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I'm refinishing an old spinning wheel and have one coat of Danish Oil on the wheel.

I NEED the whole thing finished and assembled by saturday morning and was hoping to get three coats of oil on it in total.

Is it possible to do two coats of oil in one day? I'd planned to leave 24 hours to dry/cure before sanding lightly and adding each coat but it was raining yesterday (and I have to work outside due to space constraints) so I let inconvenience and laziness get the better of me and took a nap instead.

So, as far as I can see, my options are:

  • do one coat tonight and be happy with two coats.
  • do two coats tonight (one as soon as I get home and another immediately before I head to bed?)
  • do one coat tonight and one coat tomorrow and assemble the wheel a few hours later.

What is the minimum time required for each coat to cure/dry enough to put the next layer on? I REALLY want to avoid it getting tacky as I have heard that can be a problem with danish oil done badly.

FWIW, I'm using the specific product "Watco".

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24 hours per coat is definitely not necessary.

This is Thursday.

Do one coat tonight. But in a couple of hours check for dry spots and reapply.

Get up a bit early tomorrow morning and put on another coat.

Put on another coat tomorrow night and give it an hour or two before rubbing it dry.

By Saturday morning you'll be delighted.

It seems to me that the tackiness to which you refer is most likely due to insufficient shaking or stirring. (It has happened to me - the tackiness can be removed by reapplying the oil and then wiping dry.)

Usual nod to properly disposing of oily rags.

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There's no one answer to this. As always with finishing it depends.

The most important variables in finish drying times are not the finishes themselves but your local conditions, principally the temperature and humidity.

In colder weather or when the humidity is high (or worst, both) drying times for oil-based products are much longer, in warmer weather and when the humidity is low drying times can be much shorter, in fact easily less than the minimum time specified in the application instructions.

In addition to the above "Danish oil" is not one product and even for a specified brand you can sometimes get variations from batch to batch.

do one coat tonight and be happy with two coats.

Two coats is often good enough with products like "Danish oil". You're mostly finishing for looks and there's often little improvement, sometimes none, between the second and third coats. Again though, variables.

do two coats tonight (one as soon as I get home and another immediately before I head to bed?)

Possibly doable but I think you'd be pushing your luck.

do one coat tonight and one coat tomorrow and assemble the wheel a few hours later.

This is the least favourable option I think. You stand a much better chance of having the surface still a little tacky from the last coat here.

What is the minimum time required for each coat to cure/dry enough to put the next layer on?

Where I am I would regularly not be able to apply three coats in a day and would often be pushing it if I tried to apply a second coat before the following morning. Completely different story for people living in hot states in the US who could have the surface touch-dry (sufficient for recoating) in only a couple of hours. For most people it's somewhere in between.


Remember to wipe away every trace of excess from the wood! That's the key thing to ensure minimum drying time and a tack-free result.

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It takes 4 - 8 hours for it to completely dry depending on humidity/temp.

Details here: https://www.fine-tools.com/danish-oil.html

So, yes, you can apply 2 (even 3 if you time it right) coats in a single 24 hour period.

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