May 5, 2021

Danish Oil Guide | What I Wish I Knew About It

Using Danish oil has become a popular method to varnish woodworking projects worldwide as part of project finishes. For many beginners, this can seem like quite a daunting and difficult challenge to approach.

That is why this Danish Oil Guide will look at some of the basic things you need to know surrounding what Danish oil is in how best you can apply a layer of it.

We will look at some of the essential questions you may have, such as when the best time is to use it or how long you think you will have to wait for this type of oil to dry. Hopefully, by the end of the article, We will answer all your questions, and you should be ready and prepared to begin using your Danish oil.

What is danish oil?

If you combine linseed and tung oil, you will get a perfect mixture for varnishing different pieces of wood. This mixture is referred to worldwide as modern Danish oil, and this is an excellent option to consider for people looking to protect any woodworking project. 

Its main benefits include not obscuring the color. Therefore, you can expect that after applying this to a woodworking project, the color of the wood will remain fully intact. Many different kinds of wood on the market rely on the style of grain they possess to fetch profitable market rates. 

a tung flower growing
the tung flower where tung oil comes from

It would become pointless for someone to purchase one of these expensive Woods and then lose the color through the varnishing process. The science of this is because linseed oil is well known to harden within the wood, therefore, making it very difficult to pick up through the naked eye. 

The interior absorption rate of the oil is quite advantageous because it allows your wood to look genuine and authentic. Many different types of oils worldwide look like plastic when you add them to a woodworking project. 

This will allow you to maintain the integrity of the wood that you have purchased. Another excellent benefit of this is the simplicity of application to apply this oil. It is, therefore, quite popular among people who are just starting with woodwork. 

How to apply 

What do you need?

For us to begin this process, you must have a couple of items by your side. This will allow you to perform a very professional and high-end job on the woodworking project you are trying to complete. 

The first item that we will need is a lint-free cloth that will provide essential absorption services to the wood you were trying to work on. We must try to leave very little oil on the surface once we are finished to allow fast drying.

You will require a foam brush to apply the oil to the wood. Foam brushes are an excellent choice to consider because they absorb any excess oil that may remain on the wood. It functions as a sponge which is quite different from many other brushes.

Disposable gloves

These are industrial-grade chemicals, and getting them on your hand can cause many different reactions. It is best for you to be safe and to purchase disposable gloves that you can use when you apply the oil.

Steps to Apply.

  1. Prepare the wood.

Preparing the wood before you apply any Danish oil is an essential activity that you must undertake. What we want to do is begin sanding the wood either manually or mechanically. This is done to find a smooth finish to the wood, which can easily be varnished. 

This is when the wood you are using is raw. to achieve a very smooth surface, you can use a Sander at a level of 220. It is not advisable to start at this level but rather work your way up from the lower gears to the higher gears. Using sandpaper to smoothen the edges in preparation for a warm glow is worthwhile.

  1. Application of Oil

When you begin to apply this oil, try to ensure that your workplace is immaculate and free of dust. If you have just finished sanding, then you should wait a couple of minutes for the sand in the air to blow away. 

The smell is quite powerful; therefore, you should try to avoid doing this in a room that is not very well ventilated. Now at this point, you will want to grab a foam brush and begin to apply the oil very gently. Try to use as light a coat as possible because this oil is robust and durable. You can always use additional coats if needed.

  1. Wipe away excess oil

Once we are done with the oil application and put in enough coats, then it is time for you to wipe off any excess oil with a clean cloth. Grab the lint-free oil rag and begin to carefully and smoothly wipe off any additional oil that remained after the application.

This is important because Danish oil is naturally absorbed into the wood. Therefore, there should be none on the surface. Once done wiping away, you can touch it with your hands to feel whether the surface is dry enough. Have some water at hand to douse the wood surface.

How long to wait. 

If you intend to apply more than one coat of oil to the wood you are working on, you should let the first one dry before beginning the next one. 

This procedure should take you about 30 minutes waiting time before you can add more coats. It is crucial because it will ensure that the wood is fully preserved before going forward.

When to apply

Apply this oil once you have completed all preparations on the wood. By this, I mean sanding and ensuring that the workplace is free of dust should be taken care of before application. It is also essential that the wood has been fully sanded and has a very smooth finish, preventing any scratches from occurring in the future. Furniture can get a lovely danish oil finish to brighten the wood surface.


In conclusion, applying a set of Danish oil to a project that you are working on is not necessarily an arduous task. Therefore, this type of oil is trendy among beginners because it allows you a simple application process. 

You must remember to prepare before you open and begin using the oil. Prepare the wood by ensuring that it is smooth and well sanded. 

Proceed to prepare the workspace and ensure that it is clean and nothing will stick to the wood once it begins to dry. Remember to give 30 minutes between each coat that you add and two wipes off any excess oil that may remain. You will have a beautiful finish. See our guide to painting over danish oil.

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