Shellac over Watco Danish Oil

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Forum topic by Dchip posted 10-13-2009 04:58 PM 10411 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3219 days

10-13-2009 04:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question walnut finishing

The topic of walnut and danish oil and such has been touched on a bunch in these forums, so I apologize ahead of time for any repetition. However, I was unable to find an answer to my specific questions, so here they are:

1) Will one coat of Danish Oil on Walnut sanded to 220-girt penetrate the surface to the point that superficial scratches will not be obvious (this is for a child’s chair)?
2) Will a shellac finish over the Danish Oil cause any problems, such as bleeding from the alcohol solvent in the shellac, and will pushing the 72-hour minimum by a couple of hours (say 5 or 6) run this risk of ruining the finish (I turned my shop into a wind tunnel to try and speed the process/ humidity in the area should be around 40-50% for the next couple days)?

I’m a bit under the gun, as the chair is for my first nephew who I will be flying to see on Friday morning. I applied the Danish Oil Monday night, and would like to do a couple coats of shellac Thurs. afternoon/evening. I will be packaging the chair to be checked luggage (any thoughts on this as well?) on Friday. Any and all comments are appreciated.


-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

6 replies so far

View gerrym526's profile


274 posts in 3775 days

#1 posted 10-13-2009 08:57 PM


Reference this link

and read what he has to say about Danish Oil Finish.

Based on the ingredients of Danish Oil-i.e. it’s a penetrating oil/varnish mixture, shellac would have no effect on it, once it’s cured.
However, I wouldn’t recommend shellac as the final coat. In the link, a hard finish like interior varnish is recommended as the final finish.
Hope this helps.

-- Gerry

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3219 days

#2 posted 10-13-2009 09:20 PM

Thanks for the link, there is some good info there.

My thoughts on the shellac, though, were twofold. It would dry faster than poly, my only other choice right now, and it’s 100% child-friendly, even if he peeled off chips and ate them. I was not planning on building too much of a finish, would the shellac really be a much softer finish than the poly?

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3544 days

#3 posted 10-13-2009 09:30 PM

As long as the watco is dry your fine. Shellac is less durable than some finishes but once dry it’s a child safe finish that will easily touch up with another coat. I’ve heard that the reason M & Ms don’t melt in you hand is that they are coated with shellac.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View LesB's profile


1684 posts in 3410 days

#4 posted 10-14-2009 01:08 AM

One other idea is to put a Carnuba paste wax finish over your Danish oil finish. It is fast and non toxic. I have used that with good success and it leaves a nice wood feel. It can also be touched up occasionally if necessary. I usually rub it on with a white 3M pad to work it in. Then buff it to a soft shine. If you don’t have the white 3M pad one of the other less abrasive pads will do. The white 3M pad has no abrasive embedded in it.

-- Les B, Oregon

View KB1's profile


28 posts in 3120 days

#5 posted 10-15-2009 07:40 AM

Dude ! you are overthinking this. Shlak it and pack it. How many kids chew on chairs. You are the only one worried about miniscule scratches. This is the gift of love. Just rag on some shlak a couple times and go. KB1

-- KB1KnoB

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3219 days

#6 posted 10-15-2009 03:08 PM

“Shlak it and pack it” – well put KB1, this is indeed what needs to be done

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

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