Finishing a wood project often takes longer than building it, so it sucks when some of these difficult-to-apply finishes don’t wear well. In the Toolmonger shop, Danish oil has become one of our favorite methods — it’s easy to apply and looks great afterward — so we decided to try Watco’s latest formulation, a cherry stain, to see if it holds up to what folks have come to expect from the line. We weren’t surprised by our results.
Danish oil is a great way to stain and finish, not because it’s cheap, but because it actually does penetrate and stain the color expected. Add to that the fact that it doesn’t often run or leave streaks, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a one-stop staining system. Even better, you don’t need lab conditions that don’t exist anywhere on the planet to live up to the label. Danish oil is very simple — shake it up, apply it with the grain, and let it dry. That’s it. So we were excited to see cherry stain added to the arsenal.
Our one complaint about this stuff has nothing to do with the product –- it’s the cap. Something’s got to be done about that cap. We feel certain you should not have to call upon the power of Grayskull in order to open the damn can the first time. However, as much hassle as that is, what’s inside is worth it.
After shaking our can up, we dabbed a healthy amount on a clean rag and wiped it on our test piece of veneered red oak. As usual, it went on like the rest of the Danish oils we’ve tried, smooth and completely even.
The oil penetrated the wood on the first coat, and even when we spilled too much on it and it pooled up, we could just wipe it off and it was fine. Just one coat got the entire layer of veneer and even a bit of the layer under it, as this cutaway shows.
The color on our red oak came out rich and eye-pleasing, which didn’t surprise us. Woodcrafters have depended on Danish oil for generations, and it still proves itself easy to work with and beautiful to gawk at — we’re not seeing the downside here.