Does the final coat (in this case third) of Danish Oil have to be wiped? Or is it not OK to just let dry and then lightly sand/buff?

I ask because I am using the dark walnut version of the Watco product, which was applied very thinly, and currently have the exact color match I want, but if I wipe it down it will remove some of the solids and thereby lighten up the finish.

I'd like to not have to keep reapplying.

  • 3
    If you don't wipe it, it tends not to cure properly. It stays tacky for a long time (indefinitely, for all practical purposes). Your best bet is to wipe it and reapply after this coat has had time to dry. May 2, 2019 at 15:59
  • 1
    Same as all the other coats. With blended oil finishes you must remove all excess, no choice. BTW are you always sanding between coats? You shouldn't, unless you're de-nibbing, in which case you might only need to use the rough side of brown paper. BTW this is one prime reason a lot of finishers would steer people away from a combo product like this. Wiped away to nothing as directed there's a chance you'll actually never get to the colour you truly desire.
    – Graphus
    May 2, 2019 at 17:45
  • Thanks for the feedback. I've use Danish Oil before and like it, but this is the first time I needed to match something else that was pre-existing...always a bit of a struggle, that. I only very lightly sand ("scuff sanding") with higher grit between last and 2nd-to-last coats.
    – mblatz01
    May 3, 2019 at 2:02
  • I sanded between my final coat and rubbed the final coat in with 400grit and wipe off most everything but it has been 4 days and the surface is still tacky to the touch should I wipe it off. Cheers Rangers Lead the Way Apr 29, 2020 at 5:05
  • @mblatz01, it's actually perfectly acceptable form to start sentences with conjunctions (esp. but, and and or) or with prepositions. There are supposed rules to the contrary but they're actually style guides, not hard-and-fast Rules (as they may purport to be, and have been characterised as by others for far too long in modern English usage).
    – Graphus
    May 4, 2020 at 9:28

1 Answer 1


Keep wiping. You might be able to keep your wiping rag in a jar with a lid. Keep it wet with the oil, and twice a day, wipe the surface with it to add another thin layer.

The danger with not wiping is having a thicker puddle or streak on it. This will turn into a stripe of gummy junk.

With most drying oils, UV light will hasten the drying.

Note: Colour matching can be tricky. You can get a perfect match in one light, say under the fluorescents in your shop, and find that the match is nowhere near close under sunlight or under halogen light.

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