LumberJocks

a little confused about watco danish oil

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Peter5 posted 820 days ago 30260 views 1 time favorited 46 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Peter5's profile

Peter5

61 posts in 1408 days


820 days ago

I use Watco Danish oil to finish pretty much everything, and for the longest time I was only using one or two coats and loved the way it looked. But, everyone kept telling me I should use at least three coats. So I started going to three, and I’m finding that the sheen is much slicker and shinier, which is OK but not really my preference. The bigger problem though is that I’m finding that I end up with the wood feeling tacky, as if the oil isn’t drying completely. Is this simply because I’m failing to adequately wipe away the excess on each coat? Further, what can I do about it? Obviously I could sand, but I’m wondering if I could use Howard’s restore-a-finish instead. Any advice, as always, is much appreciated!

-- Pete, Long Beach, CA http://www.furniturebypete.blogspot.com


46 replies so far

View AJLastra's profile

AJLastra

86 posts in 833 days


#1 posted 820 days ago

Peter

Any time your topcoat feels tacky, the first thing you need to consider is whether you have let the coats under it dry well enough. One of the issues with “oil/varnish” blends is, if in fact the finish DOES contain oil, whether the oil dries thoroughly. If not, and you apply additional coats on top of undried oil, you;re going to have a sticky mess. That said, Watco is a wiping varnish with very little if any oil in it. Wiping varnishes tend to dry a bit faster than traditional alkyd varnish because the solvent used in making it may be naptha or tolulene. Not sure what the solvent for Watco is, off the top of my head. My first thought is that the last coat is tacky because the previous coat didnt dry enough. you can speed up dry time by using a box fan to circulate air around your work piece. Dont direct the air directly at the piece. If (when) the piece dries, you;ll likely have dust nibs and debris to level sand out. That’s routine with varnish.

View Peter5's profile

Peter5

61 posts in 1408 days


#2 posted 820 days ago

That makes sense, but the can says that it’s ready for recoat in 30 minutes (I believe, I could be misremembering). So would you just sand with some 400 grit at this point?

-- Pete, Long Beach, CA http://www.furniturebypete.blogspot.com

View teejk's profile

teejk

1207 posts in 1289 days


#3 posted 820 days ago

It’s been awhile since I used Watco but I would check the can again about drying time. It used to require a minimum of 8 hours before a top finish meaning it takes some time to set-up. And as I recall, the best way to get rid of the “tacky” was a fresh coat of the product wiped off immediately (it was it’s own solvent). Somehow I think you’ll end up not happy if you touch it with sandpaper.

View rockindavan's profile

rockindavan

283 posts in 1241 days


#4 posted 820 days ago

If you don’t want a higher sheen I would use a purely oil finish. I use teak oil but there are a bunch out there. Personally I haven’t seen any difference in protection between teak oil and danish oil. One thing you should do is wipe the surface down with some towels. The oil will soak into the wood, especially in defects, then after you are done wiping it down it will creep back up. You have to make sure you wipe these spots or they can dry as glossy spots. With danish oil I wipe it down a bunch of times over a couple of days to take away the tackiness as it dries.

View Peter5's profile

Peter5

61 posts in 1408 days


#5 posted 820 days ago

Interesting, that makes sense. And yes, I’d like to avoid sandpaper if at all possible.

-- Pete, Long Beach, CA http://www.furniturebypete.blogspot.com

View AJLastra's profile

AJLastra

86 posts in 833 days


#6 posted 820 days ago

30 minutes in ideal conditions…...........and many of us simply dont finish in conditions that are 72 degrees and 40% humidity. That being said, you CAN try sanding it. But be prepared. If the varnish isnt dried through, it will corn…you’ll get gunk on the paper and it will glog. I would sand it DRY. Dont add more liquid of any kind. You might be tempted to wipe it down with solvent. DONT. Applying mineral spirits or naptha could cut through the coat you have applied and dissolve the coats under it. Sand it until you get a surface that doesnt feel tacky. To build up your successive coats on top of this sanded surface, I would strongly recommend you apply a coat of Zinseer SEalcoat, 2lb cut clear shellac before you put another coat of varnish on that piece. The shellac will form a barrier coat between what you have layed down already and the next series of top coats. If, for some reason, the last coat of Watco was in some way contaminated, didnt bind, etc, the shellac will seal the previous coats and it will be like starting over again with your next coat of varnish. At the same time, you will have put another layer of protection, granted a thin one, on your work piece by using a shellac barrier coat. you will know if the previous coats are dry if you simply sniff the piece. It shouldnt smell like varnish if its dry.

View AJLastra's profile

AJLastra

86 posts in 833 days


#7 posted 820 days ago

Peter, what a previous poster has said is a good thought too. Wipe it down and see if the finish comes to the surface again. I have a feeling you might have put on successive coats before the previous one dried. It will dry eventually, but it will take a bit longer than you probably anticipated.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 869 days


#8 posted 820 days ago

My experience is that if you don’t have a completely controlled environment to let it cure, then it’s always going to take longer than it says. I usually check it to make sure as I know the problems with applying successive coats of a finish before the previous coats have cured sufficiently.

I think last time I used Watco (in the winter down in the South), I was allowing at least 1 hour of dry time and then one full night’s set up before applying a wipe-on poly on it. I sanded in each coat (walnut) using 1000-2000 grit sandpaper.

I applied 3 or 4 coats and it was not shiny (the sanding may have had a lot to do with that). It was very shiny after the 2 coats of wipe-on poly though.

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9622 posts in 1223 days


#9 posted 820 days ago

Excellent post, great answers. My only wierd experience was just as rockindavan says, and it was on my workbench for it’s annual re-apply of Watco’s. A day after I applied, it was kinda tacky. I was pretty nervous, didn’t understand because I hadn’t seen it before. Used a hard rag (no lint was the goal) to remove what looked like silvery excess, two days later went into the shop and the finish was hard as a rock, and looked great. I’m wiping over time and staying patient from this point in my use of Watco’s. Hope your problem isn’t more severe. Good luck!~

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Fuzzy's profile

Fuzzy

289 posts in 2593 days


#10 posted 819 days ago

Give it more time … WATCO is a very thin finish … no where near as thick as a brushed on, full strength poly. If poly will dry & cure fully, your WATCO most certainly will also. If you try to mechanically “work” the finish, you will, in all probability have a mess on your hands. Attempting to remove an uncured finish WILL be something you don’t ever want to attempt.

The only advice I have to question in the previous responses would be that, in one comment, you are advised to add more WATCO in order to take advantage of the solvents contained therein to soften or reamalgamate the uncured finish you are dealing with … yet in another, you are cautioned against using a solvent to attempt removal of the excess WATCO. Again, I wouldn’t attempt either without just giving it more time … LOTS of time. The first coat or two is largely absorbed into the wood so it feels dry, even if it’s not … additional coats tend to sit closer to the surface, on top of those first few penetrating coats, so they tend to act more like a poly than a penetrating finish, causing them to take longer to cure/dry. Ten coats of WATCO still wouldn’t be as thick as a coat of full strength poly, so they WILL dry, in time.

Did I mention to give it more time ???

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View AJLastra's profile

AJLastra

86 posts in 833 days


#11 posted 819 days ago

Fuzzy,

did you mention give it more time? HAHAHA!! I agree. It would be reeeeeeal tricky to try to remove the undried topcoat and if Peter waits, he will likely have his finish dry just fine. May take a while though Pete but it’ll save ya a lot of aggravation trying to “fix” the problem. I STill think it wont hurt to circulate air around that work piece. I read a series of posts not too long ago on WoodWeb where a professional cabinet shop was applying varnish on some sample boards and the area of the shop where they kept the samples was pretty cold. they left them there over night, damp with varnish. when they came back the next day, the boards were bone dry despite thefact that the temp IN THE SHOP in the area where the samples were kept was under 40 degrees. Point is: solvent will flash off regardless of the air temp if you add circulating air which helps finishes like varnish and shellac dry faster. It works well with lacquer too. Water bornes are more finicky as we all know.

View Fuzzy's profile

Fuzzy

289 posts in 2593 days


#12 posted 819 days ago

I absolutely agree that ambient air movement speeds up drying/curing to a great extent. I was taught in a root cause analysis seminar to always look at both extremes to see if there is any correlation to the question at hand. In this case it is simple … if you apply the finish and place the piece in a very small. tightly closed environment, it will dry, eventually, but it will take forever. OTOH, if you place it out in a windstorm, it will dry more quickly, although the finish may suffer from quality issues. So … it stands to reason that SOME air movement, at least sufficient to move away the evaporated solvents is a good thing.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View teejk's profile

teejk

1207 posts in 1289 days


#13 posted 819 days ago

Like I said, I haven’t used Watco for years. I think they were bought out by the same company that owns Min-wax and they actually disappeared for a while. It was my sole stain product before that but I tried it once after they came back to life and I knew something was different. So my comment about it being its own solvent related to the “old” Watco.

just an “aside”...if you don’t plan on a poly top-coat, I am a big fan of Johnson paste wax…when I think I have totally cleaned off all stain residue, a few coats of that stuff will yield a rag that tells me I was wrong.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1396 posts in 966 days


#14 posted 819 days ago

Wipe it down with naptha. That’ll make it dry.

BTW, 90+% of all the oil finishes, except pure BLO (which is only good for starting fires) and pure tung oil, are blends of BLO, a resin like alkyd or urethane, metalic driers, and solvent. The other 10% use processed tung oil instead of or with BLO. Also, there’s no such thing as “teak oil.” The naturally occurring oleoresin in teak is never extracted.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11639 posts in 2293 days


#15 posted 819 days ago

MSDS Watco “Teak” Oil
PRODUCT NAME: 67100 Watco Marine Teak Oil

MSDS NO. 67100 COMPOSITION/INFORMATION ON INGREDIENTS

Hydrotreated distilate, light 21-30 68410-97-9 No PEL established

Solvent naphtha (petroleum) medium aliphatic 1-10 64742-88-7 No PEL established

Linseed Oil, Acid Refined 1-10 8001-26-1 No PEL established

Cobalt Compounds <1 7440-48-4 0.1 mg/m3 TWA

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

showing 1 through 15 of 46 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase