I've made a crucifix for my partner, and am down to finishing it. (It's about nine inches, made to be hung on a wall.) It is maple, padauk and cherry. The corpus will either be copper or vermeil, if that's relevant. It has a couple coats of Danish oil on it (he likes the look), but is there a feeling that it needs a further finish - beeswax or the like?

I suppose my question really is: for a decorative piece that won't see much traffic, is a finish beyond Danish oil necessary or recommended?

  • In case you don't know you can expect the contrast between the various woods to lessen over time. This may not be important because the change will be incremental and initially very subtle (so you won't be startled by a sudden change in appearance unless this is near a bright window). This is partly due to the natural changes in the woods, where both maple and cherry will darken, the cherry also going slightly redder, while the padauk's redness will diminish. In addition the "Danish oil" will go slightly more amber over the years.
    – Graphus
    May 23 '17 at 7:16

Nothing else is needed here. You can choose to add something extra, but that would mostly be about surface finish and not about adding any needed further protection.

If you're happy with the look of the piece as-is after three coats then you can comfortably stop.

As the product literature or labelling might already make plain, "Danish oil" is meant to be a standalone finish so this would also be true for many things that do see handling or use. Even though finishes sold by this name do vary in qualities from brand to brand broadly speaking the level of protection they provide is adequate or better.

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