"Fuzzy" area after finishing

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Matt Hegedus posted 04-30-2017 01:11 AM 1568 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Matt Hegedus's profile

Matt Hegedus

147 posts in 1706 days

04-30-2017 01:11 AM

Hey jocks,

Was wondering how I avoid these fuzzy areas, and what to do about them. This maple slab was sanded up through 150 grit for a very long time (at least 1.5 hrs sanding with ROS up through three grits) It felt smooth and I even raised the grain with water and hit it again with 150.

Still, I got these weird fuzzy areas. This is after 2 coats of Danish oil, allowed to soak for 30 minutes applying more finish to the areas the wood drank up.

I’m guessing I can sand it again and reapply, though Id rather not. What do you think? How can I eliminate these patches?


-- From Pittsburgh, PA

11 replies so far

View diverlloyd's profile


4029 posts in 2770 days

#1 posted 04-30-2017 02:00 AM

I had this happen to some aspen pine. I put a coat of poly on it and sanded again with 300 grit. So I would think you are in the same boat let the finish dry and sand some more. also you will sand less if you use a guide coat.

View Loren's profile


10784 posts in 4561 days

#2 posted 04-30-2017 03:35 AM

Danish oil is like that. You can try wet sanding
with used 220 grit paper immediately when the
finish starts to tack. It will load the paper but
also make a slurry that fills the pores.

View Woodknack's profile


13519 posts in 3293 days

#3 posted 04-30-2017 03:45 AM

I think what you have is rising grain around that knot, so basically end grain. If it does the same thing on the other side then I’m wrong. This is where shellac comes in handy. Put down a coat and sand it back, might have to do 2. I used Danish oil a few times and never really cared much for it. It does have advantages but they are few.

-- Rick M,

View Matt Hegedus's profile

Matt Hegedus

147 posts in 1706 days

#4 posted 04-30-2017 04:02 AM

I thought of shellac too… its my all time favorite finish. But this is for a coffee table and I occasionally spill alcohol on it when entertaining friends, and even when I’m alone (haha).

I think I’m gonna go for it though. Sealcoat it is!

Btw I like Danish oil for its ease of use… I’ve mixed up my own oil/varnish mix and to me the Danish oil is just as good, and a lot easier. I just wish it would build more of a film quicker… I wonder if they put poly in it? I bet I could add some.

-- From Pittsburgh, PA

View Woodknack's profile


13519 posts in 3293 days

#5 posted 04-30-2017 05:50 AM

According to the msds it’s: Natural drying and semi-drying oils, rosin ester, & mineral spirits. The new msds’s don’t give much information but from memory it’s around 50-60% mineral spirits, that’s why it builds slowly but is easy to use.

-- Rick M,

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1661 days

#6 posted 04-30-2017 09:36 PM

I’d wet sand it with 320 or 400 grit sandpaper, using the Danish Oil. That said, I’ve quit using Danish Oil and have gone back to Minwax Antique Oil, which dries overnight. The Danish Oil just dries too slow for me.

And, in my experience, any of those finishes get better with added coats. First coat – man, it looks terrible. Second coat – well, it looks a bit better. Third coat – starting to look pretty good.

View joandust's profile


24 posts in 1305 days

#7 posted 04-30-2017 10:14 PM

That’s a bummer, I usually re-sand when this happens but I use a different tool from what I used before (random orbital for example seems to do the trick for me in these situations) but in your case since it’s the result from a ROS already, maybe go for a really solid sheet sander and work very slowly. Don’t get discouraged after 2 coatings though, I’d definitely recommend 1 more at the very least to get a better result. Keep us posted and I’m sure you’ll get a great finish in the end.

-- Joan

View Matt Hegedus's profile

Matt Hegedus

147 posts in 1706 days

#8 posted 05-02-2017 06:35 AM

Hey guys, thanks for all the advice. It all made sense and I liked having the options everyone presented. I had a few different avenues of attack.

Here’s what I did: I pulled out the ROS again and went over all the fuzzy areas with grain direction in mind. I first positioned the spin against the grain (150 grit). This seemed to make the fuzz worse, which is what’s i expected.

Then I spent a good 20 minutes (and 2.5 sandpaper discs), going with the grain in those areas and a couple other weird spots on the slab.

This ended up sanding and then burnishing the wood with oil-caked sanding discs. It ended up really nice, but off-color from the rest, which I expected.

Slapped another coat of Danish oil on it and wiped it off 30 min later. It looks fantastic with no fuzz.

Thanks again.

What Inplan todo next is two more wiped-off coats of Danish oil, as Joan suggested, then possibly a few (5 or 6) thinned coats of high gloss poly, which Inwill probably buff down a bit.

Hope this helps someone. I’ll post the project in the next week or two.


-- From Pittsburgh, PA

View Wildwood's profile (online now)


2906 posts in 3047 days

#9 posted 05-02-2017 10:21 AM

Don’t know the brand of Danish oil used but sounds like an oil varnish blend product. Most manufacturers recommend two or three coats. You can tell by the amount of thinner used in the product and unable to get a build of finish. You would be better off using a homemade or commercial wiping varnish. See Flexner’s article for product list. Homemade just 50-50 mix of film finish to thinner, two coats equal one coat of film finish. Never buy wiping varnish product with more than 60% thinner!

-- Bill

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2902 days

#10 posted 05-02-2017 12:15 PM

Looks like tear out/negative grain, or fuzzyness from heavy sanding, with the finish drying a bit hazy. Sand out like you did. Hand planing vs heavy sanding will produce a better surface for finishing. The wood wont have the fuzzies and the surface will be flatter. . Make your own “danish oil” -here.

View Matt Hegedus's profile

Matt Hegedus

147 posts in 1706 days

#11 posted 05-02-2017 11:31 PM

I used watco Danish oil and according to the SDS it is 60% mineral spirits, and the film component is resin + vegetable and linseed oil (no % given) so that explains why it wipes on so nice and why there is basically zero film finish after drying.

I’m still going with two coats of poly after all my Danish oil build/absorption, I want this thing looking good years down the road.

And btw I did not finish the top with hand planes because I never flattened the top. It has a gentle rolling surface to it, which I love. And that’s why I went with the sander. I did spokeshave and scrape a few parts before sanding. Thanks for all your input!

-- From Pittsburgh, PA

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics