New finish over Watko danish oil?

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Forum topic by keith101 posted 09-10-2013 07:07 AM 1427 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1962 days

09-10-2013 07:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have an oak book shelf I built 20 years ago, and it was finished with Watko danish oil twice, most recently about 10 years ago. We have just redone our wood floors, and the shelving needs to be much darker to go in the room now. I’m looking for some help for how to refinish.

I tried the darkest Watko oil I could find (dark walnut), but it isn’t nearly dark enough. Then I tried MinWax wood finish (Ebony). When I spread it on it looks perfect as far as color, but it isn’t really soaking in very well. Most of it wipes off, and the little that stays on stays quite sticky.

I’m wondering if any of the experts out there have some suggestions for a product or process that might be more effective for refinishing?


3 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5244 posts in 2735 days

#1 posted 09-10-2013 11:52 AM

Watco is a danish oil (varnish/oil mix) and is good on new wood…for refinishing, not so much. The Minwax Wood Finish is a stain, it’s not meant to be a top coat. Putting it on top of a finish gives you the result you have, it can’t “soak” into sealed wood (sealed from the earlier finishes). To refinish what you have, almost any film forming top coat can be applied (varnish, shellac, a waterborne , but not NC lacquer). Getting the darker color might be the tricky part. The easiest approach might be to put dye into shellac and apply. The dye would have to be one compatible with alcohol (Trans Tint), and the shellac would have to be applied with streaks (padding, or spraying, brush only if you are an expert with it). Once you achieve the color you want, top coat with your choice, I would recommend a good varnish, and for me that would be one that didn’t have urethane resins in it. One other thing you might consider doing is just topcoating with Waterlox Original. That varnish is made with phenolic resin and is quite a bit darker than other formulas. If it’s dark enough, it would save you quite a bit of work.

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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4202 days

#2 posted 09-10-2013 02:18 PM

Watco makes an ebony.


View EPJartisan's profile


1122 posts in 3367 days

#3 posted 09-10-2013 03:51 PM

Hi Keith.. I agree with what Fred wrote above. I use Watco danish as my favorite go to finish. Oil is not really a stain, so most of the wood’s natural color remains.. and once cured it will resist taking any more color… Danish oil is about highlighting the wood natural light reflective qualities for depth. The only way I can see you breaking through that finish to make the wood darker is to strip it all off again. One way I have done this …albeit on a small piece made of cherry wood.. was soaking the wood with acetone and rubbing with Steel wool…twice. Then rubbed the wood with a dark aniline dye and re-finished it again with a pigmented varnish. The problem also comes from the oak wood itself, which I find seems to naturally resists dark stains, as most nut bearing angiosperms seem to be similar in that respect.

-- " '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."

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