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I read somewhere mixing finishes. B Wilson

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  • I read somewhere mixing finishes. B Wilson

    I read someone was mixing danish oil, mineral spirits and poly together for a one time dip and finish. Has anyone else tried this?

    Could you substitute varathane for the poly?

    Bill Wilson what do you think of this approach. I'm thinking about the mini birdhouses and other small items.
    "Still Montana Mike"

    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

  • #2
    Hi Mike.

    Products labeled Danish oil are typically already a blend. While the exact ingredients and proportions may be difficult to determine, they are usually a blend of boiled linseed oil (or sometimes tung oil), varnish and thinner. The oil gives the finish more of that hand rubbed "in the wood" look and the varnish adds a little bit of a protective film. The thinner simply makes it easier to wipe on.

    The question I would ask is what is the advantage of mixing poly (which is a type of varnish) with something that is already a mix? You are essentially just increasing the ratio of poly/varnish and thinner in a blend that already has those ingredients in it. Nothing inherently wrong with that, I don't think, but I've never mixed poly and varnish in the same finish, nor have I read anything about doing that. I presume they are compatible.

    Adding more poly/varnish to the pre-existing blend will allow the finish to build more, which may or may not be good for a dipping finish. Personally, I would prefer to mix my own with BLO, poly/varnish and thinner so that I could control the proportions. Perhaps in your scenario of a dipping finish, you could experiment on scrap with your own blend in differing proportions to see which one performs and looks best.

    As for Varathane, I believe that is a brand name, so I'm not exactly sure what specific product you are referring to. Varathane offers several varieties of polyurethane. Provided it's an oil based product rather than waterborne, I don't think you would have any problems or see a whole lot of difference when used in a blend.

    Hope this helps.
    Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


    • #3
      That was immensely helpful. Thank you very much Bill. I will read the labels on my current containers more closely. I too was curious why they would want to add more to the danish oil as I was under the impression that it was already a mix as you stated.
      Last edited by wood-n-things; 10-23-2011, 12:44 PM.
      "Still Montana Mike"

      "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
      Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


      • #4
        Hey Mike, Here's how I finish my mini birdhouses. First I glue the perch and bird on. Then I go ahead and mount the eye screw. Then I dip them in a mixture of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits. Wipe off the excess oil, then let dry for 24 hours. Then I hang them on a piece of wire, apply a coat of Deft semi gloss lacquer. After dry. I buff them with a flat piece of brown paper bag to level the finish. Usually one coat is enough after buffing. If not a second light coat will do it. I've done over 100 of them, and this process works well for me.
        Dan in So.Ca.


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