5

I have a finish issue and need some advice please. I am a novice and just refinished a kitchen table with Watco Danish Oil. My process was as follows.

Sanded the Oak table down to bare wood. (It was a poly finish previously). Applied Watco Danish Oil liberally and wet sanded using 320 grit wet/dry paper. I did not wet sand for very long, just 5-7 minutes. I wiped off the slurry and let it dry overnight. (I think it is important to note this work is being done in my garage and the temperature has been around 45-60 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Next day I dry sanded with 320 to smooth it out. Then I wet sanded again with Watco danish oil same as day before and I let it dry overnight.

Third day, I dry sanded again and then just applied Watco danish oil 3rd coat directly without wet sanding. I let it sit 15 minutes and then wiped off with lint free tshirt. I let this dry 24 hours and then buffed it with 0000 steel wool. Wiped it off again with lint free cloth and then put it in my kitchen.

But, my problem is i am seeing oil still seep out of the wood grain in tiny dots that are surfacing hours after I wiped it down. The kids ate breakfast on it this morning and placed hot waffles directly on the table top and it left a cloudy mark where the waffles were (looks like it knocked the sheen down and turned it to a matte finish in those areas).

I did so much reading on the proper techniques for the look I wanted and thought I did this all correctly but apparently It is not completely done. I just want / need some help. I dont have pics but can post pics later if i need to.

Thanks, -Dale

  • Definitely post pics when you can – mmathis Jan 31 '17 at 20:16
3

Although that's not the finishing process I'd use everything you did there was right on the money, until the very last step — you didn't let the product dry for long enough before putting it into service.

Briefly, the dry time between coats is just enough to make putting on the next coat work well but the product is likely not fully dry by then and it's certainly not cured (the part of the drying process that occurs after the drying phase). After the initial drying products like this cure by oxidation and while the process is sped up with the additional of metallic driers to make it more user-friendly it's still something that takes days to complete minimum, and more likely a week or more despite what the product literature might say or imply.

Now all of the above is based on average room temperatures. Both stages, drying and curing, are greatly sped up by high temperatures and slowed by low temperatures. 45-60°F (7-16°C) is at the low end of viable temps for finishing* so more time should definitely be allocated.

Obviously your house will be warmer than your garage and it's often done to take a finished project into the house to complete 'drying' and while it's doing so it shouldn't be used. Given the strong odour of many products like this many people wouldn't want to anyway!

But, my problem is i am seeing oil still seep out of the wood grain in tiny dots that are surfacing hours after I wiped it down.

That's perfectly normal on oak which has large, deep pores. All it is is uncured oil seeping out, and you just need to wipe it away until the process stops. It shouldn't take more than one or two days at room temp but until the finish has fully cured if you heat the surface again with hot plates or waffles you will very likely get a recurrence, since any partially-cured oil in the finish can liquefy when heated and capillary action will tend to bring it to the surface.

The kids ate breakfast on it this morning and placed hot waffles directly on the table top and it left a cloudy mark where the waffles were (looks like it knocked the sheen down and turned it to a matte finish in those areas).

Again to be expected because the finish hadn't had a chance to harden up.

Fixing the matt/matte areas
You may be able to just buff the surface to a uniform sheen with a cloth and plenty of elbow grease. If this doesn't work then wiping on a fresh coat of finish and buffing it off should do the trick (tip: don't just wipe away the excess, wipe hard, buffing the surface well for a good 5-10 minutes).

How long to wait before putting a piece to use
Products like "Danish oil" vary a lot from maker to maker and additionally how much was initially applied, the absorbency of the wood, the temperature and humidity and how thoroughly the excess was wiped away are all factors in the 'drying' time. And the expected use of the piece is a factor too.

For a sideboard that'll just sit there and look pretty just a couple of days would usually be sufficient. But for a working table it's good to err on the side of caution and wait at least a week. Waiting longer isn't at all a bad idea. Many pros err on the side of caution and wait a month or more, when possible, after the last coat has gone on.


*If temps are hovering around 45-50 moving the piece indoors to finish is a good plan, and where that's not an option serious consideration should be given to holding off until the weather is warmer.

1

I have the same issue with the drops exuding out of pores using a Minwax polywipe product. After all the recommended steps, I return to the project maybe 6 hours later and wipe the surface with a clean cotton cloth under moderate pressure. I may do this several times over a couple of days before placing the items in use. So, not quite as advertised but ultimately not a problem.

Hopefully others will weigh in on this but I think the cloudy areas indicate a tiny bit of water under the finish which adheres as a very thin coat like fogged glass on the underside of the finish. This happens with other finishes as well including nitrocellulose lacquer. It's also possible that this is due to a separation of the finish and a thin layer of air, or gaseous solvent, is refracting differently.

My sister thinks it's water in my case. I haven't tried this but she said to place a piece of clean, dry cloth over the area and run an iron, at a very low temperature setting, over the area.

Hey, a search seems to support my sister's claim: http://littlegreennotebook.com/2011/02/how-to-remove-white-heat-marks-on.html/ Do note that this recommendation uses a damp cloth. Hmmm. . .

For more, search "removing white heat marks on furniture".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.