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Forum topic by SimoninCO posted 01-22-2018 06:09 PM 525 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1010 days

01-22-2018 06:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: danish oil finish finishing walnut question

I am making a Credenza out of Walnut. In the past, I have always used stains and Poly for finishing, but wanted to go a different route with this project since this will be used as a TV stand and won’t get heavy use and you’d be a monster if you stained Walnut.

Was told Danish oil is an easy finish that leaves a good natural look and provides more protection then a linseed or tung oil alone. I have applied two coats with about 24 hours and a light 320 grit sanding in between. After the second coat I was left with a couple of small blotchy spots. I think this has to do with it being cold (55 degrees when i put it on and about 25 over night for drying). I brought it into the house to help with the dry time and nothing feels sticky to the touch at this point.

I am wondering if I should move forward and add an additional layer or two with either 320 sanding or 0000 steal wool in between? Or if more coats will make it worse and I should cut my loses and put a layer or two of poly over it? Or if I just do one more coat with no sanding in between and wipe off quickly after applying?

This week continues to be cold in CO and I don’t really have a spot to do it in the house that won’t subject everyone to some fumes. Any advice is helpful.


4 replies so far

View LesB's profile


2627 posts in 4328 days

#1 posted 01-22-2018 06:33 PM

No matter what finish you use it needs to be at least 60+ degrees or you will have problems. Even if you move the piece into a warm area it needs to come up to ambient temperature before starting the work.

I would apply at least one more coat of the oil (two if you are trying to build a top finish). the blotchy spots may be where the oil soaked in or you missed them. At this point any further buffing should be done with white 3M pad (it is non abrasive). If this third coat looks good I would then apply a paste wax (carnauba type) with the white pad and buff with a soft cloth.
Another method would be to use a top coat or two of a wipe on poly to seal the danish oil. Again I would apply a wax with the white pad and buff.

-- Les B, Oregon

View SimoninCO's profile


2 posts in 1010 days

#2 posted 01-22-2018 07:11 PM

Thanks Les,

Do you think that having the project inside for the last day will have the wood and the oil at a good enough temp that I could apply it in the garage with the heater going? And then bring it in to dry. Or should I look for a heated shop to do it?

View LesB's profile


2627 posts in 4328 days

#3 posted 01-24-2018 12:00 AM

I think you need to keep it “warm” until the finish is set.

-- Les B, Oregon

View bigJohninvegas's profile


808 posts in 2347 days

#4 posted 01-24-2018 02:46 AM

Dry time for sure. Over night in the summer, but winter you may want to wait a couple days between coats. Moving it indoors will help for sure. Danish oil has been my go to finish. I apply it and wet sand it by hand with the highest grit I sanded to. You mentioned 320. I quit as it starts to get tacky and wipe it dry with clean cotton rags. As dry as you can get it. A big piece like yours I only work one section at a time. Get it completely wiped down dry before moving to the next area. The tacky rough spots tend to be an area that you may have missed when wiping it off. It will soften right up with the next coat. I use a minimum of 3 coats. And frequently use up to 6 with a fine furniture project, and sometimes finish with a little paste wax after it is good and dry. But not always. See how it looks and feels a week or two after I am done.
Good luck

-- John

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