Danish Oil over Wood Dye – Will It Work?

Danish oil and wood dye are the most popular woodwork finishing products. They enhance the characteristics of the wood. The Danish oil enhances the durability of the wood while the wood stain transforms the pigment.

But can you use Danish oil over wood dye? The answer is yes, Danish oil can be used over wood dye. Danish oil penetrates and protects the wood, while the wood dye adds color to the surface. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Continue reading the post to learn more.

What is the Wood Dye?

Wood stain or wood dye is a kind of pigment or coloring agent that is used to color a surface that is made of wood. Most commonly, wood stain is used for coating wooden furniture. The most popular wood stains are oil-based and water-based stains. The dyes are in the form of a liquid or paste that is spread or brushed onto the surface of the wood to change its color.

The wood dye is a good finish on the wood surface, but sometimes you require additional finishes. Sometimes, other products such as oils are usually applied over the stained surface for further help with the coloration of the wood.

What is Danish Oil?

Danish oil is a wood finish applied to bare or over the wood stain. The oil consists of linseed oil, tung oil, and mineral spirits. The oil, when used on wood, penetrates the wood, providing protection and a deep, lustrous finish.

Many woodworkers prefer Danish oil over other finishes because it is easy to apply and maintain. It is excellent for finishing the wood. Notably, the oil is not a stain, but it still affects the color of the wood making it darker. The oil can be applied over any color for a consistent finish.

Danish Oil vs Stain, What’s their Difference?

Danish oil finish is a wood finish popularly used by woodworkers and furniture makers. The Danish oil finish gives the wood a deep, rich luster and a great feel. The oil brings out the natural colors and richness of the wood. Also, Danish oils add a high level of protection to your furniture and a natural satin finish to the surface.

On the other hand, wood stain is usually a color additive to a solvent, which is applied to wood to produce a dark or light color on wood surfaces. Mainly, the stain is typically used to change the color of the wood.

Therefore, Danish oil and stain are different. Danish oil protects the wood from moisture or harsh weather, while wood stain is used for decoration and the change of color. Both products are popular choices for decorative furniture.

How to Apply Danish Oil?

Applying Danish oil is simple. Also, the oil is non-toxic; hence you don’t have to worry much when handling it. However, for best results, you must apply the oil following the proper procedure. Skipping some steps, especially the surface preparation, will mean you won’t get the best results.

Danish oil can be used to wet or dry wood, and it’s much easier to apply than wood dye. When applying the oil on a stained surface, ensure the wood dye is thoroughly dried to prevent staining.

The following are simple steps when applying the Danish paint over wood dye.

  • Prepare the surface. Before applying the Danish oil, preparing the surface for the oil’s application is very crucial. The level of preparation required depends on the condition of the wood surface. Ensure the surface is dry and clean.
  • Test the oil on a small area. Since you are applying the Danish oil on a dyed surface, it’s crucial to test the oil on a small area.
  • Apply the first coat. If the oil produces the desired results, you can apply the first coat of the oil to the rest of the surface. Use a clean, soft cloth to apply Danish oil to the wood.
  • Allow the oil to soak before applying subsequent coats. Allow the oil to soak in for at least an hour before applying the next coat. You can apply up to 4 coats for the best results.
  • Wipe out the excess oil. After applying enough Danish oil coats, wipe off most excess oil. Ensure you leave an even layer.

Can You Apply Danish Oil Over Other Finishes?

Usually, when the Danish oil is used over another finish without proper surface preparation, the results can be disappointing. The layer won’t be even, and the finish layer may begin peeling quickly.

Therefore, if you plan to use Danish oil over a wood surface with a previous finish, the surface preparation makes all the difference. You need to sand, clean, and dry the surface thoroughly. After proper oil application, when the oil dries, it forms a tough coating on the wood, almost like plastic.

Also, apart from using the Danish oil over wood dye, you may use the Danish oil on surfaces where the previous Danish oil finish starts to wear off.

For best results, always ensure the following:

  • The wood dye must be completely dry before you apply the Danish oil.
  • You may need to use more coats of Danish oil to get the desired finish.

Benefits of Danish Oil Over Wood Dye

Danish oil is a penetrating oil finish, soaking into the wood to protect it from within. Wood dye is a surface finish, which means it only affects the color of the wood.

In case you want to use both wood finish products, the following are the notable benefits of using Danish oil over wood dye:

  • Danish oil protects furniture and wood from stains. When applied to the surface of furniture or wood, Danish oil creates a barrier that helps to repel water and other liquids. This can help you prevent stains from setting in and ruining the appearance of your furniture or wood.
  • Danish oil does not change color much.If you want to apply Danish oil over wood dye, don’t worry about the color changes. Unlike many other wood finish products that turn yellowish over time, Danish oil does not change color.
  • Danish oil dries fast. The oil is manufactured using drying agents, which makes it dry fast after application. Therefore, you can apply the oil finish on the wood surface, and the surface will be ready for use after a few hours.
  • Danish oil is effective at protecting furniture and wood from scratches. The oil helps to fill in any cracks or indentations in the surface of the furniture or wood, creating a smooth surface that is less likely to be scratched.
  • Danish oil can be used on all kinds of woods.Regardless of the type of wood you want to apply the oil on, the wood will retain its physical properties even after the application of the oil. It will not change the color or the grain of your wood.
  • Danish oil is beneficial for preventing fading. The oil helps block UV rays, preventing the furniture or wood from fading in the sun. It is one of the best wood finishes for outdoor furniture.
  • Danish oil is easy to find and apply. You can get the oil from most hardware or home improvement stores. Also, the oil application process is straightforward; hence you can do it as a DIY project.

Can You Apply Danish Oil instead of Wood dye?

No, Danish oil and wood dye are used for slightly different purposes on wood.

Danish oil is like a varnish, a protective finish for your wood. It seals the wood and helps retain its natural beauty. While the Danish oil is a finish, the stain is a color. The oil is used more as a protective coating, while wood dyes give the wood its color.

Importantly, you cannot use one instead of the other and get similar results. For instance, if you want to change the color of your wood, you will need wood dye and Danish oil. On the other hand, if you want to seal or protect your wood, then Danish oil is an ideal choice. You can use Danish oil to rejuvenate the finish of your furniture.

Therefore, Danish oil does not replace wood dye. It is a wood finish and will only work if you are refinishing it. Notably, the color of the wood dye may affect the final color of the wood surface after applying Danish oil.


Applying Danish oil over wood dye will help the wood to resist water, stains, and bug infestation and will even help to slow down the aging process. The oil can always be a go-to finish for any wood piece. The oil, when used correctly, helps restore the elegance of the wood. Just put in the work beforehand, and you’ll be satisfied with the result.

So, if you’re looking to add a beautiful, deep finish to your dyed wood project, Danish oil is a great option.