Finishing with Danish oil

I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with the best way of applying Danish oil and I think I’ve just about arrived at the perfect approach for me.

Day One

The first phase is all about getting the first coats to soak in as deeply as possible to give a good foundation to the top coats. I don’t know for certain but I’m hoping this deep soak, means that it will be a more durable and longer lasting finish too. I get the oil and piece to be finished good and warm as a start. Using a brush I apply a liberal coat, let that soak in for 15 mins and repeat. You can see the areas where it has reached saturation point because the surface retains the satin sheen. Keep going until the whole piece has got that satin sheen. Give it a wipe down with a lint free rag and give it an hour or two to dry. After the drying period, if there are spots that appear “dry” I do it again. Once you’re happy let it dry over-night.

Day Two

The second day is all about applying the thinner top coats to give it a deeper finish. For a long while I used 400 or 600 grit wet & dry paper to apply these coats. This helps flatten out any imperfections as you apply. It worked well but because the paper doesn’t hold any oil, you are continually dipping the paper back into the oil; inconvenient, messy and unnecessarily wasteful. The breakthrough came when I tried an old, well used, green nylon scouring pad. It went through the washing machine first to ensure that it was clean and grease free. This works brilliantly. It is gently abrasive and it’ll hold a decent amount of oil so that you’re not continually stopping to reload. Once the thinner coat is on, any excess gets wiped away with the lint-free cloth and allowed to dry. Throughout the second day I do this every 60 to 90 mins. I leave it to dry a minimum of 24 hours (48 is better) and then top it off with a good wax polish.

Here are some of the progress pictures from day two of applying oil to the minibass.

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