What to put over Watco Danish Oil to achieve a wet look?

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Forum topic by Ric2L posted 04-10-2012 08:52 PM 14805 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ric2L's profile


4 posts in 2437 days

04-10-2012 08:52 PM

Hi all, this is my first post on this forum, I hope this question hasn’t been asked too much, so here goes.

I just got done building a pair of speaker cabinets that have Sapele Pommele veneer on them. I started finishing them with Watco Danish Oil wet sanded with 320 to fill the grain, waited over night than applied a second coat of watco, which i will let dry till tomorrow, then #0000 steel wool and a couple more coats of watco & steel wool over the next several days. 3 or 4 coats al togeather. Now, when the watco is wet the grain really pops, however as the finish dries I loose the wow factor of the grain. So, what would you suggest to put over the watco to achieve a permanent wet look.

Here are a couple of pics with the second coat of watco applied.

14 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11063 posts in 3628 days

#1 posted 04-10-2012 09:09 PM

A couple coats of semi gloss finish would help. I haven’t used it, but I understand that water based is the clearest.

-- 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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5124 posts in 4159 days

#2 posted 04-10-2012 09:45 PM

What about some plain old shellac? Compatible w/ the oil, easily refreshed if needed, can be wiped on. No brainer.


View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2463 days

#3 posted 04-10-2012 09:46 PM

I put oil-based polyurethane over a walnut desk I refinished 2 years ago and it still looks perfect. I chose poly b/c I didn’t think lacquer would hold up to my daily desk abuse (mouse directly on top and sliding keyboards and camera equipment all over it).

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3847 days

#4 posted 04-10-2012 09:52 PM

As long as the Watco is cured (takes 30 days or so) you can use
most finishes over it. Watco is a wiping varnish actually, it just
builds a surface film really slowly. You can finish over it with
shellac easily enough. Give the shallac another 30 days to cure
and you can rub it out to look like lacquer with any gloss you

Poly finishes tend to be a bit cloudy. This is a nuanced thing to
be able to see but it’s a reason lacquer is used more in the
finest furniture.

View Gassit's profile


37 posts in 2436 days

#5 posted 04-10-2012 10:22 PM


Have you posted any details of your speaker build?

I’m going to have a go at building a set too. Any extra info would be a great help.


View Ric2L's profile


4 posts in 2437 days

#6 posted 04-10-2012 10:45 PM

Thanks for the reply’s guys, I definatly want the grain to pop like it does when the watco is still wet, is it possible to get this result with shellac? I’d like to use laquer, but I aassume that I would have to spray it on and will be afraid of runs!!! A wipe on laquer would be ideal.

As far details on the build, the origional desige is from Paul Carmody called “Overnight Sensation MTM” his sight is here, The cabinets were altered by Mark Toy, who gave me permission to copy his design, His build post is

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3847 days

#7 posted 04-10-2012 10:49 PM

Super-blonde shellac is used on many of the finest guitars. That’s
what I would use if I wanted the look but didn’t want to engage
with spraying.

There is something to be said for taking the work to an experienced
spray finisher who can get the finish glass-like and near perfect
right out of the gun.

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3776 days

#8 posted 04-10-2012 11:02 PM

If you feel you will need to repair the clear coat Lacquer would be a good Choice (they sell it in rattle cans) but wipe poly will be more durable. I believe 30 days might be a safe time to top coat but I have put a top coat on watco within a few days just make sure the watco’s dry .It has a lot to due with how much humidity you have the air and how warm it is were your letting the wood dry

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2560 days

#9 posted 04-10-2012 11:28 PM

Solvent lacquer, sprayed or from a rattlecan; or gloss waterborne poly if brushed. A one week cure on the Watco is enough.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View zzzzdoc's profile


550 posts in 3202 days

#10 posted 04-11-2012 02:02 AM

My favorite finish for sapele is Waterlox. It can give you the wow factor you are looking for. I have a sapele AV cabinet in the projects section that shows what it looks like.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View Gassit's profile


37 posts in 2436 days

#11 posted 04-11-2012 02:19 AM

Hi again,

Just checked out your speaker build and guess what—you’re using a Ryobi BT3000!

Yesterday I cleaned out my storage room and I found my BT3000 which I bought brand new more than 20 years ago.

I’ve never had the spare time to use it until now.

I’m building a mobile workstation for it so I can use it to make stuff (boxes, art frames, whatever) for sale.

Any opinions on the BT3000?

Thanks again.

View Ric2L's profile


4 posts in 2437 days

#12 posted 04-11-2012 03:11 AM

Waterlox sounds promissing, will have to check it out. your AV cabinet is beautiful

View Sirgreggins's profile


299 posts in 2434 days

#13 posted 04-12-2012 07:31 PM

shellac is easy to apply and will make it look wet. not the most durable for scratch resistance but super easy to refinish because shellac melts together so instead of separate layers you’ll have one continuous thick layer. polyurethane, or arm r seal

View Ric2L's profile


4 posts in 2437 days

#14 posted 04-12-2012 08:33 PM

Well after alot of research and suggestions I believe I’m going to go with Arm-R-Seal, it seems to have what I’m looking for in a finish. It wipes on, is self leveling, gives a clear wet look, comes in saatin, semi glosss and gloss, and is very protective.

Thanks for the ideas guys, much appreciated

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