Danish oil mishap - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-15-2019, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Danish oil mishap

Just finished building a cedar grilling cart and applied Danish oil as a finish. The grain really popped and looks great but the sticky excess oil that has formed does not!

I initially applied the oil heavily and then removed all excess: the cedar soaked up this first application as expected and I let it be for 15 mins and then applied a second coat again wiping off the excess. Shook the danish oil can thoroughly throughout this process by the way.

48 hours later what I am left with looks like I applied polyurethane instead of Danish oil: heavy, sticky sections which are now starting to cure. I was thinking that the Danish oil would give the cedar a sort of matte or satin finish but definitely not shiny like a polyurethane coated surface. (See attached photos)

I tried using 0000 steel wool with mineral spirits in an inconspicuous spot and that seemed to remove the cured excess. I think I will need to do this to the entire project unless anyone has another solution. I read that you can use fresh Danish oil with steel wool to rub out these issues and then wipe down everything thoroughly once again. Any suggestions you fine folks have are greatly appreciated!

Gus
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-15-2019, 12:27 PM
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With a Danish oil you never apply it and let it dry. The excess should always be wiped off. Since it's sticky wipe what you have with mineral spirits and remove the sticky. Then apply another coat of Danish oil and let it sit for a few minutes and wipe off the excess.

The way to work a Danish oil finish is to sand the wood to a finer grit than if you were putting a varnish on it. Then apply the oil finish and keep applying for about a half hour or so until it seems like it's just not going to absorb any more. Then wipe off the excess and let dry. In the next few days if the wood looks dead and dry apply another coat and allow it to sit for a few minutes and wipe off the excess. Depending on the type of wood you may have to do this several times if the wood is drinking up all the finish.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-15-2019, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
With a Danish oil you never apply it and let it dry. The excess should always be wiped off. Since it's sticky wipe what you have with mineral spirits and remove the sticky. Then apply another coat of Danish oil and let it sit for a few minutes and wipe off the excess.

The way to work a Danish oil finish is to sand the wood to a finer grit than if you were putting a varnish on it. Then apply the oil finish and keep applying for about a half hour or so until it seems like it's just not going to absorb any more. Then wipe off the excess and let dry. In the next few days if the wood looks dead and dry apply another coat and allow it to sit for a few minutes and wipe off the excess. Depending on the type of wood you may have to do this several times if the wood is drinking up all the finish.
Thanks. I tried buffing with 0000 steel wool and Danish oil which helped alot. I may try the steel wool with mineral spirits in another location and compare. Some pieces are almost 100% dry now so I may need to be more aggressive with my removal. We'll see.

So, using Danish oil and assuming it's applied 100% correctly what should the finish look like? Shiny finish? Matte? I was hoping for matte but may be able to achieve that with steel wool or synthetic steel wool.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-15-2019, 04:33 PM
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It should be a matte finish, but if you sanded the wood to a high gloss it could be kind of glossy, but I don't see that happening with cedar


I have used Danish oil for years and one way I do it works pretty good, apply and just let it soak in over night then reapply it, the new oil will soften the first coat and it will wipe right up.


Not sure if it is any better then letting it set for 30-60 minutes just figured a little more penetration



And with some things more penetration is a good thing LOL

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post #5 of 10 Old 06-15-2019, 05:58 PM
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Thanks. I tried buffing with 0000 steel wool and Danish oil which helped alot. I may try the steel wool with mineral spirits in another location and compare. Some pieces are almost 100% dry now so I may need to be more aggressive with my removal. We'll see.

So, using Danish oil and assuming it's applied 100% correctly what should the finish look like? Shiny finish? Matte? I was hoping for matte but may be able to achieve that with steel wool or synthetic steel wool.
A Danish oil finish is usually a mixture of linseed oil and tung oil. These oils are hardening oils which are also used to make varnishes so it's sort of like you took some varnish and thinned it down a lot and applied it real thick. It will dry on the surface and make an film coating if enough of it was applied. The idea with the Danish oil finish is to penetrate the fibers of the wood with the hardening oils and have little or nothing dry on the surface. If this is what you are wanting you need to strip what is on the surface and start over. Not that big of a deal since it's fresh can be removed with chemicals instead of having to strip and sand.

A Danish oil finish correctly done should almost look like unfinished wood. If you are wanting a glossy finish then use a film finish such as polyurethane.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-15-2019, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gus64 View Post
Thanks. I tried buffing with 0000 steel wool and Danish oil which helped alot. I may try the steel wool with mineral spirits in another location and compare. Some pieces are almost 100% dry now so I may need to be more aggressive with my removal. We'll see.

So, using Danish oil and assuming it's applied 100% correctly what should the finish look like? Shiny finish? Matte? I was hoping for matte but may be able to achieve that with steel wool or synthetic steel wool.
A Danish oil finish is usually a mixture of linseed oil and tung oil. These oils are hardening oils which are also used to make varnishes so it's sort of like you took some varnish and thinned it down a lot and applied it real thick. It will dry on the surface and make an film coating if enough of it was applied. The idea with the Danish oil finish is to penetrate the fibers of the wood with the hardening oils and have little or nothing dry on the surface. If this is what you are wanting you need to strip what is on the surface and start over. Not that big of a deal since it's fresh can be removed with chemicals instead of having to strip and sand.

A Danish oil finish correctly done should almost look like unfinished wood. If you are wanting a glossy finish then use a film finish such as polyurethane.
Got it. I think I'll be putting a little elbow grease into the removal in some spots but I guess this is just another step in my learning process. Really appreciate everyone's thoughts and ideas!
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-17-2019, 09:58 AM
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you should never really use steel wool on anything wood.
Eventually, you will have very tiny black specs on the surface which is the steel wool shards left behind and are now rusting.
This may take a year or two and you will be wondering what these mystery dots are.
Then again, it may never happen to you .

Tony B



Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-18-2019, 02:00 AM
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I've never been a fan of Danish oil because of everything above. I use Minwax Antique Oil Finish. If you can get it where you live, I would suggest using MAOF in the future.

Rich
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-19-2019, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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I've never been a fan of Danish oil because of everything above. I use Minwax Antique Oil Finish. If you can get it where you live, I would suggest using MAOF in the future.
Thanks. I will see how the Danish oil does outside now that my project is complete. If it comes down to refinishing it in the future I will definitely try the antique oil.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-21-2019, 06:45 PM
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Thanks. I will see how the Danish oil does outside now that my project is complete. If it comes down to refinishing it in the future I will definitely try the antique oil.



Waterlox would be better, and some of it dries glossy if that is what you want, not sure how long it will stay glossy outside though

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