Watco Dark Walnut Danish Oil

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Forum topic by NateX posted 11-07-2011 08:29 PM 12858 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NateX's profile


98 posts in 3168 days

11-07-2011 08:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing danish oil watco

I just put a second heavy soaked in coat of Watco Dark Walnut Danish Oil Finish on an oak end table. I had read Bob Flexner’s book on finishing and was trying to duplicate a dark mission style finish without the risk of fumigating myself or my family.

The goal was to show off the ray flecks in the oak and have a nice dark finish, well the flecks look good but the color is not very dark walnut at all. A second application did little to appreciably darken the color.

I know that the pigment in the oil is asphaltum. I sanded the whole project to 220, could that have been too smooth to take in much finish? Is there a way to make it much darker now? Its significantly lighter than any color swatches I have seen online or at the store for the finish.

I was planning on using Formby’s Tung Oil Finish as a top coat after the recommended 72 hour cure.

Any ideas on what to do to get a darker, richer, intense, more satisfying color?

8 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16278 posts in 4390 days

#1 posted 11-07-2011 08:51 PM

Yeah, this is one of those times when hindsight is 20/20, but it’s always good to do a test piece first.

I think you could apply a dark oil-based stain over what you’ve already done, but I would definitely test it out on scrap to see what the result will look like.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5101 posts in 4132 days

#2 posted 11-07-2011 08:56 PM

220 is probably too fine and the surface is burnished enough to prevent stain absorption. If ya don’t wanna resand, try an alcohol-based dye stain or a toner added to the final finish. The toner will be in the top coats rather than in the wood. I use a product called Trans Tint. A little goes a long way so “sneak up” on the final color on a test piece of wood sanded to 220.


View NaFianna's profile


524 posts in 3198 days

#3 posted 11-07-2011 10:06 PM

I know its not what you wanted but I really like the look of it as it is.

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2865 days

#4 posted 11-07-2011 10:16 PM

I ran into the same problem with the Med Walnut here . Something about oak just doesn’t take that too well..

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View NateX's profile


98 posts in 3168 days

#5 posted 11-08-2011 12:56 AM

I might just seal it and call it good at this point. I am going to set up and cure a test piece and try some oil based Minwax walnut stain just to see. I do like it but I had an image in my head of what I wanted it to look like, its hard to just stop short of that goal.

The top came out really nicely, I really like the definition of the curl in the grain. The way this looks in the sun might be enough to make me stop here.

Its just some quartersawn red oak that happened to have some really nice curly figure in it. I lucked out and was able to match the figure really nicely across the board.

View NateX's profile


98 posts in 3168 days

#6 posted 11-08-2011 07:40 PM

Woke up this morning and found that finish had wept out of the pores all over the project. Luckily this stuff cures so slowly that I was able to rub it off with a soft cloth. This danish oil stuff is for the birds.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16278 posts in 4390 days

#7 posted 11-08-2011 08:49 PM

Danish oil is generally pretty foolproof. It sounds like you may have put it on too heavily in an attempt to get the darkness you were looking for. The proper way to apply is to wipe it on generously, apply a second coat after 30 minutes, then after about 15 minutes more completely wipe the surface dry.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10977 posts in 3600 days

#8 posted 11-08-2011 09:20 PM

Applying it as Charlie noted has always resulted in a nice finish for me on both red and white oak. But, as you determined, it doesn’t get it terribly dark.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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