Removing water stains from wood finished with Watco Danish Oil

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Forum topic by woodworker33 posted 07-28-2014 04:37 PM 5604 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 1535 days

07-28-2014 04:37 PM

What is the safest way to remove water stains from wood that’s been treated/finished with Watco Danish Oil? Should I reapply the danish oil over the finished piece? Why would this happen, I thought danish oil protects the wood?

My wood pieces are typically indoors but this weekend I was selling at a fair and there was sudden rain for 10 minutes. Now I see spots and drips of water on the wood. I tried rubbing it down with a cloth but with no avail.

Thanks in advance!

5 replies so far

View Finisherman's profile


227 posts in 1847 days

#1 posted 07-28-2014 04:51 PM

Are the water spots black or white? If they’re white, lightly sand the surface and reapply the Danish oil. If they’re black, you’ll have to sand the surface more aggressively and then go through the process of bleaching the surface with oxalic acid and refinishing.

View CharlesA's profile


3322 posts in 1795 days

#2 posted 07-28-2014 05:00 PM

Danish Oil protects, but nothing like poly or lacquer. My sense is you use it as a final finish on pieces that don’t need much protection. I love the look of Watco Danish on some woods. We have Mahogany bedroom suite finished this way, and every once in a while you have to deal with a white water mark.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View woodworker33's profile


22 posts in 1535 days

#3 posted 07-28-2014 05:14 PM

@Finisherman – the stains are white

View ColonelTravis's profile


1770 posts in 1892 days

#4 posted 07-28-2014 05:47 PM

The white = moisture trapped above the wood and in the finish. The oil did its job. Using a hair dryer on hottest setting, you might be able to evaporate the moisture out and watch the ring, spots, etc. disappear before your eyes. It may take several minutes for each blotch, and I guess you have a lot of them?

If that doesn’t work do what Finisherman said. White stains are a pretty easy fix.

View woodworker33's profile


22 posts in 1535 days

#5 posted 07-28-2014 08:25 PM

No luck on the hair drying method, wish it would work though! I tried very fine sanding with 600 grit sandpaper then reapplying the danish oil, some went away but some are very stubborn. Maybe it needs a coarser grit sandpaper like 320 or so?

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