If your cutting board shows some rough bits or suddenly loses its smooth finish, the issue may be a process called “raising the grain.”
We ship our boards sanded smooth with fine-grain sandpaper and finished with linseed oil and our exclusive board balm.
But we don’t seal them with varnish, epoxy or other synthetic polymers. So it’s possible for humidity or moisture to enter and swell the outer layer of grain, sometimes after the board is first use. If that grain is oriented in a certain way, or if that grain varies in a curly or visually interesting part of the wood, then it can expand outward, causing a rough surface or even small prickles.
Not to fear—a quick rub with fine sandpaper (or with medium-fine and then fine sandpaper) will remove those bits of grain sticking out, and the process shouldn’t recur, at least not to the same degree.
After any sanding, it’s best to wipe or rinse the board to remove any grit, then refinish with board balm to help keep the moisture out. If the grain gets raised again, it’s usually less severe.
It’s hard for us to predict which boards might have the grain raised upon contact with water. Often it’s the prettiest boards with interesting or irregular grain patters. So we don’t think of it as a drawback but just a temporary characteristic of natural oil-finished and wax-finished wood.
If you feel your cutting board has a bigger problem, then feel free to contact us or return it using the link accessible via the “shipping & returns” tab at the top of the website.