Pros:Easy to apply, beautiful finish, great for open-pored woods for maximum smoothness.
Cons:Toxic, VERY flammable.
The Bottom Line: Highly recommended for beautiful finish with minimal frustration.
Danish Oil is a favorite finish of mine. I will usually combine it with a wipe-on polyurethane varnish (for example, Watco Wipe-On Poly) for a glossy but fairly natural appearing, durable finish.
Recommend this product?
I find that this finish works best on open-pore woods where a wet-sanding technique can be applied to fill the pores and give the workpiece a smoother feel. However, the oil finish also works well for closed-pore species without the need to wet-sand.
The wet-sanding process that I use is a fairly well-known technique. I start out dry sanding with 100, 180, and 240 grits. After each grit I will use a tack-cloth to remove sanding residue (you can get away with doing it just after the 240-grit sanding). After this I apply a liberal amount of danish oil and sand in the direction of the grain with 320-grit wet/dry paper. After allowing the finish to dry for 15 minutes (I will sometimes wait only 10 depending on heat and humidity), wipe the workpiece with a lint-free, clean cloth lightly against the grain. I will typically only apply one coat of oil in this fashion (If the piece does not feel smooth enough, allow to dry overnight and repeat the process). Allow the finish to dry overnight. After 12-24 hours, sand lightly with the grain with 320 grit to remove any remaining residue. I will then dry-sand with the grain with 600-grit followed by 1000-grit to get the maximum amount of smoothness (wipe after with a tack-cloth).
Apply another generous coat of oil. Allow to dry 15 minutes, and lightly mop up "puddles" with clean cloth. Let dry overnight. I typically will do this 4 additional times, letting each coat dry overnight, and either lightly scuffing with 0000 steel wool or very lightly dry-sanding with 1000-grit paper, cleaning with tack-cloth after each sanding/scuffing.
Allow the finish to cure for a week. If you are happy with the finish, leave it, re-applying oil as necessary to keep up the sheen. If you want glossiness or a more durable finish, try adding some Watco wipe-on polyurethane according to the instructions on the can.
Watco Danish Oil is not a good thing to be inhaling. I would either recommend a very well ventilated work area or a very well-ventilated work area combined with a respirator (preferred). Also be careful of how you dispose of or handle rags soaked in Danish Oil. Spontaneous combustion is possible (never a good thing). Put them in a metal container away from other flammable materials.