I applied finish with a paper towel and now my surface looks hazy.

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Forum topic by leros posted 11-30-2015 10:54 AM 1426 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 932 days

11-30-2015 10:54 AM

I was out of wiping rags, so I applied danish oil using a paper towel (the blue shop towels). It mostly worked fine, but it left the surface looking hazy in places due to scratches from the paper towel.

What is the best strategy for fixing this? I’ve already applied 3 coats of danish oil and am planning follow up with a few coats of wipe on poly. I’m currently considering applying a 4th coat of danish oil and wet sanding with 600 grit and then buffing with 00 steel wool before applying the poly coats. Is there something better I could do?

8 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4998 posts in 2516 days

#1 posted 11-30-2015 12:06 PM

I think it’s possible you may have misdiagnosed the problem. I use those blue shop towels exclusively for wiping varnish as well as danish oil and have never seen scratches (or a hazy look) due to using them. How long did you wait between coats? Was the danish oil a home brew or a commercial version (and which one, some are just wiping varnish)? In any case, the finish will always take on the sheen of the last coat, so my suggestion would be to skip the 4th coat, let it cure at least a day or 2, then scuff for the varnish. I’d skip the steel wool as well.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2030 days

#2 posted 11-30-2015 12:35 PM

I concur with Fred. I use the blue rags with no issues as well.

And I believe the 00 steelwool would leave more scratches than 600 grit sandpaper. Maybe try to find some 0000 steelwool?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1599 days

#3 posted 11-30-2015 12:54 PM

I apply danish oil with a foam brush and wipe the excess away with blue shop towels, never had any problem. The only problem I have is seeing the result of bad sanding haha, but I’d use 0000 steel wool instead of 00.

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2537 days

#4 posted 11-30-2015 01:26 PM

I had a fellow come to me for some router work on a guitar he was building.
For some strange reason he decided to put on a Danish Oil finish before he brought it to me. Thanks!

But his finish was full of marks from putting it on. I asked him what he had done to this? He admitted he didn’t follow directions and put on the next coat when the first was still tacky, and dragged the previous coats around. In the end, his only recourse was to sand down the offending marks and rebuild the finish properly.

And I agree with Joe and Joe. I’d think in terms of at least 0000 wool, and 600 up to maybe even 1000 for a final sanding. If you must use steel wool, make sure that you dust the finish fully, as wool tends to leave very small steel particles in the finish.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View HokieKen's profile


5199 posts in 1161 days

#5 posted 11-30-2015 09:15 PM

I’m with them ^^ I use the shop towels to apply BLO and Danish oil more often than not and have never had an issue. I don’t think the towels are causing your problem.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bob101's profile


321 posts in 3473 days

#6 posted 12-01-2015 03:00 PM

I use shop and paper towels all the time to apply it , never had a problem. ? temperature, ?wood prep,

-- rob, ont,canada

View mahdee's profile


3888 posts in 1790 days

#7 posted 12-01-2015 05:16 PM

Perhaps you didn’t allow enough time in between the coats. With colder weather and higher humidity the varnishes take some time to fully cure.


View XquietflyX's profile


339 posts in 983 days

#8 posted 12-01-2015 05:23 PM

Perhaps you didn t allow enough time in between the coats. With colder weather and higher humidity the varnishes take some time to fully cure.

- mahdee

^ this. I say let the piece cure longer, then 0000 wool it down, then re-danish oil it. I find in colder weather danish oil takes a bit longer to cure.
Good Luck!!!

-- You can tell a lot about your wife by her hands, for example if they are around your throat she's prolly pissed off at you...

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