How to apply Danish Oil


We recommend two different methods of applying our Danish Oil. Which method you choose depends upon the time available to you, and how quickly the oiled wood needs to be used.

Surface Preparation

As with any coating, surface preparation is extremely important in getting a satisfactory end result.

Best results are usually achieved on new wood, sanded as necessary, and finished along the grain.

Danish Oil may be applied to previously oiled surfaces. On previously stained or dyed surfaces it is advisable to test a small area first to make sure that the Danish Oil will produce the desired result.

Our Danish Oil is based on Tung Oil, and is a penetrating oil which will ‘feed’ and protect wood. Varnished, shellaced, lacquered or heavily stained wood will usually present a surface barrier to absorption of the Danish Oil, and will need to be removed as necessary with a proprietary paint stripper.

Waxed finishes, and all dirt and grease, should be removed with white spirit on a rag using vigorous agitation.

For exterior use any rotten wood should be cut out and repaired prior to use of Danish Oil. Grey wood should be sanded back to a clean ‘bright’ surface.

To ensure proper drying the temperature should be above 10 Degrees C and Danish Oil should not be applied in damp conditions. Do not apply in direct sunlight.

Danish Oil application method one – the ‘wet on wet’, single day application method.

This method allows Danish Oil to be completely applied during the course of a single day, and the wood to be ready to use after 48 hours.

The idea of this method is to keep the wood surface’wet’ with Danish Oil for at least an hour until it has fully absorbed enough oil to provide a natural protective coating from deep within the wood.

2 oak blocks prepped for Danish Oil

Above are two oak chopping blocks for illustration, prepared for oiling by sanding with 80 grit sandpaper.  We took one block and first of all applied three liberal lots of Danish Oil immediately one after another using a lint-free cloth until the block stopped absorbing and remained looking ‘wet’:

starting to apply Danish oil

rubbing in Danish Oil

first application of Danish Oil, second pass

After 20 minutes we returned to the block and repeated the application above:

second application, first pass

after two applications

After another 20 minutes we returned and applied more Danish Oil. By this stage the oil was not soaking in very much and the block was looking really wet, with an obvious coating of oil on the surface:

third application of Danish Oil

wood now stays 'wet'

After another 20 minutes we returned and removed all the remaining Danish Oil from the surface with a clean rag:

All Danish Oil wiped from surface

The board was left for one hour and then wiped over again to remove any oil that might have exuded back out of the pores of the wood. If there were any obvious dry areas we would have used more oil on just those areas at this stage.

After another hour we wiped the board again, although there were no obvious signs of surface oil at this stage and the board was dry to the touch, with a pleasant low sheen finish.

Danish Oil, before and after
Before and after applying Danish Oil ‘wet on wet’

The board was left at room temperature for 48 hours before it was used to allow the Danish oil to cure.

 Any ‘nibs’ or dust on the surface of the wood during oiling cannot be removed with this method of application until the wood has been left to dry for at least 24 hours. The particles should then be removed with a very fine grade wire wool (oooo grade).

The performance of Danish Oil will continue to improve naturally for a week or two after application. We recommend that wood should not be subject to heavy use, and any water or other spills should be wiped off immediately during this time.

Note: This method allows Danish Oil to penetrate deep into the timber, naturally waterproofing and nourishing when using our Tung Oil based product. Care should be taken with some other Danish Oils before doing this, because they often contain synthetic varnish and resins which will block the pores of the wood and plasticise it, removing its natural ability to ‘breathe’ with its surroundings.


Danish Oil application method two – the one coat a day method.

This method is suitable when working on large areas, or when there is a limited amount of time available for oiling each day.

To show this method, we again took an untreated oak chopping block. We applied Danish Oil liberally until the block stopped absorbing the oil. The block was then left for 20 minutes before all excess oil was removed with a clean reg.

unoiled oak block




oiling block day one  






Application during the second day was the same as the first. Danish Oil was applied until the wood stopped absorbing. After 20 minutes all excess oil was removed with a clean rag.


danish oiled block day 2






Day three involved the same process again. By this time the wood was not absorbing much oil, and looked very ‘wet’ after oiling.After 20 minutes the excess oil was removed with a clean rag.

Oiled block day 3oiled block wet day three





The photograph below was taken at a low angle to show the low sheen finish after application and finishing with Danish Oil.

oiled block done

This method allows any nibs or dust to be removed with very fine grade wire wool or fine abrasive paper between coats of Danish Oil if necessary.