Trompette Registered User

Hello there,

Few weeks ago, I bought a sturdy oak kitchen table (5 cm thick top).
I had to fix some parts and took the opportunity to remove the very dark varnish I didn't like.
I sanded it to 320 grid. After that I cover it with 2 coats of COLRON danish oil (Georgian medium oak color) to have a good looking not too dark. And after I added 5 or 6 coats of RONSEAL worktop oil (clear).

I was very happy with the result.
I was...
Yesterday morning, I placed a dry and thick kitchen towel on the table and put a dry mug of tea on it and had my breakfast.
When I removed the towel, I found out that all the oil was sucked from the oak where I put the mug and the towel had a brown round stains. The wood is raw and white in the same way I could strip it with an acid.

What wrong I did? Can't danish oil or worktop oil be use like that? Are they so delicate?

I really need some advices!


zebrano.96 Registered User

did u use stripper on table, if yes did u neutralise after.
my understanding of danish oil is that it is a fininsh in itself.a light coat every day for a week cut back between coats,works every time for me ,not a big fan of ronseel.were the two products compatable.


sounds like they werent compatable. i seen a painter do a stairs like this once. the whole lot was still tacky 6 months later so it had to be completly cleaned back. when it comes to oils the brands shouldnt be mixed.

Trompette Registered User

Hi Zebrano

I only used sanding to remove the varnish, from 90 grid to 320 with a orbital sander.
I took advice in 3 different DIY shops and nobody told me a potential inconsistency with the products. I don't have any clue.

I did 2 coats of Danish oil because
1- I didn't find a clear colour (no colour at all) and I don't want too dark but just to liven up the grains.
2- Danish oil will add a thin layer on the wood with 5 or 6 coats but I prefer to have the wood touch as with oil.

Do you think Danish oil could endure a "normal" use of a kitchen table (some temperature , water...)?
Do you think worktop oil (I think this is linseed oil) could be enough?
Witch one is the best?

What product and process do you advice me, not varnish please.

Thanks for your help

jack of all Registered User

I think part of your problem may be the fact that the wood was previously varnished and sanding may not have removed all of the varnish. Danish oil (or any oil finish) is designed for use on bare wood only and if the wood was partly sealed with poly varnish then the oil finish was effectively a film over this and would not have been absorbed into the wood itself. There are some good advice from others here on finishing so I'll leave it at that.

Trompette Registered User

I removed the varnish with 90 grid first and I think I removed all. It was easy with the sander. Oak was white, raw, bare.
When I apply Danish oil, it was absorbed quickly and became dry.

I tried to heat another area of the table with an hair dryer. Temperature reach 120 degrees C on the table for 3 minutes and some small oil drops appear. After wipe with a cloth the area is still good looking.

Trompette Registered User


Small correction: I used sand paper 60 grit at first to last 320 grit.
The top is worse and worse, just with a lukewarm mug.

I really need advice.
What is the best for my kitchen table?
- Danish oil
- Linseed oil
- Varnish (but I don't like it)
- Other
Which brand?

I will use varnish only if there is no alternative.
Do I need to sand again to remove what I did? With which grit number?

Thanks for your help

zebrano.96 Registered User

hope u got the pm
anything below 80 grit i find leaves scratches in wood
start off with 120 grit in a random orbit sander ,get rid of that finish
get back to bare wood,finish with 240 should be good enough for general table top . get a good quality finishing oil and finish with a coat a day eventually the wood will not soak anymore oil.cut back between coats with wire wool done loads of tables like this finish is durable

don t leave oily rags around fire hazard
recoat every month if it needs it

Trompette Registered User

Many thanks Zebrano for the pm,

I try to find out why the finish is not good.
I read in the spec of the danish oil, the best temperature to use it is between 15 to 25 degrees C and not use below 5 degrees C.
I used it in a room at around 10 degrees. Do you think it could be the issue?

I will remove what I did and will finish with oil only.
What oil do you advise, blend oils or pure tung oil?
Tung seems to be the best ("Recommended for use on external Oak")
What color I'll get? I'd like a medium (but clear) oak, it's why I used 2 coats of medium danish oil as the other oil is clear like linseed oil.

Trompette Registered User

No answer to my last questions?

Many thanks

zebrano.96 Registered User

told u in pm what product to use as regards colour that table i did has oak top with oiled finish hope that helps

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recipio Registered User

Sorry to bring up an old post but this reminds me of a table I made in cherry and made a mess of finishing. I used Danish oil and the finish remained sticky and blotchy.
The problem is that Danish oil is really an oil and varnish mix.Its vital to use it very sparingly and wipe it as dry as possible before the next coat.
I gave up after a week, cleaned the whole lot off with commercial thinners ( the cheap stuff for cleaning spray guns ) and varnished it.
I invested in spray equipment and nowadays either spray properly or use linseed oil if I want an oil finish.
Trompette, hope you fixed the problem - finishing is a complicated topic. !

zebrano.96 Registered User

dear receipo
there are good quality finishing oils out there that will give excellent results .not as good as two pack a/c or acrilic lac but a lot of people don t have access to spray systems or are confident to use them.
i am 100% positive that the advice given to trompette on product to use and appplication will work it does for me every time .

recipio Registered User

zebrano.96 said:
dear receipo
there are good quality finishing oils out there that will give excellent results .not as good as two pack a/c or acrilic lac but a lot of people don t have access to spray systems or are confident to use them.
i am 100% positive that the advice given to trompette on product to use and appplication will work it does for me every time .

Well, thats what forums like this are for - to give advice based on experience.
Its part of the learning curve that products don't always behave like they say on the can.
What would you consider a " good quality oil finish " ?

Trompette Registered User

Thank you for your advices.
At this time I have no time to fix the top. It is not sticky but the wood is like raw.
After my move to another house, I'll do the job with tung oil, as after a lot of reading and watching videos it seem to be the best oil for the finish I aim, ie watertight, shaded and not too dark, but where I can feel the grain. For table I don't like to feel synthetic (varnish) instead of oak.

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