Danish oil for my first finish

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Forum topic by giser3546 posted 08-19-2014 05:51 PM 1003 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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179 posts in 1438 days

08-19-2014 05:51 PM

I have just finished putting together a small towel rack from cherry and am about to start my first attempt at finishing.

I picked up some Watco danish oil before really understanding what it is and I have some Renaissance Wax I’ve had for a while. I’ve been told they will work well together but I’m a little confused about the danish oil. Is it an oil based varnish or is it a mixture of oil and varnish?

I’m also open to suggestions as far as application. I’ve gone over every inch with a smoothing plane and have it glass smooth so I’m wondering if sanding would be needed and if so what grit would I start with? Once it’s smooth enough I figured I would apply the danish oil in a few coats and let it dry overnight before adding the wax waiting a few minutes then buffing. Am I on the right track here?

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"

3 replies so far

View Manitario's profile


2629 posts in 2848 days

#1 posted 08-19-2014 06:29 PM

“Danish Oil” is probably the easiest finish to apply. It is a mixture of oil (usually BLO) and varnish (usually polyurethane). Simply apply (I like using a rag), let sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off with a clean rag. Let dry for 6h and then repeat. You can put as many coats on as you want or as few. For a towel rack, I’d probably put 3-4 coats on. The wax will look nice but won’t really add any protection to the wood. Danish oil may raise the grain of the wood (feels rough after it’s dried) so I tend to lightly sand with 220 b/t coats.

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

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Fred Hargis

4954 posts in 2458 days

#2 posted 08-19-2014 06:46 PM

I think the formula may have changed a few times over the years, it’s been called both. But the current MSDS shows linseed oil on of the top five ingredients, but that may be the linseed oil that was cooked into the varnish they use. Flexnor recently said it was just a wiping varnish. You can tell with a test. Put some (small amount)on a piece of glass, if it dries hard and smooth it’s just a varnish, but if it’s soft and wrinkly it’s an oil/varnish mix.

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

View giser3546's profile


179 posts in 1438 days

#3 posted 08-19-2014 07:14 PM

Appreciate that, I will give the glass trick a try. The uncretanty of this bugs me. I’d really rather know whats in the finish I use. This almost makes me want to try to make my own with bees wax and linseed oil… or some other oil.

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"

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