Does Polyurethane strip stain/oil?

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Forum topic by Schoffleine posted 02-27-2013 10:53 PM 2461 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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47 posts in 2907 days

02-27-2013 10:53 PM

I’m doing my first real ‘finishing’ today and applied some Watco Danish Oil (dark hickory) three days ago. Well, today I put on the Minwax Wipe On poly and noticed that when I was done, the stain from the Danish oil wasn’t quite as dark as before. I didn’t sand between putting on the first coat of poly, so that’s not it, so the only thing I can think of is maybe I didn’t let the Danish oil cure/dry long enough, and the poly stripped the non-dried portion away?

8 replies so far

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2090 days

#1 posted 02-27-2013 11:10 PM

I’ve found that Danish oil takes a lot longer to cure than I had thought. It’s largely dependent on temperatures. Both poly and danish oil thin with mineral spirits. So if the danish oil wasn’t fully cured the mineral spirits in the poly could have dissolved some of the danish oil. I would think that would lead to blotching more than lightening though.

Anything you put on top of stain has the potential to change the color somewhat.

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1952 days

#2 posted 02-27-2013 11:49 PM

Probably the effects of “sheen” more than dissolving the stain. If the poly dissolved the stain, and your brush then pulled it off, it would have had to show up in the container into which you were dipping your brush and you would have been, in effect, rinsing the stain out of your brush in new poly. You can test this. Next time you are doing this combo, do a good wipe down of the dry (but probably not yet “cured”) Danish oil with a clean dry cloth. If any oil comes off, the oil obviously isn’t dry. If that tests ok, lay down a few laps of poly, they, fairy quickly, wipe them off. If there is poly on the rag but no Danish oil, then the difference is most surely sheen of the poly.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2352 days

#3 posted 02-28-2013 12:06 AM

Oil based stains tend to wipe with oil based products when brushed on, so to answer your question yes. Wipe on poly will definately wipe away excess stain not absorbed into the wood.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2246 days

#4 posted 02-28-2013 12:14 AM

I generally won’t put anything over danish oil for at least 72 hours after the last coat. I try to wait a full week.


View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4546 posts in 2406 days

#5 posted 02-28-2013 12:30 AM

Poly absorbs some of the oil based stain, unless you let it dry for a long time, even then it can do this. When you apply your poly use a seperate container to dip your brush. DO NOT put this poly back into your supply or you have “poisoned” your poly. If you look at your container when you are done you will find the poly has darkened. You can reuse this on another project with similiar stain but be warned if you are trying to match the first project you are in for a surprise. It will be darker as the poly absorbed your stain the first go around. Myself if it is a small project I just spray and be done with it, of course larger projects and the space you want to use to do this spraying may not be possible.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2880 days

#6 posted 02-28-2013 01:29 AM

Danish oil is a blend of varnish and polyurethane. Once the DO is dry you can add as many layers of poly as you want. I have used DO many times as a base layer with wipe on poly over it.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Schoffleine's profile


47 posts in 2907 days

#7 posted 02-28-2013 01:53 AM

Alright well I guess I’ll let my next item dry longer next time. The can recommended 72 hours so that’s what I did but maybe it needs longer since it’s been rather cold the last few days.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2270 days

#8 posted 02-28-2013 03:25 PM


Although the temperature in your finishing area may affect the thickness or viscosity of your finish or it’s ability to level out as you are appling it, the curing process is more directly affected by the amount of air movement or air flowing across the surface of the finish which increases or decreases the evaporization of the solvent in the finish, more so than the temperature.

A small fan on low speed will circulate the air in your finishing area and enhance/speed up the cure time of the finish.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

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