Danish Oil Question

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Forum topic by WadeHolloway posted 07-09-2013 01:18 PM 1611 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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85 posts in 2088 days

07-09-2013 01:18 PM

I have just finished making a box out of Mahogany and I have put two coats of Danish Oil on it. The Danish Oil I used is by Watco. I wanted to try putting a wipe on varnish over it to give it a little more protection. I was reading on the Danish Oil can and it says that you need to wait 72 hours before putting a top coat of varnish over it. Do you really need to wait that long? The box I made is for a friend to use as a keep sake box so it will be handled some and I am running out of time to get it finished. I am leaving out Friday afternoon and was going to take the box with me to give it to her. I put the last coat of oil on last night, so if I wait 72 hours to put varnish on it then it will be Thursday night before I start putting any varnish on. So the question really is do I really have to wait that long or should I just plan to put a coat of somekind of wax instead of the Varnish. Any guidance will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

12 replies so far

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2431 days

#1 posted 07-09-2013 01:43 PM

The longer you wait after the oil finish the better. You need to let the oil bleed out from the wood. This is especially so in open grained woods like mahogany or oak.

Even if you’re only going to wax the piece, the oil finish may continue to bleed out through the pores if it hasn’t cured enough.

If you really need a top coat I would suggest spray lacquer. It dries very quick and you can get multiple coats in a very short time. Apply a very light coat, wait 20-30 mins, sand lightly with 320 grit and apply next coat. Repeat til you have the finish thickness you want. Finish off by lightly sanding with 600 grit and apply your wax.

Using the above technique I’ve finished and given gifts in the same day.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2929 days

#2 posted 07-09-2013 02:01 PM

Watco Danish Oil is mostly a varnish, there’s not much oil in it. Like tfinn suggested, if you want to add something else a spray lacquer would probably be best.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2355 days

#3 posted 07-09-2013 02:08 PM

Just wash it down with naptha, and proceed with the varnish.

Next time, forget about the oil. It’s useless.

-- 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 WadeHolloway's profile


85 posts in 2088 days

#4 posted 07-09-2013 05:46 PM

Thanks for the help guys I appreciate it. I will give it a little more time to cure out before doing anything else to it. I can wait until tomorrow night, that should give it enough cure time. With it as hot as it is the heat should help the cure time too. Thanks again.

View fredj's profile


186 posts in 1811 days

#5 posted 07-09-2013 10:20 PM

I use Watco a lot, you need to let it dry as long as you can, but at least 72 hours, 96 would be better before using any top coat. I would not wax it, it’s fine by it’s self. Oil alone works very well on any thing that does not get heavy use such as table tops and floors. For most things you will want to re oil it every few years or so if needed. If you wax it you have to get all the wax off to re oil. One of the better things about an oil finish is that if you damage part of it, it’s very easy to fix. Also Watco does not recommend using a water based finish on top of it.

-- Fredj

View Loren's profile (online now)


10373 posts in 3642 days

#6 posted 07-09-2013 11:30 PM

It can come back up out of the pores in spots, “blooming”
if you like. As long as you haven’t topcoated over it,
it’s easy to deal with.

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2431 days

#7 posted 07-09-2013 11:31 PM

I agree with fredj. Don’t wax the Watco if you don’t topcoat. Makes for a bear of a job if you need to re-oil or top coat later.

You can use a water based top coat but you need to wait a looong time before you do. I usually wait a few weeks if I use a water based finish. I don’t like to use water based finishes over Watco, since the whole purpose of using the Watco is to enhance the chatoyance of the wood. Water based finishes dull that chatoyance.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2177 days

#8 posted 07-10-2013 12:10 AM

If you’re going to use a water-borne topcoat, seal the oil with a shellac coat. Also helps with the chatoyance.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2431 days

#9 posted 07-10-2013 12:31 AM

shampeon – That does help, but it still can’t compare to a nice oil or solvent based finish! :) Water based finishes IMO always have a plastic look to them, especially poly.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3119 days

#10 posted 07-10-2013 12:32 AM

My favorite top coat is a 1/3 Old Masters wipe-on poly varnish, 1/3 watco danish oil, 1/3 beeswax.. heated and cut with naptha, but that is what I use on black cherry. It is not durable like a table top, but looks great on trim and trinkets. And now I know how to refer to the way the light catches the grain.. “chatoyance” ... love that.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2684 days

#11 posted 07-10-2013 01:16 AM

I have wiped on shellac IMMEDIATELY after applying BLO and to my surprise it worked fine!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View WadeHolloway's profile


85 posts in 2088 days

#12 posted 07-10-2013 02:50 AM

Thanks for the help guys. Since I had already put a couple coats of the Danish Oil On I guess I am going to have to just stick with the oil finish. Looks like I am going to run out of time for this project to do much of anything else. Putting on a good finish on is harder than building the project.

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