Watco Teak Oil

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As the hobbiest woodworker, I had a friend call me last night about finishing a table top for his Super Bowl party on Sunday. Not the handiest guy, he apparently stripped off the finish and restained with some kind of oil based stain, not sure what stain or type of wood. The wood is dull and where does he go from here? I suggested Waterlox Original and then gloss. If good enough for floors, it should work for table top and have dry times for several coats before Sunday. He rejected that as too expensive and too hard to find.
An hour later I got a second call from him at Home Depot (purveyor of only the best wood finishing products). He was looking at Watco Teak Oil. I've used their Danish oil on woodturning pieces with success, but had no experience with the Teak Oil. Due to time parameters I said go for it, putting on several coats before Sunday. I assume it is a varnish oil mix and should pop the grain pattern a bit. After the party I suggested continuing with some wipe on poly for durability.
Yes, I will see the table on Sunday and have a better idea then. I had suggested a trial piece first which was rejected and I assume the first coat of teak oil went on last night. Any comments or suggestions welcome.
Jerry
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As the hobbiest woodworker, I had a friend call me last night about finishing a table top for his Super Bowl party on Sunday. Not the handiest guy, he apparently stripped off the finish and restained with some kind of oil based stain, not sure what stain or type of wood. The wood is dull and where does he go from here? I suggested Waterlox Original and then gloss. If good enough for floors, it should work for table top and have dry times for several coats before Sunday. He rejected that as too expensive and too hard to find.
An hour later I got a second call from him at Home Depot (purveyor of only the best wood finishing products). He was looking at Watco Teak Oil. I've used their Danish oil on woodturning pieces with success, but had no experience with the Teak Oil. Due to time parameters I said go for it, putting on several coats before Sunday. I assume it is a varnish oil mix and should pop the grain pattern a bit. After the party I suggested continuing with some wipe on poly for durability.
Yes, I will see the table on Sunday and have a better idea then. I had suggested a trial piece first which was rejected and I assume the first coat of teak oil went on last night. Any comments or suggestions welcome.
Jerry
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On 2/3/2010 5:40 PM, A Lurker wrote:

It's been a long while, but I've used it with good results in the past.
Based on that, don't expect to get more than a couple of coats between now and Sunday, and be sure to rub out each coat an hour or two after applying, otherwise it will may get gummy and you'll need another application to get rid of the tacky parts.
I'd sure want to do it indoors and above 70 degrees F if at all possible if you want multiple coats in a hurry.
Other than the time factor, I think he'll be fine with it.
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I have also used Watco Danish with good success..............so long as you wipe the wet residue faithfully! I have not used Watco Teak, but I have used another brand of teak oil in a sailboat we owned. I think they are similar, but the teak oil might produce a glossier finish.
Based on above comment on Danish, he should be sure each successive coat dries before he starts another. I have had both products (Watco Danish and another brand teak oil) SIT FOR DAYS before it dried! Make sure that wet residue is wiped after a reasonable amount of time. Read instructions on the can and follow them.
The Super Bowl starts in four days.
RonB
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Dry times and cure times are two different things. If it were me, I would buy a table cloth. And wait until I could finish it properly. You buddy simply waited too long. There isn't much chance of the table top being cured enough to be useful by Sunday.
Depending on how the stain was applied, weather conditions, etc., it is entirely (read: likely) that the stain will be lifted up by the Watco if he recently stained it. Not good...
And any damage you do to the actual finish will be almost impossible to repair.
Robert
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wrote:

Yeah - Much better way of saying what I said above, Wait! Do it right later.
RonB
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I have used Watco Danish oil many times and this is a synthetic teak oil, really. Do they make actual teak oil? I have applied Watco over oil stain many times and then topped that with a wipe on gel polyurethane and even put mineral oil on top of that. Who needs a spray gun? These kinds of finishes are very forgiving and good results are easy and long lasting because you wipe off the excess and so it makes for very thin coats and thin coats are more durable. -Paw, Doomer in Cheif http://groups.yahoo.com/group/brierpatch /
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wrote:

There is no "teak oil" in teak oil. Like almost all wipe on products (I say all... I personally don't know of an exception) it is just some type of resin that has been thinned to nothing. Just in case you are really interested:
http://apps.risd.edu/envirohealth_msds/MetcalfStore/WatcoTeakOil.pdf
Note the MINUSCULE amount of solids in the product. Essentially, it is a hyper-thinned bottle of BLO with some metallic driers to make sure it eventually dries. The reason this product offers so little protection for hard use surfaces is in its own ingredients, specifically its use of an inferior resin.

No one should for these types of finishes!

These finishes are forgiving, and they are specifically targeted to serve those who need (for whatever reason) to finish this way.
Thin coats of any finish do NOT make a stronger surface in themselves. Generally speaking, thin coats assure that the underlying coats that form the substrate for the subsequent coats have outgassed and cured properly. In the case of simple build finishes such as these, the coats resolvate into themselves, building a monolithic film, negating layers of thin film buildup.
These products work by signaling the finisher that there is too much product on in an area by remaining wet in certain areas at the time of application. These wet areas indicate areas of excess finishing material that need to be removed to ensure an overall uniform application.
The simple reason this particular finish must be applied thin is that it is BLO, and it is a painfully slow curing resin. If applied to finishing standards, say a 3 mil coat, it would take weeks to cure between coats.
Robert
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I believe the WATCO has a small amount of cobalt drier added. You could speed curing time by adding more drier, such as 1 part in 10 of Japan drier. I wouldn't add it to the entire container, but to some of the WATCO in a jar.
That's a lot more drier than normally used. I'd try that on some scrap first. Also, you can test whether the current coat is cured by sanding with some 400 grit. If it sands to powder, it is ready for another coat. If it sands to balls of gunk, then it needs more time.
[...snip...]

If you can find something called 100% pure teak oil, then you have the real teak oil. But for your project, that isn't what you want for this application, unless it is part of a mix you make. See below.

[...snip...]
I was curious, so I followed the link. The ingredients listed total to about 50%.
Hydrotreated distilate, light 21-30% Solvent naphtha (petroleum) medium aliphatic 1-10% Linseed Oil, Acid Refined 1-10% Cobalt Compounds < 1%
The actual resin products are not listed, anyway. So I assume they are within that remaining 50%. Not sure how much of the 50% is varnish, however. I ver much doubt it is all of the 50%.
But that didn't match the Teak Oil MSDS that is listed at the Rustoleum web site. There the link to "Teak Oil" provides this entry (which is titled WATCO Exterior Oil once you follow the link):
Mineral Spirits 8052 -41-3 50.0% VM&P Naphtha 64742-89 -8 40.0%
So that shows 90% thinner. There are no varnish, oil, or driers listed at all, just the mixture of thinners.
Here's what Rustoleum lists for natural Danish Oil: Mineral Spirits 60.0 % aromatic petroleum distillates 5.0% Dipropylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether 5.0% Stoddard Solvent 5.0%
That totals 75%. No varnish, oil or driers listed for this, either, but from other sources I understand there is linseed oil and some varnish in the mix. I don't know the ratio.
So from that I'd say WATCO is fairly expensive bottle of thinner with a little oil and varnish added.
In traditional homebrew oil-varnish mixes the ratio of thinner-oil-varnish is usually 1-1-1.
If you want an oil-varnish finish that wipes on easy and dries fast, a Fine Woodworking article has a formula of:
10 parts Pratt & Lambert No. 38 alkyd varnish, 10 parts pure tung oil, 2 parts Japan drier, 2 to 3 parts turpentine as thinner, no more than 5 parts.
Alkyd varnish is getting a bit harder for me to find, most local sources just sell poly. The rest I can get at local hardware/paint stores.
That's a lot of drier for the volume. The article says because of the extra drier, the mix hardens in the container in a few weeks, and that rags are at high risk of igniting if not dried properly. But is water/alcohol proof and can be buffed to a gloss or something softer as desired. Just mix what you need.
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On Thu, 04 Feb 2010 10:43:11 -0800, Jim Weisgram

I believe the word "Teak" in Teak Oil refers for what it is intended to be used upon, not what it contains.
Car Wax, similarly, does not contain any cars.
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On 2/4/2010 12:43 PM, Jim Weisgram wrote:

Excellent ...
Just as an aside ... this testing technique also works on many similar finishes by simply rubbing the piece with brown paper (as in paper grocery bags).
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Agreed, but don't overlook the ability to make dust-free built up finishes this way. It was my finish of choice on many projects, using Formby's modified Tung Oil, but I've used other finishes thinned down as well. IMHO, the key to success is to apply the first coat wet as can be, wipe it with your hands to spread it out and keep wiping it as it cures to move material from the glossy areas to the non-glossy ones. Once it's pretty uniform, then wipe it dry with a cloth and let it cure for a while. Then, a light going over with 220 paper, followed several more times with the rubbed finish, wiped dry each time, light sanding. . . etc until you're happy with the results.
In all my time building things in the shop, I seldom, if ever, sprayed anything.
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wrote:


Good one, Nailshooter. It was a slip of the tung. I didn't mean to say teak oil but rather meant to say tung oil. Sorry. -Paw
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On Wed, 03 Feb 2010 23:40:00 +0000, A Lurker wrote:

It appears that any suggestion would be too late, since he's already started the teak oil. I would have sealed the stain in with a thin wipe on coat of SealCoat and about an hour later used wipe on poly.
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Thanks for all of the responses. I just called the guy with the table. He followed the directions on the can of Watco Teak Oil(that in itself is amazing), and on Tuesday evening put on two coats about an hour apart and wiping off the excess as instructed. The stain stayed down fine and didn't blotch.
Robert, I looked at the MSDS sheet and see that it is just BLO with some thinners and driers. That is in line what my friend described, deepening the stain tones but not seemingly offering any real surface protection. His plan is to use the table as is for the Super Bowl party without any further treatments, because it "looks good."
Any damage from use at the party, he will try another Watco Teak oil, let that dry and then move on to wipe on poly. Putting anything more on before Sunday would be pushing it.
Again thanks muchly!
Jerry
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Excellent! And if he actually read and followed the instructions, that puts him well past some of the "professionals" I know! I am glad he didn't pull up his stain. That's one I learned the hard way.

Sounds like a great plan to me. Just tell the boys to be careful. As a final thought, I would let the finish cure out for about 3 - 4 weeks before I put anything on top of it.
Since you are going to put poly on top of the oil, your buddy should be aware that the solvents in the poly can/might dissolve into the oil, making a bit of mess if he gets on it too soon. Even if it sands to powder, it may not be cured.
And since you are putting a "hard" finish over a "soft" base, you want it to be as hard as possible.
For the sake of speed, and for the sake of "less coats means less chances of problems", I would look for some of Leon's posts here about using a foam brush to apply the poly. He does very nice work, and he swears by that method (as do others).
You can literally put down in one pass with the foam brush what it will take 3 or more passes when wiping. That means with a foam brush, you can complete the finish your project in one day, not a few.
Robert
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RE: Subject
A question for Robert.
If Watco Teak Oil is basically BLO + some dryers why not just use BLO cut with turps per the manufacturer's direction on the can in the first place and get on with life?
Most likely would be less expensive and certainly would eliminate another special item from the finishing materials inventory.
Just curious.
Lew
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I don't know, Lew. I am guessing that so many folks have enough problems with finishing that they just don't want to experiment with something unknown. Everyone I know wants bullet proof results, and making your own finish just seems like voodoo to them.
A good resin based finish like poly or varnish can easily be converted to a "wiping" application by cutting it about 50% with thinner. Sometimes it is a bit less, sometimes more.
This has been done for some time by folks like me that don't want to pay for yet another can or kind of finish. You will find a lot of furniture guys do this as well, depending on how their shop is set up. It is an ideal solution if you can't spray, or if you cannot put a "long" finish on it like an unthinned resin finish that you wait hours between coats. It works well for small projects.
None of the wipe on finishes make a good wear resistant top coat to me, though. I am not sure why, but they just don't seem as hard when cured. Good for a lot of things, but not table tops. But at least if you make your own out of poly, you will know that you are putting down something harder than Teak oil.
This is a good wiping home brew from my own test lab. The BLO was added to make the application a little slicker and to slow down the flashing off of the solvent.
8 ounces of poly (I made this recipe up with Minwax)
8 ounces of thinner (Sherwyn Williams or the like, NOT Kleen Strip, Crown, Sunnyvale or other cheap brands)
1 1/2 teaspoons of BLO
1 to 2 teaspoons of Japan Drier (use any drier, cobalt, etc.,). Japan drier is optional, and if used, the formulation should be tested on a piece of scrap before using it on your project. In this case the Japan Drier is not used as a drying agent (the thinner and the chemical matrix of the poly will take care of that) but as an agent to make the surface harder when cured.
You will know if you have too much Japan drier in the mix if the surface "crazes" and cracks when fully dried. The easiest way to test the formula is to put a drop on a piece of wood and wait a couple of days for it to dry. No cracking or fissure marks (highly unlikely with one to two teaspoons in a pint) and you are in good shape.
Mix well with a stirrer. Let it sit about 30 minutes, and use as normal wiping material. It makes a very nice finish when it is cured out and is very easy to apply.
It has another use, too.
It is IDEAL for guys that build their own cabinets and want to stabilize both sides of plywood or wood. If you build a cabinet that has plywood backing or sides on it and you want to minimize the movement, this is an ideal finish to slather on with an old tee shirt.
Put the client's (or your) finish on the show off side as needed, and seal the other side with this stuff. It penetrates pretty well, dries up reasonably fast, and is excellent at moisture protection. I don't like to spray inside a house anymore than I have to, so if I can spray frames only, I don't have much overspray and drift in the house. (Doors are sprayed outside or off site).
I can swab this around inside any cabinet to give a pretty good seal, seal the bottom side of a table top or back of a cabinet to help stabilize it, or just as a utility sealer to make a surface more cleanable. And this stuff is so thin it goes on fast with a brush. Really fast. And on a porous surface like cheap plywood or one of the flavors of particle board, it goes right in and is dry to the touch in no time.
Besides being easy to use, this stuff is CHEAP to make, EASY to make, and easy to repair.
And most guys already have the ingredients for this stuff out on the shelf somewhere in the garage, except the Japan drier (optional).
As always... just my 0.02.
Robert
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I don't know, Lew. I am guessing that so many folks have enough problems with finishing that they just don't want to experiment with something unknown. Everyone I know wants bullet proof results, and making your own finish just seems like voodoo to them. <snip another of Robert's finishing tutorials> ------------------------------------------
Maybe it's different in other parts, but around here the BLO is sold in cans with instructions on the sided of the can to cut it with turps before applying.
From memory, 2 parts BLO, 3 parts turps.
That was the basis of my question.
Lew
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The BLO I have is about 15 years old or so. I don't use it unless I am making a witches brew of my own or experimenting. My can doesn't have any instructions on it.
I am surprised it says to use turpentine. The best thinner (although others work) for BLO is Naptha, or VM&P, which is a different blend of Naptha.
Specifically, the difference between using out of the can thinned as per your instructions wouldn't yield much difference than the Watco formula.
They Watco will have a lot more driers in it though to make it harder and dry faster. BLO in itself has very little. The reason you thin BLO out of the can is to make it easier to apply. But when you do that, you cut the amount of drier/hardener down by as much as you thin, resulting in a longer curing, probably inferior end product.
It would be inferior only in the respect that it doesn't cure out as hard. At least with the Watco you get a tiny bit of protection. With plain BLO you get almost none.
Of course, the solution would be to add a metallic drier.
But then you would have homemade Watco, right? It would just cost 1/2 as much.
My point was (agreeing in essence with you) that you could make the stuff as needed with products you have on hand with no reason to buy it.
Robert
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