A few random finishing questions

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Forum topic by Mauritius posted 07-30-2009 10:23 PM 1128 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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96 posts in 2647 days

07-30-2009 10:23 PM

Hi all,

I’m in the process of finishing my first couple boxes, technically valet boxes, one for myself and one for my dad’s birthday. I have a couple questions that I’ve researched but haven’t found satisfactory answers.

First, a bit of history: I’ve decided to go with a danish oil finish, I’m two coats in as we speak. The plan is to add a third and then wax it. I’m on a bit of a time crunch, I have about six days to wrap this up, I’ll be gone for three of those and I need a day for final assembly. To make matters worse, this is all totally new to me!

1. Should I let the danish oil cure for a few days before applying the wax? I’ve read this is important for other top coats, but I’m not sure about the wax. Also, should I 0000 steel sand the last coat before applying the wax?

2. My box has a good bit of cherry in it, and I’ve noticed the danish oil tends to make it pretty blotchy. I read that a sanding with 0000 steel wool will help, but it doesn’t seem to make much difference. Did I do something wrong? Or is there another solution to this problem? It definitely seems like it’s the wood and not a mistake I made when applying the oil…

3. I was planning on flocking the inside of the boxes, I placed an order with Woodcraft, although due to a mishap with Fedex the flocking was delivered to the wrong address (and still isn’t here) so I went ahead and oiled the inside of the box. Do you normally finish the inside of something that is to be flocked? Can flocking adhere to the oil after it’s cured for a few days or should I sand it down a bit?... assuming the flocking gets here.

4. And finally, it’s 8 bajillion degrees outside (I can say bajillion because I live near Seattle, anything over 75 = a bajillion) – will this mess with the wax drying at all? I’m a bit concerned that it may not dry if it sits in my un-airconditioned house at 95 degrees. Clapham’s beeswax polish is what I have, if that helps. I suppose I should do a test run first and answer my own question ;)

Thanks for your time & help!

5 replies so far

View CharlesNeil's profile


1602 posts in 3291 days

#1 posted 08-01-2009 07:11 PM

first…danish oil dries very slow, its predominately boiled linseed oil with a small amount of japan drier, in any case it dries very slow, if you have two coats now, it may feel dry but isnt, its the absorbtion of the wood, and the cherry will tone in after a bit as it darkens as it ages, assuming you used a natural oil, what i would suggest is to add the third coat as soon as possible and let it dry I would not put any more on the inside since you plan to flock it, the paint used for flocking is oil based , so it should do ok with the oil on the inside as long as it dries as slong as possible, several days is not enough dry time to wax over, it will streak and smear because the solvents in the oil will mix with it and you will not get what you want, if it were me I would get the 3rd coat on, do the flocking and call it done for several weeks, it will probably dry back some and loose its sheen , then you can use the steel wool, and either wax or add a nother coat of oil…do a scrap to test…again you have a very slow drying product that requires what you do not have time look to something like waterlox or general finishes Arm R Seal oil, they have much better chemistry , are tougher and dry about 10 times faster…not to mention chemical and moisture resistence….

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17577 posts in 3097 days

#2 posted 08-02-2009 12:14 AM

Charles, What is your opinion of wipe on poly?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3548 days

#3 posted 08-02-2009 12:10 PM

Note: The most popular brand of so-called Danish Oil contains 75% solvent, raw linseed oil (not BLO), modified vegatable oil, resin and gilsonite (an asphalt deriviative). Japan drier is not cited in their formulation. It is designed to cure very slowly. Building multiple coats could take weeks to cure.

... from a chemist who has worked with wood finishing products formulation and safety testing.

-- 温故知新

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 2706 days

#4 posted 08-02-2009 11:42 PM

I’m not a chemist, so can’t tell you much about the chemical breakdown with the finishes, but I believe Charles gave you some pretty good advice. Get your third coat on, but take your time and allow plenty of time for drying. (no need to do the inside of the drawer again) Hold on the wax for now. If you get your flocking in time, you could do the inside, but remember,it will be difficult to put another coat of danish oil on later if you so desire without it getting along the edge of the flocking. Finishing takes a lot of patience and can usually make or break a project. Good luck and I’m sure your Dad is going to love his…....even if you have to take it back for a few days to finish the last of the finishing. Hope you will post us some picutures when they’re done.

-- John @

View Mauritius's profile


96 posts in 2647 days

#5 posted 08-03-2009 02:04 AM

Thanks for the advice guys. Most of the reading I did when deciding on a finish said that Danish oil didn’t really need that much time to cure, at least there wouldn’t be any negative effects to waxing after it’s dried 72 hours. The danish oil is Watco, which I’m sure is what you mean by “the most popular brand” as it’s about all I see at the local woodworking stores.

I did three coats over three days, and it has sat now for about 3 days. It looks really good, and you’re right, it does feel dry. I’ll hold off on the wax, or maybe do a test run on my box. The boxes are in a few pieces right now, so I can (for example) wax the underside of the lid and see what happens. I’ll leave my dad’s box as-is, the reason I made two boxes was so that I could do everything on mine first and not screw up my dad’s which has worked quite well!. His is zebrawood and walnut with a bit of maple, I’m sure he’ll like it how it is now and appreciate an excuse for me to come back to finish finishing it if necessary.

I’m going to finish assembly tonight and flock so it has time to dry. Fedex finally came and delivered the flocking stuff and after reading the directions it seems like (as you say) I’ll be fine, since it is oil based and it does explicitly say that the wood needs to be sealed before you apply the glue.

I’ll post some pictures tomorrow once it’s ready to head out the door.

Thanks again.

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