Mixed (Danish) or One at a Time (BLO/Tung first then Polyurethane)

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Forum topic by Gruen posted 04-12-2021 04:09 PM 220 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Gruen's profile


19 posts in 786 days

04-12-2021 04:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: danish mixed finish polyurethane boiled linseed oil blo finishing

I’ve checked a lot of forums on Danish Oil (BLO/Tung oil ,thinner, and poly) against applying BLO/Tung first then poly as a finish for high use furnitures like tables and chairs. Most forums are old (2016) so maybe there are already new studies/techniques that I haven’t bumped into yet. Some say that Danish is the best of both worlds (inside the wood and outside) but it got me wondering… BLO/Tung protects inside while poly protects outside. Is it a waste applying a combination since the BLO/Tung oil is not so important on the exterior compared to poly, and that poly is not as penetrating as the oils? Why not condition the “inside of the wood” with oil (BLO/Tung) then seal it with poly for the outside? Please assume time to drying time is not a consideration since it is just additional days vs quality. I hope I’m making sense. Thanks in advance for your replies.

5 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


6000 posts in 3475 days

#1 posted 04-12-2021 04:17 PM

Oil finishes take a long time to cure fully. If you then apply poly before the oil is fully cured there can be problems. As a long time member here I have seen many posts where someone started with BLO or Watco Danish oil and then applied poly and had a mess. Most people are not patient enough, especially when they get to the “finish” line on a project.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View SMP's profile


4207 posts in 1029 days

#2 posted 04-12-2021 04:23 PM

Never cared much for danish oil. I find General Finishes Arm r Seal MUCH better, especially than the cheap big box store danish oil.

View EarlS's profile


4563 posts in 3472 days

#3 posted 04-12-2021 04:24 PM

Try General Finishes – Seal-A-Cell as a sealer, followed by Arm-R-Seal. I’ve used that combination on desks, chairs, and built-in closet cabinets.

Danish oil goes on really thin so you will need a lot of coats if that is your preferred approach. I’ve also used it under Arm-R-Seal. If you use danish oil (watco) make sure you wipe it dry and give it at least 72 hours, wiping it down if there are any shiny spots before moving to any other finish or the finish will not dry well.

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

View pottz's profile


17684 posts in 2108 days

#4 posted 04-12-2021 04:26 PM

ive used sam maloofs formula for years with great results,it’s 1/3 tung oil 1/3 blo and 1/3 poly.i usually apply 3-4 coats a day apart.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View OSU55's profile


2796 posts in 3113 days

#5 posted 04-12-2021 07:21 PM

People seem to always conclude poly is only for thick film finishes (could be because they are marketed that way :)). There is no need for blo, danish oil, etc. Poly can be applied like any oil finish, flood on, keep wet for 10-20 min, wipe dry. Thin regular poly 1:1 with ms. Can add dye if desired. Read here. 2-3 coats for an oil look. Can then add wipe, brush or spray coats on top. I have many examples in my LJs projects.

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