Since it's a cutting board, I would just tell them that it will start looking distressed when they start using it. Beyond that you can hit it with a chain, a board with nails sticking through it for the wormhole look, etc. Just beat the snot out of it, then give it a coat of mineral spirits. Make sure whatever you do to inflict damage is random so it doesn't look like its distressed on purpose.
Since it's a cutting board, you really don't want a stain. At the very least, make sure whatever finish you apply is food safe. If it doesn't state that on the can, get something else.
"distressed" doesn't seem like a good description. I would ask for a picture. Otherwise maybe 60 grit sandpaper and a sledgehammer. Also the more dents you put in there, the more places for bacteria to grow... yum.. bacteria...
I don't do random real well but the couple times I did a distressed look it involved a rusty chain, some nails, and a blow torch. Beat the crap out of it, put nail holes, and a cool look was to heat a nail and make holes/burns....made it look like a really old hole.
I have done it before to a butcher block island, over sand it with a belt sander then a RO sander in the area where the cutting would be. Make a depression in that area and slightly toward the edge, just like it would look if it was used for 30 or 40 years of cutting in the same spot. Then use mineral oil or butcher block oil and just pour it on and let it soak in.
They must not cook because anyone whose going to do a lot of cooking would probably want to start with a fresh one. But definitely hit it with a torch! Just don't beat it up so bad that you break your glueup!
Unless this guy was sleeping on stacks of illegal cash, I can't imagine he was going to throw down a big chunk on a cutting board, so no huge loss. But people do spend big money on some pretty incredible things these days! As crappy as the economy has seemed at times, we should all feel lucky to enjoy all these simple luxuries like pissing into 1.6 gal of drinkable water and flushing!
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