Indoor door finish - which oil to use

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Forum topic by lepelerin posted 05-07-2013 01:35 PM 2649 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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495 posts in 2562 days

05-07-2013 01:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing oil refurbishing traditional rustic

Hello All,

I am almost finished renovating an old indoor door for my house (french door style). The door had 6 layers of paint and varnish. It’s has been a nightmare to get it cleaned. I am almost done. Yes !. The door is made from Douglas fir. I want to oil it, no more paint nor varnish like. After that I was thinking to apply a coat of wax on it.

Which kind of oil would you use? I would not like the oil to darken too much the wood. I never used BLO before but read about the safety for the used rags. I used real Tung oil but it can be expensive.
How many coats would you apply (3 ??) ?
Would you wax it after?

I am asking for advice. Thank you in advance.


7 replies so far

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2562 days

#1 posted 05-08-2013 12:23 PM

Hummmmmm, over 120 views, no answer, no advice, I must have it right them? Do I?

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3088 days

#2 posted 05-08-2013 01:00 PM

The more product you get on that door the less fuss it will be in the future. If it’s oil, then I’d use Watco. Yes it will darken. (The only way you’ll get away from that is with a waterborne polyurethane, and even those products are darkening things these days.)

Three or four coats of Watco Natural per instructions; wax over the top and you’ll have what you want.

The issue about rags—I’m assuming your concern is fire—is real but simply involves a little common sense and care.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 3102 days

#3 posted 05-08-2013 11:15 PM

I am a big fan of oil finishes myself. I use Watco, and BLO for things. Either of those finishes is going to add a little color to the wood. It is more of a warmth, than an actual color though.

My first thought about using oil on the door is a question of durability. You don’t mention where the door will be used, other than interior. If it will get a lot of traffic, then you are going to want to use a finish over the oil, or a different finish from the start. Oil finishes provide a nice look but very little protection.

I used Watco on a dining room table that I built because I wanted to the color (dark walnut) and the look it gives, but then I added several coats (sprayed) of poly over the top. So far that has held up nicely under daily use. I would suggest the same combination (watco/poly) for the door.

View MNgary's profile


303 posts in 2654 days

#4 posted 05-08-2013 11:38 PM

I match interior doors to the woodwork (baseboard, etc) in the room. But if the woodwork is painted I’d match the rest of the doors in the home. Both the color and finish unless it’s the introduction to a grand room, solarium, or the like. But even if the latter, I’d want the grand room/solarium side to match the room, itself—drawing attention to an entrence is one thing, but not to the exit.

What style is the home’s architecture?

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2562 days

#5 posted 05-09-2013 01:01 AM

Thank you for the advice. I never heard of Watco before. I do have a question. From what I’ve read Watco is a mix of LO, varnish and MS. Does it leave a sheen, a glossy look. I do not want that if it’s the case.

I like the idea that it will had “warmth” to the wood.

As for the baseboard everything is painted white, this is my next big project, remove the paint and oil them. I have been postponing this ask for a while, not enough time, procrastination … but my other half is asking me which color are the baseboard and offered me to buy the necessary products…. it says it all.

The door won’t be used a lot, maybe once or twice a day at max.

Tx again for your help. As you can see I am on the beginner side but willing to learn and once it’s completed I will post a picture.
More reading in perspective about oils!!!

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 3102 days

#6 posted 05-09-2013 01:57 AM

Danish oil like Watco will not give a high sheen, unless you want to work for it. I have finished some knicknacks with Watco and they have a nice soft feel to the hand and a luster, but not a shine. If you look at the photos in my LJ Blog, you can see what the finish looks like if you do want to polish it.

If it were me doing this door, I would add a protective finish to it. If you do, poly and most other finishes come in a variety of sheens from matte to glossy so you can easily pick exactly what you want.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5236 posts in 2730 days

#7 posted 05-09-2013 11:31 AM

If you want to use an oil, BLO is a lot cheaper and just as effective as tung oil. Personally, the one time I tried using oil on a previously finished piece, I found that some of the old finish was still on the wood….causing an uneven appearance. Still, if you choose to go ahead with the oil, from an appearance standpoint one coat will do it. If you use multiple coats be sure to allow some curing between coats, it can get gummy if you pile it on too thickly.

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

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