Danish Oil Color Tones

Danish oil application and color tone comparison.

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Step 1: Danish Oil

Danish oil is an oil and varnish mix. Varnish with tung or polymerized linseed oil. Watco is a popular manufacturer of the product that is commonly found. It is not a true hard topcoat, but is a penetrating oil that will pop the grain and give some protection. It is also good for developing patina on tool handles and other items with manual use.

Step 2: Shake and Apply

To apply first shake the can, then flood the wood surface and let sit for 30 minutes. Almost any applicator can be used. I use a piece of gauze or a lint free rag. You can also use a brush or foam pad.

Step 3: 2nd Coat and Wipe

Flood the surface again and after 15 minutes wipe the excess oil from the surface.

Step 4: Caution

Do not put wet application pads in the trash. The oil can react with oxygen creating heat and cause a fire. Wait a day or two for the pad to dry before disposing.

Step 5: Dry and Cure

The oil should fully dry in 2-3 days depending on temperature and humidity conditions.

For different color tones of Danish oil, test on an off cut or scrap piece of wood to see what color tone will be imparted. You can see the hue given by natural, red mahogany and dark walnut in the photo above. The tone may also change a bit after a few days of curing.

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