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Thread: wipe on poly over danish oil sticky

  1. #1
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    wipe on poly over danish oil sticky

    I am working on a small white oak counter top. I put on 1 coat of watco dark walnut danish oil on just the top. 4 days later a coat of minwax wipe on poly on both sides. 30 hours later the poly and danish oil side are sill sticky. The underside with no danish oil dried fine.

    take it I just not wait long enough for the danish oil to dry.
    Is the poly going to dry with more time? to me it does not feel any better than it was after 30 hours after 6.
    Could or should I try to use alcohol or mineral spirits to try and remove it?
    worst case I can plane it all off and start over but would rather not do that.

  2. #2
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    Did you wipe off the excess Watco after allowing it to penetrate for a short period of time? "Danish Oil" like Watco is (in general--very general) varnish with some additional oil in it. I has to be applied thinly and excess removed so it will cure. Despite the name, it's still a "film" finish and it does cure "hard". One other thing...was it new Watco, or had it been around for awhile and opened previously? Watco and similar don't have great shelf lives once opened and that can cause curing issues.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Did you wipe off the excess Watco after allowing it to penetrate for a short period of time? "Danish Oil" like Watco is (in general--very general) varnish with some additional oil in it. I has to be applied thinly and excess removed so it will cure. Despite the name, it's still a "film" finish and it does cure "hard". One other thing...was it new Watco, or had it been around for awhile and opened previously? Watco and similar don't have great shelf lives once opened and that can cause curing issues.
    Yes I did wipe off the danish oil.
    Both of the danish oil and the poly are old 3 maybe 4 years. I tried them out on a sample board but not on top of each other. both seamed to dry like they should then.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by justin sherriff View Post
    I am working on a small white oak counter top. I put on 1 coat of watco dark walnut danish oil on just the top. 4 days later a coat of minwax wipe on poly on both sides. 30 hours later the poly and danish oil side are sill sticky. The underside with no danish oil dried fine.

    take it I just not wait long enough for the danish oil to dry.
    Is the poly going to dry with more time? to me it does not feel any better than it was after 30 hours after 6.
    Could or should I try to use alcohol or mineral spirits to try and remove it?
    worst case I can plane it all off and start over but would rather not do that.
    You should have never attempted to put poly over Watco. It is intended to be a finish in itself. An oil stain would have been a better choice. The reason is Watco contains vegetable oil which is incompatible with poly. From where you are you could wash the poly off with lacquer thinner frequently changing rags and it should cut the vegetable oil in the process. Then you could stain if need be and finish with poly. To be sure you might put a coat of Sealcoat on first. Polyurethane inherently has adhesion problems and the shellac doesn't.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin sherriff View Post
    Yes I did wipe off the danish oil.
    Both of the danish oil and the poly are old 3 maybe 4 years. I tried them out on a sample board but not on top of each other. both seamed to dry like they should then.
    It's likely that your Watco is beyond it's prime and may never dry correctly if it's that old. 'Nature of that kind of finish. You may need to chemically strip and refinish to remediate this.
    ----

    Edward, Watco doesn't contain "vegetable oil" in the sense that most folks understand that term. One absolutely can apply a polyurethane finish over Watco if it's cured and surface preparation is done first. That's a given when putting poly over anything...including itself. That said, I agree that Watco is designed to be "the" finish. The point of a Danish oil type finish is the soft, low luster goodness it brings to the wood.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    I agree with Jim. Watch Danish oil contains linseed oil. To say it is incompatible is not really true. The linseed oil means the watco will not dry fast. This creates a soft surface upon which the poly will not be able to dry upon properly.

    Poly is compatible with most oils in that it will dissolve in them. But it does not like to harden on top of them.

  7. #7
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    I think poly over BLO is a typical finishing schedule for many folks. That suggests to me that the problem here was because one or both products were beyond their useful life, as Jim suggested, not because the two products are incompatible.

    John

  8. #8
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    Finish is still sticky, I am going to strip it off and buy new finish.
    I do like the color of the dark walnut danish oil on the white oak. But my worry is this is a cabinet top going in the laundry room so some wet stuff will be placed on it to air dry. Would just danish oil stand up to that?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin sherriff View Post
    Finish is still sticky, I am going to strip it off and buy new finish.
    I do like the color of the dark walnut danish oil on the white oak. But my worry is this is a cabinet top going in the laundry room so some wet stuff will be placed on it to air dry. Would just danish oil stand up to that?
    I don't think so. You need a real film finish and a good one at that if wet stuff is going to be placed directly on it to dry. Actually, I think it would be far better to figure out a different approach for drying things. Intentionally placing wet items on a finished piece of wood never ends well over the long haul.

    John

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I don't think so. You need a real film finish and a good one at that if wet stuff is going to be placed directly on it to dry. Actually, I think it would be far better to figure out a different approach for drying things. Intentionally placing wet items on a finished piece of wood never ends well over the long haul.

    John
    We do have a drying rack for stuff I just know some wet stuff may end up on the top and be forgot about.
    I have some arm-r-seal left but that is the only finish I have that is not old. So I will need to pick up something

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    It's likely that your Watco is beyond it's prime and may never dry correctly if it's that old. 'Nature of that kind of finish. You may need to chemically strip and refinish to remediate this.
    ----

    Edward, Watco doesn't contain "vegetable oil" in the sense that most folks understand that term. One absolutely can apply a polyurethane finish over Watco if it's cured and surface preparation is done first. That's a given when putting poly over anything...including itself. That said, I agree that Watco is designed to be "the" finish. The point of a Danish oil type finish is the soft, low luster goodness it brings to the wood.
    If you look up the MSDS sheet on Watco it lists vegetable oil as one of the ingredients. This could be the only chemical reaction problem for the finish not drying. The solvents nor the linseed oil couldn't cause problems with topcoating.

  12. #12
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    Lots of folks put polyurethane over Watco with no issues once the Watco is cured and the surface is properly prepared. Once the OP mentioned the age of the finish, it became a lot more likely that the finish is spoiled. Watco is well known to not have a very long shelf life once opened.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    vegetable oil does not react with polyurethane. It may impede its ability to cure, but it's not a reaction. The linseed can indeed cause problems. It's all contingent upon how thick the Danish oil was put on and whether it was wiped off and how long that surface was allowed to dry before topcoating.

  14. I believe the instructions for Watco D.O. says to wait at least 72 hrs after application, before top coating with a polyurethane.

  15. #15
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    Mechanical removal may be preferable to chemical, but sanding will result in gummed up paper. You can probably get a good result by scraping the finish off then scrubbing with a rag then sanding.

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