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Thread: wipe on poly over danish oil sticky

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    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.
    I ended up wiping it off with mineral spirits to get the stickiness off then sanded. Picked up a small can of dark walnut stain and topped off with arm-r-seal. The stain did not look as good as the danish oil but it dried and is good for what it is.

  2. #17
    A little late but this might help the next guy. I had the exact same problem with wipe on poly over Watco. I've done it for years WITHOUT a problem. For reasons I do not know, this time it didn't want to dry. Stayed tacky for over a week. I tried a hair dryer and even a fan overnight. Better but not dry. Since I wasn't in a hurry I decided to wait. Two weeks later, it finally seemed to be dry to the touch. I think I'll wait another two weeks before trying a light second coat. Or, maybe I will leave well enough alone.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Wawro View Post
    A little late but this might help the next guy. I had the exact same problem with wipe on poly over Watco. I've done it for years WITHOUT a problem. For reasons I do not know, this time it didn't want to dry. Stayed tacky for over a week. I tried a hair dryer and even a fan overnight. Better but not dry. Since I wasn't in a hurry I decided to wait. Two weeks later, it finally seemed to be dry to the touch. I think I'll wait another two weeks before trying a light second coat. Or, maybe I will leave well enough alone.
    It's more than just getting it to dry. The fact that the finish is not drying like it's suppose to is a sign that something is very wrong. If something is very wrong you have to think it's not adhered very well and could peal off on you days or months down the road. I've had furniture in my shop that people have refinished and did something wrong where you could just peal the finish off like it was tape. Polyurethane isn't one of the best finishes for adhesion anyway. The adhesion of it is bad enough you shouldn't use it over shellac where just plain varnish will. They developed the de-wax version of shellac, "sealcoat" because people were using poly more than varnish.

    Anytime you have an unusual problem with a finish it's best to strip off what you have done and start over.

  4. #19
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    I agree with Edward. A finish that isn't curing/drying within the reasonable window of expectation is a problem, either with the material or with some other factor, such as contamination. The long term effect of that may be very undesirable.
    --

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

  5. #20
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    But I am not sure about the ability of an oil finish to 'peel' - that would imply a film buildup. If the film (like polyurethane) was put on top of an uncured oil then that could be problematic, but here again he is using a wipe on poly.

    For years my shop was unconditioned (not fully heated), so winter projects were lower temps than recommended for finishing. And up against holiday deadlines, a few times I brought a piece into the oven and cooked it on the lowest setting. Chemical reactions are T to the fourth (not all, but highly temp dependent) and sometimes a slow curing or iffy problem would cure out with some higher temps. I always tried that before stripping entirely (stripping sometimes was still needed). (Take all that for what its worth, there are many reasons you might not want to put a piece in an oven)

    The fact that some of you have done this for years, then suddenly a problem, raises some flags on formulation changes. These days the VOC regulations are forcing changes in formulation. Some are upfront about it, others rely on marketing claims as 'equivalent' in function (which is not the same as equivalent in formulation).

  6. #21
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    Had the same problem with wipe on poly over watco danish oil. I used a chemical stripper and then sanded followed by cleaning with mineral spirits. All good now. I think the problem was both the wipe on poly and danish oil were bad. Itís also very important to wait 72 hours before top coating danish oil, which I did not.

  7. #22
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    Folks who use oil based finishes need to pay very careful attention to shelf life. Buying the larger container isn't necessarily the least expensive way to acquire the finish unless you can use it relatively quickly. Some particular products are more sensitive to time than others, and all start degrading as soon as the container is opened for the first time. Anecdotally, I've often heard that Watco has a relatively short shelf life once opened and my small amount of experience with it back when I was turning more often backs that up. On the rare occasions that I use an oil based product, I try to buy new and in as small of a container that I can relative to the job at hand.
    --

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

  8. #23
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    Preserving finishes in opened containers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Folks who use oil based finishes need to pay very careful attention to shelf life. Buying the larger container isn't necessarily the least expensive way to acquire the finish unless you can use it relatively quickly. Some particular products are more sensitive to time than others, and all start degrading as soon as the container is opened for the first time. Anecdotally, I've often heard that Watco has a relatively short shelf life once opened and my small amount of experience with it back when I was turning more often backs that up. On the rare occasions that I use an oil based product, I try to buy new and in as small of a container that I can relative to the job at hand.
    True, dat! I've had Watco "danish" gel up and ruin 1/2 a quart can.

    I've mentioned this before but it may be new to some: I've pretty much tamed the problem of shelf life of opened containers of finish in my shop. First, I decant a small amount into plastic squeeze bottles which gets used up quickly at the lathe (my primary use). Before closing the larger container, I purge the air in the can with nitrogen gas from a cylinder I keep in the shop. This displaces the oxygen which I understand is responsible for much of the problem. (This is similar to using the expensive Bloxygen but a lot cheaper in the long run. http://www.bloxygen.com/)

    One proof to me of how well this works is with a couple of opened containers of TruOil. This stuff is notorious for setting up quickly. Two years after the nitrogen treatment both 1/2 full containers are still perfectly liquid. I use this method for all finishes. I have one can of Watco in a colored finish I rarely use still good maybe five years after the initial opening. (Also good for preserving vanilla beans until it's time to make more extract!)

    Argon also works, in fact a few years ago the Bloxygen people went from a Argon/Nitrogen/CO2 mix to a pure Argon gas.

    (This discussion almost always brings comments of other methods such as flexible containers and displacing air with marbles. Anything to displace the air should work. For me, the tank of nitrogen is quick, simple, and no-mess.)

    JKJ

  9. #24
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    This is well-timed discussion. I just finished my sculpted rocker last weekend, and was unsure what finish schedule to go with. I know maloof did some combo of danish oil and wax, but i also read threads of people being less than thrilled with how that finish aged. I ended up putting two coats of watco danish oil on the rocker--looks fantastic--but i was going to top with a wipe on poly to give it more sheen and protection. The danish oil feels fantastic on wood sanded to 320, but it is a very matte look, and im guessing it wont do much for me if someone spills something on it. Looks like im trying a cat on the bottom of the seat first before doing the rest of the chair. The last thing i want to do is chemically/mechanically strip the chair because the poly turned into a sticky mess. Ive spent enough time on this chair already,i just want to be done with it.

  10. #25
    My humble opinion, Patrick: don't put poly on your Maloof rocker. Sand it with 600 grit and apply a couple more coats of your danish oil. Wipe on, wipe off.

  11. #26
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    Im really torn, to be honest. Its a very complex object to finish perfectly, which is why i assume maloof and others do very simple finishes that dont offer much protection. Im guessing the worst thing this rocker will see is some baby throw up, which would obviously be wiped up immediately. Protection i can get over, im not that worried about it. However, i would like more of a satin sheen, and so far the danish oil hasnt produced that. It is very matte and dull. I would like to achieve a satin appearance, and i assume this is where the wax topcoat comes into play.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 11-13-2019 at 4:50 PM.

  12. #27
    A wax topcoat will wear off more easily; it's a temporary fix.

    Here's what I would do (and have done): sand that rocker with 600 grit. You can even go up to 1000 grit. You can use flexible Abralon pads to do this (in 500 and then 1000). Then apply a couple more coats of the Danish oil; taking care to wipe it off - not aggressively, just don't leave an appreciable film anywhere. Trust me. You will develop a sheen. This is a project where some patience at the 'finish line' will really pay dividends.

    By the way, fantastic looking rocker. So gratifying huh?

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Kane View Post
    ... I would like to achieve a satin appearance, and i assume this is where the wax topcoat comes into play.
    I get a nice satin sheen with "danish" oil. After enough coats to suite me (usually 6 to 10, drying overnight between each), I wet "sand" it with the oil by hand with 0000 steel wool or a fine non-woven abrasive pad, or rub it down by hand with a pad with pumice and/or rotten stone. Some combination of those always gives me the non glossy sheen I want without the dull matte look. This is all on woodturnings, not furniture. The danish oil can be made gloss, matte, or anything in between.

    penta_jatoba_IMG_7636 - Copy.jpg penta_plate_cherry.jpg knob_IMG_7164.jpg lyptus_bowl.jpg

    JKJ

  14. #29
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    Patrick, typical "Danish Oil" has varnish as one of its primary components. It's dries and seals. It's more "protective" than you might think. "Poly" might add to the film and might be "more protective" if it's thick enough, but you're basically adding "varnish over varnish" in a very general sense. The appeal of furniture like the Maloof rocker is both the form and the understated finish that doesn't look like a film. If you build up a film finish, even if it's lower sheen, it's just not going to have the same look as a few coats of Danish Oil.

    Prashun is spot on with his advice, too, up the sheen level a bit.
    --

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

  15. #30
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    John,

    Superb photos. 10 coats sounds extreme. I guess the original thought process behind the poly topcoat was most poly finishes have a ton more solids in them than this watco formula. I also didnt think danish built a film? Say what you will about Maloof's style and touching the wood and smelling the wood. I want my stuff to be tough and not require being babied and touched up down the road. I put my shoes up on my walnut coffee table all the time with zero appreciable signs of wear. I also set glasses on that coffee table without coasters. Once again, no sign of wear.

    I will follow the advice and take it up a few notches in the polish level. I dont think ive ever sanded wood to 1000 grit, but i do have the foam sanding pads from festool up to 1500-2000 grit that should help speed the process up.

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