wood lathe - Danish Oil
- Pros Smoothest most easily obtained "perfect"
Easy to repair.
Cons Not as durable as film finishes.
Finish may require periodic maintenance.
Procedure requires lots of elbow grease.
Should not be applied over common pigment or
Danish oil is considered to be a penetrating
oil type finish. In actuality, the oil does not penetrate very deeply,
just a little deeper than typical film finishes. When using this type
of finish, there is no need to sand the wood surface with anything
higher than 180 or 220 grit sandpaper prior to finishing. In order for
this finish to work properly it must be able to penetrate into the
wood. It will not be able to do so if you have stained it with the
commonly available pigment or gel stains. If you wish to stain the
surface you can use a water based dye applied first or use a tinted
This finish is one that even an amateur can
apply and achieve excellent results if the proper steps are followed.
There are several procedures that are similar to the one outlined
below, any of them will work, this is a simplified version. I use Deft
Danish oil but the procedure should be the same for all "Danish oils".
1. Even if you wish to use this product as a
stain as well as a finish, apply the "natural" color of the product to
end grain areas first then the colored version. This will keep the end
grain from looking darker than the rest of the surfaces. Apply a very
wet coat to all surfaces, allow the oil to stand on the surface for
about 30 minutes, apply more to any areas that become dry during this
time period. After 30 minutes or if the oil starts to become a little
"tacky", wipe it all off.
2. Immediately apply another wet coat of oil
to the surface, allow to stand for about 15 minutes or until it starts
to become tacky. Wipe all oil off of the surface. The surface will
"bleed", or seep oil onto the surface for a few hours after
application. You do not want this bleeding oil to harden so wipe the
surface down every half hour or so. Open pore woods like oak will bleed
more than woods such as maple. Note, the more vigorously you wipe the
oil off, the more it will bleed, heat causes this.
3. From now on, you should apply the finish
every other day. You may continue to use the tinted version of the
product or switch to the natural colored oil at this point. From this
point onwards, the oil will be applied with sandpaper. Start with 320
or 400 grit black sandpaper and wet sand the surface using the oil as a
lubricant, This will work the oil into the surface and smooth the
surface as well. You must wipe all of the excess oil from the surface
before it becomes tacky during each application. Continue this operation
every other day, switching to a finer grit of sandpaper each time. You
can keep this up a long time but the benefits start to diminish after
4. After you have applied all of the oil you
want, you may now apply either a coat of lemon oil or solvent wax
(Watco) using the sandpaper method. This will become the final finish.
As an alternative, you could use a paste wax wiped on with a rag and
buffed out. The preferred wax to use will be colored to avoid any white
5.About every year or two, you may wish to
apply a coat of the natural finish oil and / or wax to the surface to
restore it's sheen.
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