Applying Danish Oil

By Karl

Danish Oil Wood Finish Can Be Used On All Wood Surfaces

Danish oil is a penetrating wood finish that is related to both Tung oil and polymerized linseed oil. It often a top choice of finishes because it can be used on just about all types of wood surfaces. It adds color, shine and a hard layer of protection. Danish oil can be used under other finishes and it can also act as its own finish.

The finish produced by Danish oil can be described as satin. It is commonly used on kitchen cabinets, dining room tables and countertops. It is a substance that is non-toxic which is why it is a typical choice for eating areas and for anything that may end up in a child’s mouth – such as wooden toys.

The above image shows Danish Oil being applied to a cabinet door to add color and freshen the old existing finish.

When applying Danish oil, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the wood by sanding the surface.
  2. Using a natural bristle paintbrush, apply the first layer of Danish oil to the wood. (Do not over-soak the wood, but apply generously to all surfaces.)
  3. Allow the oil to absorb into the wood for approximately half an hour.
  4. Watch the surface of the wood and apply more oil to areas that absorb the oil the fastest. The goal is to have the surface of the wood remain wet for at least 15 minutes of the first half hour.
  5. After half an hour, test the wood to make sure the unabsorbed Danish oil is ready to be removed. It should be sticky to the touch.
  6. Use a clean cotton cloth to wipe off the left-over Danish oil.
  7. Repeat the application and wipe-off process again.
  8. Allow the wood to sit for approximately half and hour and check to see if additional oil has risen to the surface. If so, wipe it off.
  9. Repeat Step 8 again over the course of the next couple of hours.
  10. The piece of furniture should be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours before applying additional coats.
  11. The final step in the process is applying a coat of furniture wax. This is accomplished by rubbing the wax on the entire surface of the furniture and then buffing with another clean cotton cloth.


The most highly recommended brand of Danish oil is Watco. This brand of Danish oil is available in many colors and it provides professional-looking results. It doesn’t peel or crack and it is very simple to apply. Everything you need is right in the can!

Maintaining Danish Oil Finished Furniture

Danish oil is a finish that requires a little bit of maintenance. You should plan on applying a fresh layer of oil to your furniture approximately every year or two. Repairing furniture that has a Danish oil finish is simple. If an area becomes nicked, dented or scratched, use the same color Danish oil that was originally applied, and add a layer to the damaged area. Make sure to let it sit for 30 minutes before wiping it off. Repeat the process until the area matches the color of the rest of the furniture. Then, apply wood furniture wax and buff to a shine.

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