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Help! Sanding sealer over Watco Danish Oil

by tsbot
posted 10-18-2018 04:48 AM


37 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8646 posts in 2963 days


#1 posted 10-18-2018 05:04 AM

Doesn’t Watco need 3 days of drying per instructions?

http://charlesneilwoodworking.3dcartstores.com/Pre-Color-Conditioner--Pre-Mixed--1-Quart--Ready-to-Use_p_47.html?redirect=1

Charles Neil’s pre conditioner works great!

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2299 posts in 2376 days


#2 posted 10-18-2018 01:34 PM

Read about blotch control here.. The watco caused the blotching, and it will not go away. Surface will have to be stripped. Why are you using sanding sealer? The watco seals the surface, no need for it. What is your finish schedule (steps)?

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5398 posts in 2738 days


#3 posted 10-18-2018 01:44 PM

Watco danish oil is very slow to dry, 12 hours is not long enough. I don’t understand why you would put sealer over it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5539 posts in 2880 days


#4 posted 10-18-2018 01:51 PM

You really did your applications backward. The sanding sealer (which is nothing more than a very thin film finish) should have went on first. As OSU55 said, now you have blotch and there’s not a practical way to remove it. I suspect everything will cure, but it may take a while.

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

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#5 posted 10-18-2018 02:33 PM

So I can’t sand out the whole top back to bare wood to remove the blotches (haven’t read that link about blotch control yet). I used sanding sealer because I read it here: https://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/woodworking-101/tips-tricks/3-ways-to-finish-sapele-that-makes-ribbon-stripe-figure-pop/

I never used it before and wasn’t going to either – wish I hadn’t.

Original Finishing was:
Sand top to 320 – rest to 220.
2 coats danish oil
2 coats sanding sealer
3-4 coats spray on lacquer
With sanding in between.

New finishing – if I take down to bare wood which I prob will:
Sand top 220
2 coats danish oil
Spray on lacquer or rub on poly.

Thoughts?

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8646 posts in 2963 days


#6 posted 10-18-2018 02:42 PM

Practice on scraps first.

Best of luck.

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#7 posted 10-18-2018 02:59 PM

Can I just sand to bare wood or do I physically need to use a liquid stripper?

Read about blotch control here.. The watco caused the blotching, and it will not go away. Surface will have to be stripped. Why are you using sanding sealer? The watco seals the surface, no need for it. What is your finish schedule (steps)?

- OSU55


View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5539 posts in 2880 days


#8 posted 10-18-2018 03:45 PM

You won’t be able to sand it back until it cures. The stripper will get it off more quickly.

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

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#9 posted 10-18-2018 03:55 PM

I won’t be able to get to it until this weekend. If it is cured will it sand out? Dont really feel like stripping.


You won t be able to sand it back until it cures. The stripper will get it off more quickly.

- Fred Hargis


View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6533 posts in 3581 days


#10 posted 10-18-2018 04:14 PM

Sorry to tell ya, but you screwed the pooch when you put the sanding sealer on……!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a 2 hour nap".....!!

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#11 posted 10-18-2018 04:25 PM

Ya. I knew that. Should have listened to that little voice and not do it.

Sorry to tell ya, but you screwed the pooch when you put the sanding sealer on……!!

- Rick Dennington


View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5539 posts in 2880 days


#12 posted 10-18-2018 04:50 PM


I won’t be able to get to it until this weekend. If it is cured will it sand out? Dont really feel like stripping.

You won t be able to sand it back until it cures. The stripper will get it off more quickly.

- Fred Hargis

- tsbot

If it is cured, it will sand out. It take a long time to cure enough to sand, and may not be ready this weekend. I say this with love in my heart: but you’re going to make a bigger mess with your attempts to”fix” this.

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

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#13 posted 10-18-2018 04:53 PM

What is the solution then? Since my attempts at sanding as originally planned failed – there seems to be some scratching at the surface. I’m not going to scrap the piece. Sand those scratches out and lacquer or poly it and be done?

I won’t be able to get to it until this weekend. If it is cured will it sand out? Dont really feel like stripping.

You won t be able to sand it back until it cures. The stripper will get it off more quickly.

- Fred Hargis

- tsbot

If it is cured, it will sand out. It take a long time to cure enough to sand, and may not be ready this weekend. I say this with love in my heart: but you re going to make a bigger mess with your attempts to”fix” this.

- Fred Hargis


View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2785 posts in 2734 days


#14 posted 10-18-2018 05:28 PM

Here is what I did when I had to refinish a table top because of finish problems.

Try setting it out in the sun and wipe it down with a clean rag after a couple hours. It will be sticky, but keep rubbing and switching the cloth until is rubs smoothly. That will help get excess sealer and Watco off the wood.

You CAN sand everything off, even if it isn’t dry/cured. You will just go through more sandpaper than you might otherwise. I’d start with some 220 grit so you don’t take off too much too fast. Check the paper often and when it gets loaded up with finish toss it and put new paper on. Stay away from stripper as it will just make a bigger mess.

You can put sealer on, let it dry, then watco, let it dry for 72 hours or more, then use poly (arm-r-coat). Lightly sand between coats with 320 grit paper and wipe off any nubs.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5539 posts in 2880 days


#15 posted 10-18-2018 05:48 PM

What is the solution then? Since my attempts at sanding as originally planned failed – there seems to be some scratching at the surface.

- tsbot

Exactly which problem do you want the solution to? If you have scratches, wait for it to cure and wet sand it, then one more top coat.

If you want it to cure, wait…but it may take a while.

If you want the blotches gone, I can’t help.

If you want to start over (with the finish) then the stripper should get you back to ground zero.

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

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#16 posted 10-18-2018 05:58 PM

Thanks! I’m invested and this is a special desk for my wife so I want it perfect (hence the sanding sealer I never used which I though would help with the finish). I’ll sand it back down to wood and am not worried about how much paper I use.

What will help prevent blotching on the maple after I start all over?

My Plan:
Sand it all the way off
Danish Oil or otherwise
Wipe on Poly or Spray on Lacquer – any opinions on this?


Here is what I did when I had to refinish a table top because of finish problems.

Try setting it out in the sun and wipe it down with a clean rag after a couple hours. It will be sticky, but keep rubbing and switching the cloth until is rubs smoothly. That will help get excess sealer and Watco off the wood.

You CAN sand everything off, even if it isn t dry/cured. You will just go through more sandpaper than you might otherwise. I d start with some 220 grit so you don t take off too much too fast. Check the paper often and when it gets loaded up with finish toss it and put new paper on. Stay away from stripper as it will just make a bigger mess.

You can put sealer on, let it dry, then watco, let it dry for 72 hours or more, then use poly (arm-r-coat). Lightly sand between coats with 320 grit paper and wipe off any nubs.

- EarlS


View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2570 days


#17 posted 10-18-2018 06:11 PM

Sealer is what you use before adding any other finish to help the wood absorb the top coats more evenly. It helps, for example, with blotching on woods like maple and cherry. Blotching occurs because some areas of the wood absorb more finish than others. Adding a thinned seal coat and then lightly sanding back adds some finish to those areas, so subsequent top coats sit evenly on the wood.

You can use a very thin coat of poly or lacquer, or a thin cut of shellac, or thinned out PVA glue, or….

Given everything, I’d probably lean toward wipe on poly, as it’s pretty foolproof. But you can’t rush any finish. Whatever finish you use, you have to follow the directions for subsequent coats and top coating.

Practice on scrap.

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

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8646 posts in 2963 days


#18 posted 10-18-2018 06:54 PM

I used a card scraper when an incident like that occurred.

View Richard's profile

Richard

11274 posts in 3419 days


#19 posted 10-18-2018 07:00 PM



Sealer is what you use before adding any other finish to help the wood absorb the top coats more evenly. It helps, for example, with blotching on woods like maple and cherry. Blotching occurs because some areas of the wood absorb more finish than others. Adding a thinned seal coat and then lightly sanding back adds some finish to those areas, so subsequent top coats sit evenly on the wood.

You can use a very thin coat of poly or lacquer, or a thin cut of shellac, or thinned out PVA glue, or….

Given everything, I d probably lean toward wipe on poly, as it s pretty foolproof. But you can t rush any finish. Whatever finish you use, you have to follow the directions for subsequent coats and top coating.

Practice on scrap.

- shampeon

Yep! That’s about all you can do!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5539 posts in 2880 days


#20 posted 10-18-2018 07:07 PM

My belief is you will still have those blotches after you remove the finish, perhaps my term “ground zero” was the wrong one to use. You will likely have to remove a fair amount f wood to remove the blotching.

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

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2785 posts in 2734 days


#21 posted 10-18-2018 07:47 PM

Based on my experience, sanding everything back down then using a sanding sealer should drastically reduce the blotching issue. I’m not sure what the watco will accomplish unless it is a stain. With walnut, using a dark walnut stain makes the wood so dark that you lose some of the shimmer and other interesting patterns.

Wipe on poly is really thin and not especially durable. Arm-R-Seal gives a really durable finish that you can wipe on or brush on.

If you were so inclined, General Finishes also makes Seal-a-cell, a sanding sealer that can also be used as a sealer and and first “finish” coat, followed by a coat or 2 of Arm-R-Seal, some good wax, and buffed out. I wait 24 hours between applications, lightly sand between coats with 600 grit. That is my go-to finish process for desk tops.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2299 posts in 2376 days


#22 posted 10-18-2018 09:30 PM

+1 card scraper would be a big help if you have one. A paint scraper used judiciously can work. Chemical stripper if you cant wait. As mentioned the blotching will be relatively deep. If you have the tools – card scraper to get soft finish off, then a smoother plane to get to uncolored wood.

Read the blotch control blog. Then use danish oil, stain or whatever to color. If a dining table dont use lacquer, if not spray precat lacquer. If a dining table or you dont have spray equipment wipe on poly will work well.

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#23 posted 10-18-2018 11:47 PM

Thanks – yes I do have a card scraper. It’s a desktop for the wife. I bought the Watco spray lacquer – will this be ok on top of the Danish Oil or should I wipe on poly?


+1 card scraper would be a big help if you have one. A paint scraper used judiciously can work. Chemical stripper if you cant wait. As mentioned the blotching will be relatively deep. If you have the tools – card scraper to get soft finish off, then a smoother plane to get to uncolored wood.

Read the blotch control blog. Then use danish oil, stain or whatever to color. If a dining table dont use lacquer, if not spray precat lacquer. If a dining table or you dont have spray equipment wipe on poly will work well.

- OSU55


View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#24 posted 10-19-2018 01:22 AM



+1 card scraper would be a big help if you have one. A paint scraper used judiciously can work. Chemical stripper if you cant wait. As mentioned the blotching will be relatively deep. If you have the tools – card scraper to get soft finish off, then a smoother plane to get to uncolored wood.

Read the blotch control blog. Then use danish oil, stain or whatever to color. If a dining table dont use lacquer, if not spray precat lacquer. If a dining table or you dont have spray equipment wipe on poly will work well.

- OSU55


View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4476 posts in 976 days


#25 posted 10-19-2018 03:57 AM

Wipe it down with naphtha or paint thinner. That will help dry it and make it easier to sand. Yes you can put lacquer over the oil once it dries, but getting an even finish on a surface that size with aerosol will be a challenge. A wiping varnish might be more manageable.

My favorite blotch control is 1 part white glue to 6 parts distilled water. Brush it on liberally, let it set a couple of hours and sand with 320 or 400 to knock off the raised grain. A second application might be needed and that’s where doing test boards is critical. The thing with your table is that, while the maple needs some blotch control, I wouldn’t want to use it on the sapele. It won’t blotch, and you really want that oil penetration to bring out the chatoyance. Tough call. How you proceed is up to you.

In the future, adding a metallic drier to your oil will help given the lower temperature you’re working at. Your local Sherwin Williams store probably will have a can of Japan drier. Only add it to what oil you are going to use at a time. A milliliter per ounce of oil is all you need.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#26 posted 10-19-2018 05:27 AM

Thank you. I wonder what other contrasting wood won’t blotch like maple? Any?


Wipe it down with naphtha or paint thinner. That will help dry it and make it easier to sand. Yes you can put lacquer over the oil once it dries, but getting an even finish on a surface that size with aerosol will be a challenge. A wiping varnish might be more manageable.

My favorite blotch control is 1 part white glue to 6 parts distilled water. Brush it on liberally, let it set a couple of hours and sand with 320 or 400 to knock off the raised grain. A second application might be needed and that s where doing test boards is critical. The thing with your table is that, while the maple needs some blotch control, I wouldn t want to use it on the sapele. It won t blotch, and you really want that oil penetration to bring out the chatoyance. Tough call. How you proceed is up to you.

In the future, adding a metallic drier to your oil will help given the lower temperature you re working at. Your local Sherwin Williams store probably will have a can of Japan drier. Only add it to what oil you are going to use at a time. A milliliter per ounce of oil is all you need.

- Rich


View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4476 posts in 976 days


#27 posted 10-19-2018 05:38 AM


Thank you. I wonder what other contrasting wood won’t blotch like maple? Any?

- tsbot

That’s a pretty broad question and one I’m not sure I’m best suited to respond to. I’ve had good luck with pecan. Beyond that, I should probably leave it to the LJ community to pitch in.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2299 posts in 2376 days


#28 posted 10-19-2018 12:11 PM



Thanks – yes I do have a card scraper. It’s a desktop for the wife. I bought the Watco spray lacquer – will this be ok on top of the Danish Oil or should I wipe on ?

- tsbot

Watco lacquer is pretty soft, I wouldnt use it. Most desks get stuff moved across them, papers written on etc. There are some wb poly’s that are pretty good, and spray well, but require added steps to maintain chatoyance. OB poly is tougher tho, and is the best. It can be sprayed, but overspray doesnt dry and turns the spray area to sandpaper. Wipe on poly is hard to get perfect but will work well.

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#29 posted 10-19-2018 03:14 PM

Sorry for my newness – what is WB poly and OB poly.

Thanks – yes I do have a card scraper. It’s a desktop for the wife. I bought the Watco spray lacquer – will this be ok on top of the Danish Oil or should I wipe on ?

- tsbot

Watco lacquer is pretty soft, I wouldnt use it. Most desks get stuff moved across them, papers written on etc. There are some wb poly’s that are pretty good, and spray well, but require added steps to maintain chatoyance. OB poly is tougher tho, and is the best. It can be sprayed, but overspray doesnt dry and turns the spray area to sandpaper. Wipe on poly is hard to get perfect but will work well.

- OSU55


View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2570 days


#30 posted 10-19-2018 03:30 PM

Water-bourne vs. oil-bourne. Or -based, depending. Basically, what’s the medium for the poly?

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

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#31 posted 10-19-2018 03:34 PM

Perfect sense lol thanks!


Water-bourne vs. oil-bourne. Or -based, depending. Basically, what s the medium for the poly?

- shampeon


View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#32 posted 10-19-2018 05:09 PM

last question would be:

Do I need to lacquer/poly the entire project or just the top? Thankfully, I guess, is that my sanding sealer was only applied to the top, so the rest of drawers/bottom etc are only 2 coats of Danish Oil.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2299 posts in 2376 days


#33 posted 10-20-2018 11:25 AM

Your choice. Danish oil is not that protective so I would recommend all surfaces. Typically the top will get more coats but it also depends on the desired look. Sorry for not being more definitive but finishing is not a simple cookbook, there are many variants depending on desire and taste.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1916 posts in 990 days


#34 posted 10-20-2018 07:33 PM

I’d also like to cast my vote for the card scraper. The stuff you already have on there is going to gum up sanding sheets for weeks or months because it is also going to heat it up.

Too many posts to read but are you in a city that has co-op or commercial shops? It’d be worth it to me to spend some $ and pass it through a big-ass commercial planer and/or or drum sander to get it back to bare wood.

Not gonna contribute to the discussion on how to finish it after that.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#35 posted 10-21-2018 04:06 AM

Thank you all – I’ll report back when finished. So far 1/2 way there, plan on finishing getting to bare wood then re-applying Danish Oil then letting dry for a long time :) – then wipe on poly.

Really do appreciate all the help, thoughts and ideas. Can’t wait to look back in a few years and see how my building has progressed.

View tsbot's profile

tsbot

52 posts in 961 days


#36 posted 10-22-2018 07:32 PM

Thank you all for the help.

Got to it over the last few days – this morning I finished sanding it down to bare wood. Blue taped off the maple – applied 1 coat of sanding sealer to maple only to help (hopefully!) prevent blotching. Left the all the Sapele alone. First coat of danish oil on. Will do second coat shortly and then let it dry. I plan on bringing it in the house tonight, and leaving it in for a few days, when the temps drop, right now garage is high 60’s.

Then I’ll wipe on poly when it’s for sure dry.

Suggestions? Comments?

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4476 posts in 976 days


#37 posted 10-22-2018 08:02 PM


Thank you all for the help.

Suggestions? Comments?

- tsbot

It’s looking great. Sapele is beautiful wood, and I like the contrasting maple strip you added. Nice work.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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