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Danish oil is a 'long oil' finish: a mixture of oil and varnish, predominantly of oil. A typical Danish oil is around one third varnish. The function of Danish oil is to provide a hard-wearing finish, rather than a particularly fine or high-gloss finish. Compared to oil, it is hard-wearing. Compared to a varnish, it is simple to apply. As the finished coating is not glossy or slippery, it is a suitable finish for tool handles, giving some additional weather resistance.
Danish oil is a hard drying oil which provides a tough, water-resistant finish. It can be used as a finish, or as a primer or sealer on bare wood before applying paint or varnish.
When used, Danish oil provides a satin finish and provides coverage of approx 12.5 sq. m/l (600 sq. ft./gallon) and is usually applied over a course of three coats by brush or cloth, with any excess being wiped off shortly after application. The finish is left to dry for around 6-24 hours between coats, depending on the mixture being used and the wood being treated.
Rags used for Danish oil have some potential risk of spontaneous combustion and starting fires, so it is best to dry rags flat before disposing of them, or else soak them in water.
- Rustins - Danish oil datasheet
- "Superior Danish Oil" (pdf). Liberon.
- Jackson, Albert; David Day (1996-10-03). Collins Complete Woodworker's Manual. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-414005-2.
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