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03-03-2021, 18:24   #1
caesar
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Applying danish oil to worktop for use as desk

Hey folks,

Felt this one fitted better here than over in DIY.

I bought a 2-metre walnut worktop to use as a tabletop for my home office desk. It's atop two Ikea Alex Drawers—one of those "Ikea hacks", except I opted for solid wood instead of laminate.

I didn't fancy the sagging risk and needed something kitchen island depth (900mm) as I have an ultrawide monitor on top of it. With the monitor being mounted on a stand, the standard ~650mm depth would have meant that the monitor would be out on top of me. And I didn't want the stand hanging over the rear. So it's solid (and yeah, heavy) but in need of oiling! I can only look at the plastic covering so much longer

Wondering how I should do it?

The timber yard advised me to hand-sand it before oiling to raise the grain, but for the life of me can't remember what grit the guy suggested. I thought I heard him say 80 grit by hand and then a hoover, but remembered after the call that low numbers mean coarse sandpaper. So, I figure he actually said something more like 280! Would that be more like it?

From some searching, I've seen people talking wet sanding, sanding and then wiping with a damp cloth, and some suggesting letting the oil soak and going in circular motions...

Found this old post, but a little unclear as to whether these approaches are mutually exclusive or not. And wondering whether I need to do anything differently for the finish, given Im using it as a desk and not a kitchen worktop.

Also, the current depth requirement mentioned above may be a short term thing. Now that I have it in the house, I'm thinking of attaching a monitor arm to the worktop or mounting the monitor to the wall behind. So the monitor stand would be gone. I could then comfortably reduce the worktop depth by 200mm. It's great at the moment, a bit like mission control but I'd almost certainly put a circular saw to it if I got rid of the stand. Am I right in assuming I'd re-sand that section/edge and then simply oil the exposed part?

The oil I have is Danish Oil from Furniture Clinic.
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03-03-2021, 18:28   #2
Effects
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Danish oil is good. Go with a couple of coats.
I prefer to sand with a fine paper, wipe with a dry cloth and that way it’s really smooth.
If I want to raise the grain I’ll wipe with a damp cloth instead.
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03-03-2021, 22:58   #3
caesar
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Originally Posted by Effects View Post
Danish oil is good. Go with a couple of coats.
I prefer to sand with a fine paper, wipe with a dry cloth and that way it’s really smooth.
If I want to raise the grain I’ll wipe with a damp cloth instead.
Ah okay. What's the point of raising the grain then? I thought it was for the oil to soak, or is it for aesthetic reasons on the finish?

When I was looking into it last week, I came across a DIYer on another forum who suggested that because they didn't raise the grain beforehand that the first oiling end up doing it for them, and as a result, they made a mess of it. Seems to be a lot of those sort of danish oil posts...
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04-03-2021, 09:22   #4
awec
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When I do our kitchen table I sand it very lightly, pour the oil on to the table a little at a time and then spread it and rub in circles with a smooth cloth.

The first time I did it I was pouring the oil onto the cloth and then rubbing that onto the table. Waste of time IMO, didn't get enough oil on and had to do it again.
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04-03-2021, 10:08   #5
magicbastarder
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Ah okay. What's the point of raising the grain then? I thought it was for the oil to soak, or is it for aesthetic reasons on the finish?
my understanding was that in an area where moisture might be expected, you raise the grain before the finish, so you can knock it back while finishing, rather than it raising when in use.
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04-03-2021, 12:50   #6
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One tip I'd give you based on our solid oak kitchen worktops is to *SLATHER* it with oil and leave it for a few hours before wiping any excess (overnight is best). It's actually quite incredible to see just how much oil they can soak up!
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04-03-2021, 21:40   #7
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Thanks all will tackle it at the weekend all going well. Need to find a lint-free cloth it seems.
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06-03-2021, 13:07   #8
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Don't go near it with 80 grit unless it's a seriously rough piece of timber! Lowest I'd go would be 120 followed by 240 and finally 320.

Brush/vacuum it well and give it a good wipe down with white spirits to clean off any oil or residue. It should be pretty smooth if you've saved up to p320 so you could rub in the oil easy enough or just pour it on and spread it around the table top with a squegee or an old credit/loyalty card etc. Let sit for a while to soak in before wiping off excess.
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