Help with Watco Black Walnut Danish Oil


I have a Red Oak cabinet "nearing completion". Today I finally found a source for Watco products in my area. Thought I'd give it a test to see how this product works.
So I bought Watco Black Walnut Danish Oil. Looking at the sample's. The black Walnut is exactly the color I am looking for. I can do this color with dye and gel stain. But would like to try the Watco product.
The question I have is this. I want to fill the grain of this red oak. I also want the grain to be as dark as possible. I have tinted filler to do this previously with good results.
So what sequence do I follow. Do I fill the grain with the tinted filler first, or after I use the danish oil. If someone could explain the sequence it would be appreciated.
Pat
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When you say sample, do you mean a sample you made up, or one in the store? I bought a can a couple years ago and thought the effect was so bad I have never used it; on maple and poplar it looks more soiled than walnut. Maybe it works better on oak. If you are going by the store's sample, make one on the wood you will be using before going too far.
I have used Behlen's waterbased filler. That goes on before staining. It would make an awful mess afterwards.
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Hi Toller,
I tried a few tests while waiting;
Filling wise. I use a product made by Elmer's called Fill'n'Finish. It's a water based wood filler. Comes in a light and dark version. I've had good results with it.
I used the dark version and tint it with acrylic artists colors. You only need a very tiny amount to tint the filler to black or whatever colour you want. Apply with a putty knife, scrape off the excess and Let it dry about 15 minutes, then sanded with 320. Applied the Watco as per the instructions and it's beautiful and like touching a piece of satin. Problem, the Watco did not color the wood as deeply as the store/brochure sample.
Just to note: If I filled without the tinting medium "which I tried". I got the expected result. I lost the grain almost completely.
I think I'll have to stick with my current finishing process. Dye, sealing, filling, sealing, glazing, then top coating. It's a PITA but at least I have better color control and I get the results I'm looking for.
I'll save the Watco for some Walnut... at a later date.

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I'd use Watco Natural on Walnut. You don't need the dye stain in the oil, IMO.
Good luck with your project.
Patriarch
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Thank You Patriarch.
Since you have used the Watco products more than I have, maybe you might know the answer; If I continue to apply the dark walnut, since there is a dye component, will the wood "red oak" continue to get darker with subsequent applications.
For example: If I did one application of the watco. Let it dry. Then filled the grain with tinted filler, sanded etc. Then start applying more of the finish. Will the unfilled wood continue to get darker.? My test piece "after one application" was just too light. So I'm wondering if I can build the color...
Pat
On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 04:43:10 GMT, patriarch

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Well, Rule #1 is experiment, on wood that you're using, with the techniques as you understand them. That's better than some remote expert(1) pontificating. And rule #1 didn't originate with me, by the way, although I've tried to adopt it.
If what you want is the dye component, then get a dye. The varnish oil (2) is a finish, and the dye is along for the ride. The varnish oil is a challenge in red oak, since the structure of the wood encourages absorption and weeping, as the oil cures. It can be made to work, but is, at the same time, an annoyance. And varnish oil is popular not only for the nice feel it leaves, but also because it is so simple to use. Subsequent applications do not absorb color as deeply, because the cell structure has oil curing from the earlier applications, partially blocking the dye.
The absorption characteristic of red oak can/will likely make dying interesting also, so have plenty of practice pieces ready. An alcohol carrier, by itself, tones _extremely_ quickly, and can tend towards a blotchy coloration. Fortunately, alcohol is also the solvent for shellac, which can conteract the blotchies. A light base coat of 1lb blonde shellac, followed by dye-amended shellac, can be padded on, and with proper care, you have your color coats. It's a surface film finish, so it feels different than an oil, but, hand rubbed with a good clear wax and 0000 synthetic steel wool, you get a delightful look. Used by anyone with roots/ties/connections/respect for the College of the Redwoods.
Now about me. I've been doing this enthusiasticly for less than 5 years, as a hobby, and therapy from the corporate world. There are many more expert in finishing technique than I. Some of them, no longer with us in this life, have much of their shared wisdom archived, thanks to Google, and prior to that, Dejanews. When you search, pay careful attention to one gentle fellow, Paul Radonivic, or Paully Rad, and enjoy his expertise.
I work in red oak, because that's what my wife likes, it's local, and it matches much of the commercial furniture we have accumulated over 30+ years. And, since we often learn most completely from our mistakes, I've learned more than a little bit on how not to work red oak. Enjoy your learning path.
Patriarch
(1) One definition of an expert: x = an unknown quantity. spurt = a drip under pressure. Hence expert = unknown drip under pressure. Source unknown, but not me.
(2) varnish oil: linseed, tung or similar oils, with a modest varnish component. Watco is one of many. Homebrews are/were plentiful. See articles from real experts, ie: Flexner, Jewitt, et al.
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under pressure". hee hee rich
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Hello Patriarch,
Sorry for the late reply. Unfortunately I had to work the last couple of days - they were long shifts.
Yes, experimentation is the key.
My current finish starts with a dye. It was the only way I could find to get close to the dark chestnut brown that I wanted.
I'm going to try a test, dye, grain filing. But rather than seal everything with minwax satin poly, I'll try top coating with the oil varnish and see what happens.
Thanks for all the info below. I'll be doing some searching.
Pat
On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 19:08:43 GMT, patriarch

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Fill first, stain later. Check on scrap rather than your project, but I should think something like the plaster-of-Paris fillers would certainly out-absorb the wood for the effect you want. Oil-based fillers might not take as much.

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I tried a few tests while waiting;
Filling wise. I use a product made by Elmer's called Fill'n'Finish. It's a water based wood filler. Comes in a light and dark version. I've had good results with it.
I used the dark version and tint it with acrylic artists colors. You only need a very tiny amount to tint the filler to black or whatever colour you want. Apply with a putty knife, scrape off the excess and Let it dry about 15 minutes, then sanded with 320. Applied the Watco as per the instructions and it's beautiful and like touching a piece of satin. Problem, the Watco did not color the wood as deeply as the store/brochure sample.
Just to note: If I filled without the tinting medium "which I tried". I got the expected result. I lost the grain almost completely.
I think I'll have to stick with my current finishing process. Dye, sealing, filling, sealing, glazing, then top coating. It's a PITA but at least I have better color control and I get the results I'm looking for.
I'll save the Watco for some Walnut... at a later date.
Pat

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