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Residue - Watco Danish Oil

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Forum topic by JeffRadford posted 06-23-2019 04:01 AM 776 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JeffRadford

12 posts in 175 days


06-23-2019 04:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finish watco danish oil sticky residue oak desk

Hey there folks -

So I’m a NOVICE in regards to working with and finishing woods.

I opted to build a custom “desk” so to speak with some untreated oak cabinetry from Ikea. I’m sure this is sacrelig around here, but I shall continue my inquiry.

I sanded and then “flooded” with Watco danish oil and dear LORD what a damned mess. I misunderstood the concept of flooding and instead of wiping down within 15 minutes or so left the flood to setup on the wood for 24/48 hours. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Since then to try to undo my foolishness – you learn by failure, right? – I’ve sanded, used a 1 inch putty knife, lathered with mineral oils and rubbed down with 000 steel wool.

I’ve uploaded some pics for your experienced reviews and opinions and obviously there’s some inconsistencies where it looks as though there’s some decent D.O. finish still remaining and places where I’m back to the wood level.

Alas, I’m growing weary of this project, and pulling out my hair.

From your vantage point, do you feel I should keep sanding/steel wooling – or reapply danish oil and sand to attempt to get a consistent finish?

Thanks in advance!

Sorry for my lack of knowledge. Doing everything I can to learn!

-J


20 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5843 posts in 3060 days


#1 posted 06-23-2019 12:22 PM

I don’t know what it looks like, but my offering is: don’t sand, don’t steel wool, and certainly don’t add more danish oil. Here’s the problem your facing, the Watco is (by some accounts) nothing more than a very thin varnish. Other opinions are that it has some BLO in it (if true, that would make it a true danish oil). In any case, what I think has happened is the varnish component in your extra thick coat has started to cure. At this point I think there are 2 options to remove what you have. You could use stripper (the real stuff with methyl chloride, if you can find it) and get it off, or you may able to scrape it off with card scrapers….or possibly even a paint scraper. A disclaimer: I’ve never used Watco since I mix my own danish oil. But the only time I’ve seen “flooding” used in finishing subjects was with pure oil finishes; either BLO or tung oil. With danish oil, and wiping varnish, I’ve only put on a good coat with a cloth. For danish oil I then let it sit 15 minutes or so and wipe off the excess. Did the Watco can mention flooding?

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

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

1080 posts in 3360 days


#2 posted 06-23-2019 01:40 PM

Citrus stripper or soy gel are two other strippers that may work, and are considered safe. Meth. Chloride strippers work well but are extremely dangerous. To use, you need chemical resistant gloves, not available at box or hardware stores. It must be used outside, or with a chemical respirator, NOT a dust mask.

View sgcz75b's profile

sgcz75b

72 posts in 327 days


#3 posted 06-23-2019 01:51 PM

Strip the disaster off with some type of chemicals and start over.

At the risk of offending you, next time understand what you’re doing before you start doing. Preventing disasters is much easier than cleaning up the mess.

Good luck.

-- "A dying people tolerates the present, rejects the future, and finds its satisfactions in past greatness and half remembered glory" - John Steinbeck

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JeffRadford

12 posts in 175 days


#4 posted 06-23-2019 02:52 PM

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JeffRadford

12 posts in 175 days


#5 posted 06-23-2019 02:58 PM

Added some links for a view – not sure why – but LumberJocks keeps uploading my images upside down – even when I rotated them to be upside down in hope of images loading the appropriate way.

Regardless – @sgcz75b – you’re correct and I’m not offended whatsoever. I blindly followed a YouTube “tutorial” that omitted some obviously super important caveats.

@Fred – Watco can does say to flood – I simply was dumb and missed the part about not flooding more than 15 minutes and left the countertop flooded overnight.

I may start with citrus stripper or soy gel as @ibewjon recommended before going down the meth chloride route.

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ibewjon

1080 posts in 3360 days


#6 posted 06-23-2019 04:13 PM

My woodcraft carries soy gel, I use it myself. ( I am in Illinois) Menards carries citrus stripper. You will get through this, and it will turn out fine. I made a mess of a computer desk using shellac out of the can. Then I learned to thin it and it works much easier. We all live and learn.

View Oka's profile

Oka

4 posts in 174 days


#7 posted 06-23-2019 05:24 PM

The others have mentioned the citrus stripper or soy. Those are excellent.

In the future, take a wood sample and coat it with the finish you are considering. Observe how it absorbs into the wood. This will prevent issues like this. Some woods are harder finishing due to their chemical makeup. Some are very oily or acidic. So checking before going to full coating of your finished piece will help prevent these issues.

If you are going to use watco or other oil based finishes, you might try cleaning the surface with 25% linseed oil and 75% naptha mix. This will help stabilize the surface so the coating that comes after has a more stable surface which equates to a more even coloring of the surface.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5573 posts in 2918 days


#8 posted 06-23-2019 07:24 PM

When you find yourself in a hole the first rule is to stop digging. Definitely don’t add more Watco. Get a chemical stripper and strip that Danish oil off and start over. Next time flood it and then wipe it tight after 5 minutes.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

3323 posts in 2915 days


#9 posted 06-23-2019 07:28 PM

In addition to anything else you decide to do, put it out in the sun for the day. Wipe off any bleed out every couple hours. Repeat for a couple of days, at least until there is no more bleed out. You will find that the wood feels much drier. This process also helps get all of the excess, uncured Watco out of the wood pores so it won’t continue bleeding for months.

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

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2454 posts in 2556 days


#10 posted 06-23-2019 10:08 PM

Plenty of advice on strippers – whatever you are willing to put up with. Hopefully the more “friendly” strippers will work. I use the flood method with blo, danish oil, poly. Application is the same for all – keep wet until you wipe them off after 10 min or so. You may find this helpful.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2454 posts in 2556 days


#11 posted 06-23-2019 10:09 PM

Plenty of advice on strippers – whatever you are willing to put up with. Hopefully the more “friendly” strippers will work. I use the flood method with blo, danish oil, poly. Application is the same for all – keep wet until you wipe them off after 10 min or so. You may find this helpful.

View JeffRadford's profile

JeffRadford

12 posts in 175 days


#12 posted 06-29-2019 03:05 PM

Thanks so much for everyone’s help. Sorry for delay on my end. Work week tends to tie me up until Saturday/Sunday – I’ll be heading over to the local Lowe’s today and grabbing some of this stuff here and will give it a try. At this point should I be too concerned about really harming the wood? – I only bring this up because on some parts of the wood I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of the danish oil off, but at this point the goal is to get it all off. And restart from scratch. Fingers crossed!

So process as follows – continue to strip wood – once completed, apply mineral oil to prepare wood, sand 150 to 320 to prep for – Watco Danish Oil again? or maybe just completely avoid and use a boiled linseed oil – FWIW – this is the video tutorial I was trying to follow.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5843 posts in 3060 days


#13 posted 06-29-2019 04:29 PM

It’s unlikely you will get it all off, as in terms of 100%, unless you mechanically remove some of the wood surface itself. But you will get enough off to recover from the damage done. Why on earth (I didn’t watch the video) you want to put mineral oil on it is a mystery to me. Unless you remove some of the wood, what will remain will be somewhat sealed already, so any kind of oil finish is just going to sit on the surface. I think I would just go back to the Watco, applying it correctly this time or switch to a regular varnish and finish it.

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

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

711 posts in 2029 days


#14 posted 06-29-2019 04:45 PM

So watco Danish oil has been a go to finish for me.
Obliviously you have learned the hard way to apply thin coats with a rag or brush, and I tend to hand wet sand it a few minutes, till it just starts to get a little tacky, with the last grit I sanded to. Then wipe it as dry as i can get it with a clean dry cotton rag.
Now with all that said, if I didn’t get it wiped dry enough, there has been some gritty feeling spots the next day.
With that I would re apply a little oil. It will soften up the gritty oil that was left on. Then rub the crap out of it with a clean dry rag again.
That contradicts what most have said here. And as thick as you left it. Well I can’t say I have ever seen that done before.
But before I strip, sand , or steel wool it. I will have tried a little more oil. Maybe on a corner to test it.
You have to wipe it as dry as you can get it with each coat.

-- John

View JeffRadford's profile

JeffRadford

12 posts in 175 days


#15 posted 06-29-2019 05:02 PM

Hey Fred – there were some tips to use mineral oil and fine steel wool to remove/rub down the access danish oil. I’m going to give it one more go on the citris stripper to get as much off, resand and retry with the danish and do it right this go around. Prob 2/3 times WIPING off vs. my original thought process around “flooding.” We all learn by trial and error I suppose.

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