Danish Oil Finish


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Established Member
18 Apr 2022
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North Wales
I'm using Hamsphire Sheen and am trying to achieve a Satin finish. However, 3 coats later and it is still very Matt, the result you'd expect from applying something like a Chestnut Products Lemon Oil.

I suspect the issue might be that I am wiping too much off? but I am really trying to avoid that horrible high sheen plasticy finish you see where people just splatter it on with a brush without removing the excess. So firstly, can you wipe too much off? secondly, how many coats do you tend to use?

The timber is dry Cedar.

Process :

- Sand to 320
- Apply with a brush, wait ten minutes, wipe off excess, leave 24 hours to dry
- repeat above step (in my case 3 times so far)
You can get a decent gloss (not a high gloss) with Danish, it depends how you treat it. Several coats and sand finer and finer if you want gloss. Especially in the weather we're getting at the moment make sure the stuff is 100% dry - leave it for a couple of weeks at least. If there is the slightest drag when sanding, it's not dry.
Danish Oil, like most oil finishes, appears to dry quickly and then cures - chemical bonds form - slowly. If you apply an extra coat too soon, all you do is re-soften the coat beneath. If you have the time, do 2 coats, bring it indoors for a week or two as Phil suggests, then apply a third, see what happens.

Are you using a sanding sealer? I've used it with and without and can't really decide. The grain on some wood seems to show better without SS but you can get to a semi gloss more quickly if you use it.

I like Danish Oil for things that get used because it is so easy to reapply in a few months time if you need to, and it looks good.
Is the item slightly rough to the touch? Danish oil can raise the tiny fibres left by sanding.

If so, very lightly dust off the roughness with a scotch pad or fine abrasive. Then apply another coat or two. You won't get a shine if it's not smooth.
We finish most of our products with Danish Oil
Mainly British Oak, Beech & Ash
Sand to 240g
1st coat apply sparingly with a microfibre cloth leave for 24hours on a drying rack
Denib with a brown scotch brite
2nd coat apply sparingly with microfibre cloth leave for 24 hours on a drying rack
3rd coat apply sparingly with microfibre cloth leave for 24 hours on a drying rack
Only denib after 1st coat and apply sparingly so dont need to wipe off
At this time of year it does take longer to dry
Usually end up with a finish similar to Osmo Satin

Hope this helps drop me a message if you have any questions