May 5, 2021

Danish Oil Guide | What I Wish I Knew About It

Getting started with this Danish Oil Guide

Danish oil has become a popular method to varnish woodworking projects to enhance them. For many beginners, this can be a pretty daunting and difficult challenge. So this Danish Oil Guide will look at some basic things about what Danish oil is and how best to apply 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 colour. 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 oils worldwide look like plastic when you add them to a woodworking project. 

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

Danish oil application guide

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

Now at this point, you will want to grab a foam brush and begin to apply the oil very gently. The smell is quite powerful; therefore, you should try to avoid doing this in a room that is not very well ventilated. 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, 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.

Have some water at hand to douse the wood surface. 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.

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 of 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 summary, using danish oil on a project you are working on is not necessarily a tedious task. Therefore, this oil is very popular with beginners, as it allows for easy application.

Before opening and using the oil, you must prepare it. Prepare the wood by making sure it is smooth and well sanded.

Prepare the work area and ensure it is clean; nothing will stick to the wood once it begins to dry. Remember to allow 30 minutes between coats and twice wipe off the excess oil. You will end up with a beautiful finish. See our guide to painting over danish oil.

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