One of my most asked questions is simple… can I actually USE an epoxy cutting board?! Isn’t resin toxic? (yes!) Does that mean I can’t use my cutting board for cutting… just a cheese board? (no!) Maybe I can’t use my new cutting board for food at all… is it just a pretty decoration? (you can totally use it for food!) What’s food safe resin?
So here it is… everything you wanted to know about food safe resin and if you can actually use your brand new resin cutting board.
The short answer… yes you can use your new cutting board. As a cutting board, as a cheese board or as decoration… BUT that all depends on how it was made and what it was made with. Let’s take a closer look!
What is Food Safe Epoxy?
Not all epoxy’s are created equal… if you’re wanting to use your new resin piece for food you’ll need to use food safe resin. BUT there are a few rules here.
First of all not all resin’s are food safe… if you’re looking to make pieces that you’ll use with food (like the resin salad plates I made up above) make sure you’re using a resin that is graded for food. My favorite is Total Boat’s MakerPoxy. No this isn’t sponsored… I just think they’re kind of cool.
Food safe epoxy has been graded as food safe as it is. Which means the exact chemical mix up that comes out of the bottle and is prepared according to the instructions… unfortunately adding colorants or pigments of any kind changes that chemical mixture.
Which means even food safe epoxy that has been colored is no longer food safe. If you use mica powders, acrylic paints or alcohol inks (check out my full favorite 12 pigments that are compatible with resin here) to color your resin it is no longer food safe… even if the bottle says it is.
Clear resin is food safe. Colored resin is not!
Luckily there is an easy fix.
How to Make Colored Epoxy Food Safe
I know… it’s not rocket science but it’s not jump-out-at-you-obvious either. A clear topcoat will seal in all the un-safe resin with a fresh new coat of food safe resin.
If you’ve never added a topcoat before it’s super easy (you can follow my tutorial for adding a topcoat of resin here) and has the added bonus of making your pieces suppppper shiny.
Which is always a bonus!
BUT Can you Cut Food on Epoxy Resin?
The short answer? Sure!
BUT as strong as epoxy is it’s the same as with the wood of your cutting board… if you cut on it there will be cut marks. You’ll start to find little marks or slices through your resin.
This isn’t an issue as long as you’re not making extra deep cuts (food safe resin is only graded for normal cutting not machete level hacking) but it’s not always desirable. So if you don’t care then go for it! Mark it up… slice it! Use it until it’s gone and then make a new one.
BUT if you don’t want little slice marks all over your cutting board you have 2 options.
Don’t use it for cutting. Keep it purely decorative. I like to place mine on my counter with a few other cutting boards for a little functional display. Plus being on the counter means they’re with arms reach when I actually need to use one. PLUS if you display a pretty one with a functional one you’ll still have one to grab when you need it. Score!
My compromise is to only pour resin on the top portion of my cutting board. I cover the handle and the top third of the board with pretty pretty resin… leaving the bottom 2/3 of the board open for actual cutting. This works well to keep the cut marks out of your resin but leave you with a functional piece.
And I’m all for function.
I hope this helps! Resin is so much fun to work with and there are a million different ways to use it. I would hate to limit my tablescaping to no resin pieces all together!
Which took a minute since I had to make my own silicone mold of the salad plates in order to pour consistent plates for a set of 4.
Either way I hope that answers your question and I can’t wait to see what you make next!
I’m off to work on my next resin masterpiece!