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Danish oil vs Teak oil

- 24 Oct 2011 -
23 posts / 0 new

Is there a difference, if so, which one should I go for? I presume Danish Oil?!

I was recommended the Scan Care teak oil, I'm in the UK though - what is best to buy, that is available over here?


- 24 Oct 2011

My understanding
My understanding is that Danish oil is often a blend of conditioner and varnish, and is intended to be used as a finish. So in practice, I would only apply Danish oil to pieces that I've sanded. It should not be applied to finished pieces for maintenance.

Teak oil is just an oil conditioner, and can be used on bare woods and on woods that are finished with an oil base finish.

So teak oil is probably the one you want.

- 25 Oct 2011

Tola . . .
Can you use danish oil & teak oil if sanding down other dark woods like Tola?

I ask as Im about to start sanding down a 1950's G Plan labrenza & was planning on using oil on that once sanded.

- 25 Oct 2011

Yet another $.02 observation.
In the US we have the advantage of access to Material Safety Data Sheets which list any ingredients in proportion not considered to be "proprietary". Retailers are required by law to supply these upon request, but most are readily available online at the mfrs.' websites.

What I found years ago when researching these types of products is that here they are mostly very similar formulas with "teak oils" basically the same as "danish oils" but often with pigments and/or UV inhibitors and fungicides added. These additional, sometimes toxic, compounds seem unnecessary for indoor use on furniture in good condition. I would certainly never want to apply a pigmented oil finish to any piece that hadn't suffered from fading or bleaching.

In England, I believe there are documents similar to our MSDS that might be available to help with choices.

- 25 Oct 2011

which reminds me
This thread just caught my eye and reminded me of a Teak Oil question I've wanted to post. It just happens to be the time of the year when I do routine maintenance on all my indoor furniture. That includes tightening up any loose joints, vacuuming the cushions and fabrics, and giving the wood a light rub down of oil. My question is how much oil is enough. I do this once a year using Williamsville Teak Oil. Too much seems to take too long to dry, and attracts dust. On the other hand I fear that too little oil is not giving the wood enough protection from drying out. It usually takes me the better part of a day to do all the furniture and during that time this pesky question is on my mind. Any rules of thumb, or other advice from the forum experts is most appreciated.

- 25 Oct 2011

B Bob, the old rule of thumb for oil finishes
on fresh, bare wood went something like: Once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, and once a year for life.

My preference for vintage pieces is a surface cleaning, re-oiling, and waxing whenever I'm so inclined.

Cleaning: A good rub down with a white cotton rag and either naptha, mineral, or white spirits to remove any grime or old wax.

Oiling: Apply fresh product with a nearly saturated rag and let sit for 15 minutes, or so, followed by rubbing off whatever remains with dry rags. Don't leave any visible liquid or film. You can do this again the following day, if desired or if any areas look "dry". Let cure for a couple of days or until it feels dry to the touch. Be warned, though. Half-full cans of oil that have been sitting in the cupboard for years may take forever or longer to fully cure. Buy small amounts fresh, use it up, and follow safety instructions for proper disposal of rags, etc.

Waxing: Apply a very thin coat of paste wax with a rag wiping with the grain. Allow to dry to a dull haze and buff with a cotton rag and/or horsehair shoe brush. Again, you can do this twice if the sheen looks uneven.

I find that the majority of my furniture often requires only a simple cleaning and waxing to make things right. Often it's only high-wear (top) surfaces that need oiling.

- 25 Oct 2011

my suggestion is to put on...
my suggestion is to put on more then you would think is good, let it sit overnight then buff the excess with a lint free cloth.

- 25 Oct 2011

Sorry, Adam. I must disagree.
Whatever doesn't "soak in" in 15 minutes is never going to. And any film left overnight will begin to congeal into a gummy mess to remove the following day.

- 25 Oct 2011

Very helpful information
tktoo. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Where the teak, or afromosia has discoloured due to age and possible sun bleaching, will the Teak or Danish oil revive this, or would you suggest using a pigment?

- 25 Oct 2011

Try a spot and see.
You can simply wet a test spot with mineral spirits to get a good idea of how it will look with oil applied. It won't hurt. Oil tends to darken a bit with age, though, unless it's exposed to excessive UV.

If it's badly faded and you want to even it out, you may end up having to apply a stain or dye to restore some of the original color. I usually recommend consulting a specialist for this, especially if it's a good piece. Unless you're experienced and/or game for risk.

- 25 Oct 2011

I'd rather not risk doing more damage,
Best stick to just the oil.

One more question: I have a lovely Juhl Diplomat desk, the surface has not been touched since I bought it and has many light suface scratches. I've never known how to approach this and am very hesitant, especially as it is a rosewood veneer. Can I apply teak/danish oil and will it restore the surface?

- 25 Oct 2011

Huh, boy...
Deep scratches expose end grain where they run perpendicular to the grain. End grain, we know, will absorb oil eagerly and appear darker than long grain, which won't. So, oiling scratched surfaces will likely darken scratches and make them more obvious on lighter colored wood. Rosewood, OTOH, is sometimes quite dark already and if the scratches appear lighter, oiling could work to disguise them. I'd try the mineral spirits trick and see what happens.

Of course, the best you could do would be to sand the scratches out. Depending on the thickness of the veneer (or the limit of your courage), this may be a viable option.

Another option would be to use wax instead of oil to restore luster. These can be found with pigments or without or almost absolutely clear, as is the case with "Renaissance Wax". This approach is probably what I would try, as it is entirely and easily reversible down the line (see my post above on cleaning).

Edit: I believe mineral spirits and what you call "white spirits" are one in the same. Stoddard('s) Solvent is also a good choice for cleaning/wax removal.

- 25 Oct 2011

it's your right to...
it's your right to disagree but you would be wrong. You might have a point if we were talking about teak oil that contained a hardener but the Scancare teak oil mentioned doesn't and will not get gummy no matter how long you leave it on. Scancare is a great product and is know by people who have been living with Danish furniture your years. I use it and know and what I like about it is that it doesn't change the furniture, you are only reintroducing the natural teak oils as opposed to adding a new oil possibly containing a hardener. I think you are talking about the teak oil that is commonly found at hardware stores that should be avoided at all costs.

- 26 Oct 2011

It's true I have no experience
with Scan-Care products, Adam. I did go to their US site, though, and was disappointed to find scant details regarding their "teak oil" product. I do find it difficult to imagine that it is really much different than the many other "teak oil" products promising unparalleled results, however, and I'm not sure I'd want to apply any oil finish to my furniture that wouldn't start to dry overnight anyway, but you may be right. I don't know for a fact that Scan-Care Teak Oil isn't far superior.

It's not my intent to argue and I'm glad you have found a product that you regard highly enough to recommend. Perhaps I'll have an opportunity to try it some day. I'll keep an eye out.

- 26 Oct 2011

I'm sorry if I came off...
I'm sorry if I came off argumentative and I really do appreciate your expertise. It's just that I've used scancare as well as other "teak oils" that are similar and think they are great but when they get mentioned here they are shot down but I think they are confused with something else. These teak oils do not change the integrity of the wood at all, they don't leave a residue or a film they just hydrate the wood. It's a good product and I recommend it above anything else ad more importantly, if you don't like it all you have to do is wait, you don't need to strip, sand or clean in any way because all you have done is added oil which will dry out.

- 26 Oct 2011

No apology necessary, Adam.
But that's fascinating, what you've just said. You mean the stuff just evaporates?!

They should explain that in their promotional material, if it's so. It would bolster the notion of needing to reapply often and encourage repeat customers. I love it!

- 26 Oct 2011

yes, it does and good for...
yes, it does and good for you, you make a great point about repeat costumers. Along those same lines I must buy soap for my body and dishes from time to time though I don't use it as much as my wife might prefer. I oil my furniture when it drys out, depending on the elements maybe twice a year. I do have to by teak oil often and in fact it's not the easiest to get and order quite a bit at a time. I'm sure I'm supporting some evil sinister company that feeds off of my gullibility to replenish things as needed but if you want to have quality tings you must take care of them and this is the best way to do so. I wish you the best with your furniture but I hope that you can appreciate that sometimes the best thing is the harder thing and yes, more expensive.

- 26 Oct 2011

Adam, I'm sorry if I came off...
snarky. It was meant in jest! Though I detest those clever little emoticons, I guess they do serve some purpose now and again.

Honestly, I find your experience with this product to be somewhat fascinating. I really will keep an eye out for it. I'd love to try it.

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