Dena Boyce

Danish oil nightmare

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Hello, I wonder if anyone can help?

We are restoring our solid wood kitchen work tops. They were sanded back, cleaned using turps and then Danish oil applied. Thinly 3 times

They have been drying for 3 days, so I assumed they were fully cured but they are now covered if white marks, where water had splashed. Also cup marks etc

Does anyone know what may have happened or how to rectify it? 

Many thanks

Dena

 

 

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Danish Oil is a fairly generic label.  Knowing the brand and product name may help.  Most oils are wiped on, left for 30 minutes to an hour and then wiped off at each coat.  Did you apply according to directions; temperature range, duration between coats, etc. 

The almost always present step of "wiping dry" before walking away to let things cure is very important with some oils.  Thick coats will take forever to cure as the surface cures and slows the process for the remainder of the film.

Depending on formulation oils can take many days to cure.  Some home store mixes speed this up.  Watco, a product available near me, uses a protocol of:

  • Apply
  • Wait 30 minutes
  • Apply again
  • Wait 15 minutes
  • Wipe dry
  • Ready for use in 8 to 10 hours

I can say from actual experience that 8 to 10 hours is very optimistic even in my mild, dry climate.  Also, anything being used in a kitchen begs for a topcoat,maybe a poly.

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By kitchen work tops are you talking about kitchen counter tops?  If so, def wouldn't be using danish oil, need something with more protection like a polyurethane, not sure what exactly people use for counter tops. 

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Hello

 

We have stripped our oak kitchen work surfaces, cleaned with turps and applied 3 coats of danish oil. (Allowing 24hrs between each)

 

The top top coat was applied 3 days ago but yet when water is now in contact with the tops, it leaves white marks on the top - it looks terrible. The surface is also very rough where water has touched

 

Help!! Any help at all much appreciated

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Yeah....no.  Assuming the countertops are countertops, and made of hardwood...I use and recommend products meant for food surfaces.  Unfortunately, you'll have to remove the Danish Oil first...start sanding!

There are a bunch of ways to achieve nice wood countertops, here are the three that I've found most effective.

1) Look for "Butcher Block Oil" made from Mineral Oil and Beeswax. Follow instructions and use regularly...it'll take a few "coats", but each only takes half hour or so between coats.  This will leave a smooth, tack free surface.  Looks and feels like wax (see number 3 below), the mineral oil "feeds" the wood and the beeswax leaves a silky smooth finish. Refinishing or touch-ups can be done anytime on small or large surfaces.

2) Carnuba Paste Wax (e.g. Johnson's, but make sure it's without abrasives).  Like Mr. Miagi said...Wax On, Wax Off.  The finish ends up not very waxy after you buff the excess material off.  Several coats, you'll know when the finish feels right...smooth and silky with a low sheen.  Wax again as you notice counters start to feel like wood again.

3) Mineral Oil alone (widely available as "food grade", but make sure yours is).  Feeds the wood and fills the pores for a while.

These are food-safe solutions that also can be "retouched" in smaller areas (like around the sink or other areas that are wiped often or "cut on", where any finish will wear first) and the 'refinished" area looks like the rest.

I avoid polyurethane on counters.  Looks good (satin finish looks like #1 and #2 above), but you don't want it getting into your food.  Worse yet, when you need to refinish it you'll need to do the whole thing at once if you want it to look right.  Sanding, hours of time and messy cleanup are avoided with the finishes I've described.

Good Luck, whatever you decide to do!

 

James

 

 

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Most finishes are food safe once cured, besides what kind of food would you be worried about putting on a poly finish, doubt the counter top would be used as a big cutting board.  I have granite counter tops and still not gonna slap a piece of raw chicken on it, that's what a plate is for.  The time you'd spend refinishing a poly top wouldn't be as long as the amount of time you'd have to spend up keeping those methods. 

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30 minutes ago, Priusjames said:

Yeah....no.  Assuming the countertops are countertops, and made of hardwood...I use and recommend products meant for food surfaces.  Unfortunately, you'll have to remove the Danish Oil first...start sanding!

There are a bunch of ways to achieve nice wood countertops, here are the three that I've found most effective.

 

2) Carnuba Paste Wax (e.g. Johnson's, but make sure it's without abrasives).  Like Mr. Miagi said...Wax On, Wax Off.  The finish ends up not very waxy after you buff the excess material off.  Several coats, you'll know when the finish feels right...smooth and silky with a low sheen.  Wax again as you notice counters start to feel like wood again.

 

 

 

I disagree - most paste waxes, including johnsons, use some kind of solvent to carry the wax.  Wax never cures and will slow down the evaporation of the solvent.  I would rather eat off of a cured poly surface than a mix of wax and solvent.    Johnson's is 75% solvent (probably naphta or mineral spirits) ~20 % paraffin wax and less than 10% carnauba. 

https://www.k-state.edu/facilities/storeroom/products/msds/Johnson Paste Wax 016094.pdf

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I hate to say this, but danish oil isn't much for protecting the wood. And 3 days isn't nearly long enough for it to be fully cured.


If you want any water resistance, I suggest at least a good polyurathane varnish, or perhaps a poured-resin "bartop" coating.

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Danish Oil is mostly an "in-wood" finish, not a protective film. It will stain and bloom from water contact, and won't stop the grain from rising. Also, 24 hours is for re-applying subsequent layers, but it can take weeks for the finish to completely cure.

This is the reason Danish Oil (or any other drying oil) is rarely used for kitchens or high-use surfaces like dining tables.

In terms of dealing with the problem... Overcoating is going to be problematic, the oil in the wood will interfere with a lot of top-coats you could apply, unless you wait until it is 100% dry.

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1. You cleaned the surface with turpentine. How long did you wait after cleaning the surface before coating the surface with Danish Oil?

2.You menitoned a "topcoat" what topocat did you use?

3. How did your strip the surface?

4. Can you post a picture?

 

-Ace-

 

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It's appropriate for workbenches.  That's about it.  Anywhere else...it sucks.  It's an inferior finish for almost everything.

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We seem to have scared Dena off.  I hope some of the responses were helpful.  I that situation I would strip everything back and choose a more appropriate finish.  No one who thinks they have completed a job wants to hear that they have to start over.  In this case I think it is the only process that will get the surfaces to what they want.

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There is also a chance that " sanded back " just scuffed the old surface finish and the Danish oil is sitting on top instead of soaking in. In general I have found Danish oil to be best suited to smaller projects that are not subjected to harsh conditions. Every time I have tried to use Danish oil on a larger project drying times and getting a consistent result was difficult.

I would use a sharp cabinet scraper to remove the layer of Danish oil but owning and sharpening a cabinet scraper may be beyond Dena's skill set. Sanding it it off will gum up a bunch of sandpaper.

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12 minutes ago, wdwerker said:

Every time I have tried to use Danish oil on a larger project drying times and getting a consistent result was difficult.

Exactly my experience as well which is why I contend it sucks.  It's in no-man's land...it does nothing well...

...if you want that natural, oiled look, use oil.  If you want a protective film finish that still looks fairly natural, use a wiping varnish (in satin).  Oil/varnish blends like Danish oil are just slow-drying sticky messes that cure to an uneven sheen.  And if your goal is to achieve any level of protective film, it will take way more than a reasonable number of coats.  I just don't see the advantage of using Danish oil on any project other than a workbench.  But it is perfect for a workbench...slightly more protection than oil so you can easily pop dried glue off...but not so much that it builds a slick film so your parts won't go slip-sliding around.

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9 hours ago, Eric. said:

Exactly my experience as well which is why I contend it sucks.  It's in no-man's land...it does nothing well...

 

I totally agree with you that Danish Oil doesn't have many uses but this guy finishes most of his pieces with it and can you imagine how many coats it takes to get that sheen on his projects? When you see the detail in his projects and the time  they take I guess a buttload of coats doesn't matter. 

http://chiselandbit.com/gallery.htm

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9 minutes ago, estesbubba said:

I totally agree with you that Danish Oil doesn't have many uses but this guy finishes most of his pieces with it and can you imagine how many coats it takes to get that sheen on his projects? When you see the detail in his projects and the time  they take I guess a buttload of coats doesn't matter. 

http://chiselandbit.com/gallery.htm

It's decent furniture (I think most of the designs are fairly hideous) but DO is still a waste of his time.  He could achieve the same appearance and better protection using a wiping varnish or spraying lacquer.  I've used DO and no one will convince me it's not inferior to other finishes in all three categories of appearance, protection, and ease of application.

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So I have a tangential question.  Is it possible to speed up the drying process of Danish oil?  Let's say I hit it with a blowdryer or even a heat gun.  Could that decrease the cure time, or would it just funk up the finish?

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16 minutes ago, estesbubba said:

Once it's dry you can use fans to speed up cure but I wouldn't use anything to get it above room temperature. 

I guess I'm just not understanding how a finish curing is different from, say, drying water out of wet fabric.  Is there a fundamental difference in what makes oil cure and water evaporate?  I understand how water-based finishes work, because the water evaporates and the finish is what's left, but what's the chemistry behind how oil cures? :wacko:

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