danish oil on pine

Danish Oil on Pine (Is It A Good Finish? Plus Techniques)

Doing a woodworking job on pine? Wondering if Danish Oil on Pine a good finish for the final project?  Danish oil is a special type of oil that adds a beautiful finish to all types of wood. It is often made from either tung or linseed oil and is hard-drying, meaning it can change (or polymerize) from liquid to solid form when exposed to oxygen in the environment.

Danish oil provides the most durable finish for pine wood furniture, flooring, paneling, framing, and cabinetry. It is hard-drying which makes it especially good for any softwood, including pine. 

It is fairly easy to apply and not only adds a beautiful ‘wet’ look to the wood but also protects it from moisture damage.

Now that you know Danish oil is great for pine wood, let’s explore this topic in more detail below.

We will look at why it is good for finishing, how to apply it correctly, whether or not it darkens the appearance of pine wood and if it can be used over paint or stain. So, if you’re ready to learn more about Danish oil, then let’s get started!

**If you want to cut right to the chase check out this Tried &True Danish Oil over on Amazon.**
**If you want to look at options for finishing your pine, read my post “What is the Best Finish for Pine“.**

How Good Is Danish Oil?

Danish oil isn’t just a good finish, it’s a great finish! It can be applied quickly and easily by hand and since it is a type of wipe-on finish, there is no need for any complicated or messy spray equipment. Best of all, since it is made from linseed oil, it is ‘food safe’ with no harmful toxins or chemicals. 

The modern version of Danish oil often used for finishing wood is a mixture of both varnish and linseed oil. It provides excellent protection for different types of wood, including pine, without altering the color or grain of the lumber. Unlike other finishes, it is not a film-type which means it dries and hardens in (not on) the wood. This prevents the piece from taking on a waxy or ‘plastic’ appearance.

If you are interested in drying times for different finishes like Polyurethane, we have an article on how long does it take polyurethane to dry, check out the differences between oil and water-based poly in comparison to danish oil.

Does Danish Oil Darken Wood?

Since Danish oil is a penetrating (not surface) oil finish, it will darken wood (including pine) a bit. The ones made with tung oil will not darken as much as the linseed versions. Tung or Chinese wood oil hardens upon exposure to oxygen or air, just like polymerized linseed oil, and is transparent or clear. It provides a deep, almost wet look to wood which can make it appear slightly darker.

Can Danish Oil Be Used Over Stain?

Danish oil usually works better under (rather than over) most stains. When you use Danish oil over certain stains such as gel or water-based, the ‘wet’ look is lost. Danish oil will penetrate the wood (including pine) through the stain, however, the ‘wet’ appearance characteristic of the oil will not come through.

It is okay to mix Danish oil with stain, provided that it is oil-based and the wood (including pine) treated with the oil has had at least 48 hours to dry. Dye-based stains, however, will have a harder time penetrating the wood once it has been treated with Danish oil.

Can You Apply Danish Oil Over Varnish?

It is not recommended to apply Danish oil over varnish, however, you can apply varnish over Danish oil! Since Danish oil is made from linseed oil and mineral spirits, it is compatible with other boil-based finishes. An interior or poly varnish works best as it contains more resin solids which make for a harder finish, perfect for pine wood furniture.

Can You Lacquer Over Danish Oil?

Almost any type of finish can be applied over Danish oil as long as you give the oil ample time to dry first. For pine wood, wait 4 to 5 days before applying Shellac or oil-based finishes over wood treated with Danish oil. For lacquer, on the other hand, wait at least two weeks. 

Does Danish Oil Protect From Water?

Danish is hard-drying, meaning it can polymerize into a solid form when it comes in contact with oxygen or air. This provides an almost waterproof, satin finish, protecting the wood (including pine) from damage and warping. It is best used as a primer before applying paint, stain, shellac, lacquer, or varnish.

what is the best brand of danish oil

What is the Best Brand of Danish Oil?

There are a number of different brands of Danish oil on the market today. One of the top-rated brands is Tried and True Danish Oil. You can purchase it by the pint, quart, or gallon online at Amazon.com. It is described as a superior penetrating linseed oil finish that is polymerized for fast, and easy application on interior woodwork and furniture.’ 

It can be easily mixed with other oil-based pigments to create a wood stain with a smooth, satin finish. It has an overall rating of 4.7/5 with 4.6/5 for ease of use and 4.1/5 for durability. Go online and check it out today. It is reasonably priced and can be delivered right to your front door!

Is Danish Oil Suitable for Outdoors?

In lieu of polyurethane finishes, Danish oil is great for protecting outdoor as well as pine wood furniture. It is water, food, and alcohol-resistant and provides a semi-gloss, low-sheen finish to patio furniture, deck boards, and doors.

Can You Thin Danish Oil?

Danish oil formulated specifically for wood is 1/3 thinner combined with 1/3 varnish and 1/3 linseed oil. Any solvent (such as turpentine) would work to thin it further if need be. Thinning the oil allows you to ‘build’ the finish to your liking.

How to Apply Danish Oil to Pine Wood?

Applying Danish oil to pine wood is fairly easy to do. For the best results, be sure to always apply it to clean wood that has been pre-sanded. The steps to finishing pine wood with Danish oil can be done in one of two ways as follows:

The Wet-on-Wet Technique

Step One

Sand the pine wood with 80-grit sandpaper working in a circular motion.

Step Two

Remove the remaining sanding dust with a hand-held vacuum.

Step Three

Use a clean, lint-free cloth to apply the Danish oil. Work in long, broad strokes (reapplying oil to the cloth as needed) until the wood no longer absorbs the oil. You will know when to stop as the wood will appear dull rather than shiny.

Step Four

Let the wood sit for up to 20 minutes. Then, you can apply another coat of oil. Apply it thinner this time as the wood will absorb less oil the second time around. Stop when the pine no longer absorbs the oil.

Step Five

Allow the wood to dry for up to an hour and then wipe the surface with a clean, soft cloth.

Step Six

Do not touch the wood until it has dried completely in a warm room for at least 48 hours. Moving it too soon will hinder the drying process and possibly affect the appearance of the wood. Keep the wood out of direct sunlight to avoid altering the finished look.

The Smooth Finish Technique

Step One

Sand the pine wood with 80-grit sandpaper working in a circular motion.

Step Two

Remove the remaining sanding dust with a hand-held vacuum and then cheese cloth. 

Step Three

Apply Danish oil directly to the pine wood with either a brush or clean cloth.

Step Four

Re-apply the oil as necessary (to any areas that appear dull), keeping the surface wet for three to four minutes.

Step Five

Wipe of any excess oil to avoid pooling in the corners of the wood. Allow the wood to dry in a warm room overnight.

Step Six

Using a brush or clean cloth, apply a second coat of oil to the wood

Step Seven

Sand the surface of the wood (with 600-grit, very fine sandpaper) using long, light strokes in the direction of the grain.

Step Eight

Wipe off any sanding debris or excess stain with a soft, dry cloth (or cheesecloth) and allow the wood to dry once again overnight in a warm room.

Step Nine

Repeat the oiling and sanding process the next day letting the wood dry a third time overnight in a warm room.

Step Ten

Let the pine wood dry completely for at least 24 to 48 hours, given the number of times it has been layered with Danish oil. If you see any lingering debris on the wood while it is drying, do not remove it until after the 24 hour drying time has elapsed.


In conclusion, Danish oil is a specific type of finishing oil made from either tung or linseed oil. It adds a beautiful, wet-look finish to all types of wood. It is hard-drying which means it changes from solid to liquid form (polymerizes) when exposed to the air in the environment. This makes it an excellent finishing choice for softwoods, such as pine. 

Danish oil provides a durable finish for pine wood furniture, flooring, paneling, framing, and cabinetry and provides superior protection from warping, rotting, and other forms of moisture damage. Why not try it on your next pine wood DIY project? You’re sure to be pleased with the results!  

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  1. I have a solid oak bedroom set. I want to oil the finish but was warned not to use an oil finish that will yellow over time. Will Danish oil finish darken or yellow over time?

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