The first thing you must
understand is what you're about to read here is not the type
of finish where you follow the instructions on some can,
believe it to be the gospel according to Jeff Jewitt and
apply a measly coat then walk away believing you're done.
Far from it.
The second thing you need
to know is that this procedure is solely meant for table
type surfaces. Tables of all sorts, counter tops,
workbenches and even wall panels (assuming you install them
afterward). In short, because of the obvious reason
you're about to discover, this process must be performed on
The last thing you
definitely must fathom is if you embark on this procedure it
may take upwards of 10 days to complete. However, I
can guarantee you that if follow these steps precisely, you
will end up with a deep and rich sheen you can almost see
yourself in and all of it with absolutely no spraying, no
fancy mixing or brushing required.
You will need:
Clothing you don't
care much for
220-grit and 320-grit open coat sandpaper (cut the
sheets in half long ways
100% Mineral Spirits
(not the California
Johnson's Paste Wax or
Trewax - both are meant
for wood floors but Trewax is Carnauba based (preferred)
A 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 10"
wood sanding block
Lots of rags (Fire
Danger! Do not leave rags balled up or leave them in the
shop. Take them outside and spread them out on
something elevated off the ground until they're hard -
from this point on you will consider all of these rags
to be collateral damage so don't even think about using
them on subsequent coats)
Desired color of Watco
Danish Oil (No, I have not used other brands. Will
they work? Beats the hell out of me, you'll have
to try it. I don't cotton with arguing against
Quite a lot of elbow
Time...lots of time
Sand the surface with 100-grit paper until you feel the
whole surface has been properly addressed then use a brush
or vacuum to remove the resulting dust.
You're now done with the
Pick up your can of Watco Danish Oil and shake it until
you're tired then shake it some more. Do not thin or
add anything other than another color of Watco (you can mix
them to achieve the proper hue). If it's a brand new
can pour a pint out so you have shaking room.
Take a look at the clock and note the time - for this step
you'll need about 45-minutes so turn off your cell phone,
plant the checkbook in the wife's hand and send the kids out
to play in the street because you definitely don't want to
be bothered during these critical opening moments.
Literally pour a lake of oil on the surface and spread it
around with your hands. Let it sit - after 10-minutes it
should start to look somewhat blotchy. If so, pour on more
oil and spread it around.
Outfit the sanding block
with the 180-grit paper.
What you're doing here is creating a slurry; a mixture of
the oil and the resulting "dust" to fill the pores. Sand in
a circular motion but also with the grain, being sure to go
over the entire surface (put a new sheet on the block
whenever you feel it sliding more easily). Go over the
surface in this manner three times (adding more oil if
necessary - it's important that you keep the surface very
wet with the oil finish).
Now sand in a straight linear fashion (no circular motion)
for three times. At this stage you've gone through a lot of
sandpaper and your arms feel like 20-lb weights are hanging
from them. Don't worry...that's a good thing - take
You're now done with the
Using your rags, wipe down the surface AGAINST THE GRAIN to
remove the oil slurry (put the rags outside!).
Pour another coat of oil on the surface (only this time not
quite a lake), spread it around with your hands. Leave
it alone for 8 hours.
Good morning! Do your arms feel like elephants were
pulling on them? Fear not...tomorrow you'll think
whales have been pole dancing on them.
Pour on a coat of oil and spread it around on the entire
surface. Outfit the sanding block with 220-grit paper
and sand strictly with the grain. There's no slurry involved
here, all you're doing is working down the previous coat of
oil. Change paper frequently, keep the surface wet
with oil. Go over the surface three times (adding oil when
Completely wipe off the surface with rags (put the rags
Apply another coat of oil being sure the surface is fairly
wet with oil. Let it set for another 8 hours.
You're now done with the
Repeat step 4 - but from now on you'll only be using
It's now 8 hours later and by now you should notice that the
splotches have diminished in that they are smaller in size
and fewer in number - this means you're getting close.
Pour on a light coat of oil, spread it around and sand as
before (going over it three times) but only sanding with
light pressure and a fine hand.
Completely wipe off the
surface with rags (put the rags outside!).
Apply a light coat of oil.
Let it sit for another 8 hours.
Repeat step 6 two more times.
Wipe down the surface with yet another set of rags but this
them with mineral spirits.
Allow 4 - 6 hours for the mineral spirits to flash off
Apply the wax in circular motions, let it haze over then
Repeat step 8 three times.
And you're done.
You may now unscrew your
arms, stand them up in the corner and use them as hat racks.