agents, or moisture. It’s important to note that these finishes are typically provide only a minimal amount of protection. Shellac is a film-forming finish, and provides good protection from moisture. Use a two or three-pound cut of shellac and apply generously with long, smooth strokes. Walnut oil will provide a non-toxic finish that repels water and alcohol. There are a lot of recipes you can find online, but I’d recommend using coffee. Pure raw linseed oil is NOT the same as boiled linseed oil. Do I just wait for the stain to be dry to move on to the next step of oil or wax? Pour some oil on to the rag, or directly on the wood surface. Too much risk involved as to the paint and nothing will make it really 'safe'. The point is that these additives are used to help with application and curing. Note: Wood stain has the same combustable properties as the drying oils have, so treat your staining rags the same way. Ha! The penetrating oils soak down into the wood and stay inside. That means most finishes cannot be “properly” claimed as FDA Approved as a food safe wood finish. These are the 2 categories of penetrating oils, so let me break it down a little further so you can understand the difference. I first tried shellac because I was looking for a food safe coating for a baby toy I was making for my Great Granddaughter. https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Dye-Wood-Using-Natural-Ingredients-in-5-Ste/, I would like a food safe sealer for painted wood ie: painted salad bowls and cheese boards. It will dry to a slight golden, satin tint. Onsite Associates Program . Using tung oil will provide a protective waterproof finish and it doesn’t mold, darken, and it dries faster than other oils. This sweet-smelling finish is non-toxic and resists water and alcohol. It starts immediately after the shellac is dissolved. I would actually recommend using food-safe wood glue. And as you probably expect, it’s more protective than penetrating finishes, but it can be trickier to apply. Plus it's compatible with all clear finishes. The main difference between penetrating oil finishes, and surface sealer finishes, is probably pretty obvious, but I’ll explain anyway. Bulls Eye Shellac is pre-mixed in a 3 lb. It must be re-applied as often as monthly, and will become brittle and crack if not maintained, so be sure to keep a bottle on hand. Wont be putting food directly on it. I don’t have a post or recipe on natural wood dyes yet, but here’s a link to a recipe that I’ve used before. It gives depth and beauty to wood grain, and won't raise or swell the wood grain. Lead is no longer used in modern wood finishes, and mercury never was. The other guideline the FDA uses is that it must not leach more than a certain amount of its ingredients within a very specific set of parameters. So yes, this is a very real threat, but don’t let that scare you. The coating can be applied with a brush, roller or a sprayer. This finish beautifies wood with a lustrous glow that won’t darken or yellow with age. Mostly, I’m referring to what many people consider “Non Food Safe” finishes, specifically things like Boiled Linseed Oil, Danish Oil, Varnish, Polyurethane, Lacquer, and even paint. This is one of the few popular “Drying Oils” (I’ll explain what that means below). Walnut oil can be applied a brush, cloth, or steel wool. Easy to use - Shellac is user-friendly and virtually goof- proof. Oil finishes (the drying kind) go through a process as they cure, called polymerization. Shellac is made by the lac insect. This is a great article. Well, it first comes down to one main decision, and possibly one followup decision: Do you want a penetrating oil, or a surface sealer? That’s great news right? I definitely would NOT use a stain on the beech butcher block. Super-fast dry time - Shellac dries to the touch in This creates a slurry that fills tiny pores and leaves a glass-smooth finish. A while back, Zinsser switched from using a date stamp on can lids to a lot number. Non-toxic/hypoallergenic - The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has certified food grade shellac as an edible protective glaze for candy and pharmaceuticals. There is a process used to refine it, but once complete, it’s safe for consumption. Use 1 part beeswax to 2 parts mineral oil. This is a non-toxic, non-drying oil that is commonly used on butcher block tables and cutting boards. Even many of the commercially concocted finishes that are labeled a “Food Safe Wood Finish” still have dryers or solvents. To leave an even smoother finish, sand with 400 or 600 grit wet/dry sand paper after the first coat, before it dries. This is a very general guideline to applying an oil finish, but always read the instructions that comes with your finish and make sure you include any additional suggested steps, or coat quantity limitations. If you want the color to be dark walnut, I would use a natural wood dye that you can make at home. Clear shellac dries transparent with a faint, golden cast that is much lighter than oil-based varnishes, while amber shellac has a warm, orange cast that gives a rich, antique look to woodwork. zinsser bulls eye shellac, non-toxic and food-safe. Or do I need to wait for the stain to cure fully? Be sure to sign up below for all kinds of woodworking tips and projects sent straight to your inbox! I’m hesitant to recommend anything else because I don’t know how it would react with the oil based stain you used. This happens typically when you wad up the rag and toss it in a box or the trash can. “But first, if you liked this article, please share on facebook or save on pinterest.”. It is also water repellent. Mineral OilCoconut OilPeanut OilOlive OilRapeseed Oil. form of shellac used by woodworkers as a finish is formed by dissolving flakes of shellac in an alcohol solvent Lightly wipe it down again to remove sanding slurry build-up with the same rag that already has some oil in it (not enough to pool up on the top), then let it dry before applying the next coat. This heat can build up and increase to the point of spontaneous combustion, catching the rag on fire (and may even include a small explosion effect). Also, as with any wood finish, follow instructions on the container, and dispose of your rags properly. Because it doesn’t actually cure, it can be washed off over time, and will be transfered on to anything that comes in contact with it. My question is my cutting board (jhon boos) have some crack how and what kind of wood filler that is safe that i can use? They provide less protection, but they are easier to apply, and leave a more natural looking finish. It will be dry to the touch in 12 hours, but should not be re-coated for at least 24 hours. This is the only sanding sealer you will ever need! All natural and non-toxic when dry. Some fine woodworkers counter this by first applying a coat of de-waxed shellac to bring out the warmth of the wood and seal it, followed by a few coats of polyurethane. I use boiled linseed oil and various stains all the time, and both of these can combust like that. If so, I figure that maybe the finish needs to be something that is practically edible. You can apply to raw wood, or you can apply it over an existing finish. That’s a really great topic applicable in so many areas. Well, the main things would be mercury and lead. All-natural and non-toxic, this shellac is safe for use with children's toys. For a list of specific food safe finishes that I recommend, please take a look at this page. Howard’s butcher block oil and conditioner are environmentally biodegradable  organic waxes. After I stain, can any of the methods you mentioned be used over the stain? We still need to be careful, and use common sense. This is a surface sealing, natural finish that comes from the Lac bug. I want to stain a kitchen island top that I’ll be using to prep food. B-I-N ® Advanced Synthetic Shellac Primer is a synthetic shellac-based primer sealer that provides excellent stain blocking for whole-surface interior priming and exterior spot priming. So be sure to read all labels! Avoid on surfaces that will get hot, as the wax can melt off. Pure beeswax can be used for so many different purposes because it’s natural and cost efficient! Rule of thumb is any wood finish needs a good 30 days to fully cure…. There’s a lot of pockets of space in a wadded up rag that can hold heat. Then- blow off the surface of all dust and use Zinsser Clear Shellac (again, I like the aerosol cans- but you have to use it outside) and applit in a thorough coat over the whole piece. With that said, let’s jump right in, shall we? Of course, denatured alcohol is the solvent for shellac, which if … Since shellac dries quickly, be careful to avoid drips or blotchy areas when applying because unlike other finishes, you will likely not have time to over-brush to eliminate the blemish. A byproduct of polymerization is heat. Zinsser Bullseye® SealCoat™ dries to the touch in 10 minutes and is ready to sand/recoat in 40 minutes! It’s important to use caution with tung oil because it is made from the tung tree which produces nuts. For more information see my disclosure page. The deterioration isn’t caused by exposure to oxygen. It’s caused by the chemical reaction between the acidic shellac and the alcohol. The top was previously been sealed w linseed oil and used in a kitchen. Caution: regular shellac contains a wax which makes it incompatible with urethanes. It will not give any aftertaste to food like some other finishes. You can read more about Adam here. I subscribed to your site today. You can use General Finishes ‘Wood Bowl Finish’ unless you’re going to be chopping and cutting on a consistent basis. Shellac is a film-forming finish, and provides good protection from moisture. I had no idea so many edible finishes existed and the point about rags used for oil is so important to consider. It's used in candy, pharmaceuticals, and is sprayed onto apples to … 49 ($0.18/Fl Oz) $28.99 $28.99. Zinsser® Bulls Eye® Shellac is an alcohol-based solution of lac, a natural resin imported mainly from India and available in clear and amber tones. good for sealing paint projects. With all the toxins that exist around us, in what seems like everything…. cut (i.e., approximately 3 lbs. But your application rags are a different story. Shellac is very inexpensive and can be a life saver depending on the piece you are working on. of shellac resin per gallon of alcohol). I hope this post has helped you decide which food safe wood stain and sealer would be best for your situation. I have found some incredibly interesting facts around the topic of food safe wood finishes. Thank you for a great article! You can bet it’s safe to consume, they coat candy with it after all. Here’s why I use this process. Is Zinsser shellac Food Safe? It’s commonly used to glaze fruit, as well as in the production of gel capsules and chewing gum. Some of these are pure tung oil, raw linseed oil, mineral oil, walnut oil, beeswax, carnauba wax, and certain shellac. Now, by “fully cured”, I don’t mean that the finish has become dry to the touch. Blocks all odors. It does however take a really long time to dry, as long as a few weeks, and even up to over a month. Now, this doesn’t mean that ALL finishes are food safe. Mineral oil is colorless, odorless and tasteless. A surface sealer, also known as a film finish, remains on the surface and leaves a layer that can be built up for added protection. If not, then I personally prefer polyurethane for it’s extreme protective qualities and low-maintenance. Guaranteed Food Safe Finishes. Brushing on shellac requires a fine, natural or china-bristle brush. However, walnut oil should be used with caution because it is made from a tree nut. As you can see, there are many food safe wood stain and sealer options. It actually hardens as it cures and has water-resistant properties. 4.8 out of 5 stars 1,611. For a non toxic wood finish with what I consider middle-of-the-road benefits (between ease, beauty, and protection), shellac is a great choice for fine furniture, many small crafts, and childrens toys. According to George Snyder, a Product Manager with Woodcraft, “all finishes made after 1972 are food-safe when cured properly. A non drying oil stays wet indefinitely. The fact is, there’s no evidence of these wood finishes, even the ones that initially have dryers or solvents in them, have actually caused any harm by coming in contact with food, or with a persons mouth. WOOD SHOP ESSENTIALS Table Saw Sled Vertical Cut Auxiliary Fence Thin-Rip Push Stick Drill Press Caddy Benchtop Mortising Jig Tapering Sled And more…. It really is that simple, and it’s almost impossible to mess up! A discharge from the lac bug (in Asia) is what shellac solids consist of, thus it is very natural. God has blessed him with a beautiful family, as well as a passion for teaching others about woodworking. Dewaxed Orange Shellac Flakes. Clear shellac dries transparent with a faint, golden cast that is much lighter than oil-based varnishes, while amber shellac has a warm, orange cast that gives a rich, antique look to woodwork. If you couple that with lack of fresh air flow, the heat coming off the rag can build up. Add that to the fact that some commercially available surface sealers and film finishes dry fast, last a long time, and provide the highest level of protection, and you’ll see why these choices are commonly used in ‘food grade’ applications. For best application results thin shellac before using. This is the same whether it’s a drying or a non-drying oil, and please don’t forget to discard your rags properly!!! You’ll have to frequently re-apply these products to keep your wood sealed and protected. In fact, this very thing happened to my dad when I was just a kid, and had he not heard that small explosion of the rag combusting, our house would have burned down. Just use extra fine-grit sandpaper to sand it down once the glue has dried (usually 24 hours) and then re-seal it with any of the options listed on this post. If you’re going for a ‘treatment’ type of oil on surfaces that need a food safe finish, you’ll want to stick with Mineral or Coconut oil, which I explained above. It’s a popular choice for maintaining and protecting wood surfaces that come in contact with food. My standards are based on this simple question: Will the finished product, once fully cured, be cut, hammered, or chewed on? There’s a simple process I use in my shop, ensuring that I never have to worry about burning my house down. Be sure to leave it exposed to oxygen after application. That’s why I think General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish is the safest option. I won’t use the surface directly to cut or place food (I always use boards or plates, etc) but food will inevitably touch the table top and I do want to protect it. I have a cutting board that I used my Minwax oil based stain on. It combines fast dry time, low odour, excellent hide and stain blocking for new construction, remodeling and fire … What if I want to stain a Beech butcher block a dark walnut, but also make it safe? 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