Watco oil with Min Wax water-based wipe-on poly
I need to freshen up a lot of our interior window casings and trim. My plan is to lightly sand them, and then re-apply some Watco Danish Oil finish (which is what was originally used when our house was built). After the oil finish has cured, I would like to use some Min Wax water-based wipe-on poly … I like the water-based wipe-on poly because it seems easy to work with, and it minimizes the odor.
I’m a bit confused about the technique to use when trying to remove dust. I would have typically just used a standard tack cloth before and after applying both the oil finish and the water-based poly. But I’ve since read that a traditional tack cloth and a water-based poly don’t work well together … a water dampened cloth is a better choice.
But what do I do if I’m using an oil based finish, followed by a water based top coating? A water dampened cloth seems like a bad idea when working with the oil based finish, but if I use a traditional tack cloth for the oil finish, won’t that negatively impact the water-based poly?
Any advice on what I should do?
You can also use a shop vac to remove the dust left from sanding.
Great suggestion hotdogman! Thanks!!
You do know that "danish oil" like Watco is a blend of oil and varnish already?
Actually, "no" ... I didn't know that! Thanks for enlightening me!
I frequently use a similar combination, Watco Danish Oil followed by sprayed-on polyurethane. After applying the Watco, wait at least 72 hours for it to cure. I blow off and/or vacuum off any dust. Rather than use a traditional tack cloth, I use a microfiber tack cloth. Each time I use it, it goes into the wash with my jeans, no fabric softener or dryer sheet. So it helps to clean the project without adding anything that would hinder adhesion of the water-based poly.
Thank you for sharing this ... great advice!!
Tack cloths are not good for any finish. And they aren't necessary. A really slightly damp cloth is fine, if necessary. Just give it a few minutes to dry after.
Wow ... I never realized that tack cloths aren't good for any finish! I've been using them for years for lots of different projects, and have never had any problems. Thanks for for sharing your thoughts!
A damp rag is always good for picking up sawdust.
I'd be concerned about putting a water based coating on top of an oil based one. Perhaps it will look and work fine for awhile but what about the next time you or the next owner wants to refinish the work? My guess is that whoever does it next time will have to take it down to the oil based coat. How will he/she know where to stop? A pain for sure. Not exactly the same thing but right now I'm dealing with latex paint on top of oil-based paint the previous owner put on our interior trim. The latex has been sheeting off and I'm sanding to bare wood, priming with a high-end oil primer and top coating with oil based paint.
Having said the above, I'm not an expert on finishes; just my thought on the matter.
I also do not think it is a good idea to put a water based finish over danish oil. It might work OK if the danish oil is absolutely fully cured. That takes a pretty long time, I think. I wouldn't be surprised if you had adhesion problems. To be safe, I would either skip the danish oil or use an oil based poly. The smell isn't too bad and only for a fairly short time. Certainly no more so than the danish oil. It shouldn't be a problem unless you are particularly sensitive to it.
I have furniture that I have made and finished with Watco Danish Oil that is then topped with polyurethane or acrylic that has been in use for 20 years. It is doing fine. There are no issues with adhesion. Refinishing anything that has been finished with poly, or acrylic is a problem. In my experience, older finishes, like shellac or lacquer work differently, since they soften or dissolve in their thinner. With modern finishes, you will have to sand the whole piece through the clear finish or lightly sand and apply more poly or acrylic.
Seems VHM has answered the question about wb topcoat. However instinctually I wouldn’t think a good idea.
That said, I use a vacuum & brush, a dry paint brush, compressed air, and a combination of those. You can wipe with mineral spirits prior to oil finish, or denatured alc for water based.
I think 2-3 applications of Danish oil would do it. Just be very sure to wipe off & let dry thoroughly even in heated, low humidity I would go 48 hrs to be sure.
I also used tack cloths for years and never saw an issue. I quit using them only because everyone says to.
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