How to Remove Danish Oil from Wood (6 Steps Guide)

Ready to refinish the wooden surfaces in your home? Well, Danish oil is an excellent choice for protecting the wood. But with time you have to change it up a bit. Now you want to remove the oil finishing. 

So, now, you may be thinking, how to remove danish oil from wood?

Danish Oil can be removed by scraping it off, but it’ll be hard. We can use a wood finish stripper on the surface to remove some of the oil. And then rubbing the surface using sandpaper usually does the trick. If it doesn’t work, we have alternate methods.

Are you still fretting about it? Chill out! We have prepared a detailed article on it. 

So without further ado, let’s see what we have in store for you!

Why Is It Difficult to Remove Danish Oil?

Danish Oil is very effective but sticky when applied and is absorbed into the wood. We usually apply three coats of danish oil. And it requires a lot of drying before and after each coating.

This is why the oil gets inside the wood rather than just lying on the surface. So you might have to use some elbow grease to remove all of it. 

Step-by-Step Process to Remove Danish Oil From Wood

how to remove danish oil from wood

You already know that danish oil is strong. Unlike removing Polycrylic, Danish oil is more difficult to clear away. Before the wooden surface is ready for a fresh coating, we must strip it down. We have listed down the necessary steps for you to follow.

But before that, let’s take a look at the tools you’ll be needing. 

  • Wood Finish Stripper
  • Gloves
  • Painters Tape
  • Sandpaper 
  • Wood Scraper
  • A small Knife

This is the list of tools you’ll be needing. Now, let’s step into the main part. 

Step 1: Clean the Surface

Before applying the chemical stripper, you’d have to clean the surface and remove stains properly. Otherwise, the chemical stripper won’t work. If it’s dirty and grimey, then wash it. Then wipe it off or let the wooden surface dry completely. 

Step 2: Put Painter’s Tape

Chemical Strippers will damage the polish and finishing of danish oil. Sometimes you want to remove finishing from an area.

You have to isolate that specific part using painter’s tape. In this way, you can protect the other surrounding surfaces.

Step 3:  Apply Wood Finish Stripper

In this step, put the wood finish striper on the wooden surface. But before that must check out the instructions on the label.

Most of the wood finish strippers are chemicals and non-toxic. But you should still use gloves while applying. 

That is why we have a list of safe wood finish strippers just for you.

Right now, these are the hot deals in the market. So, you can make your purchase without keeping any doubt in mind.

Remember to ventilate the room after applying the chemical ones. If this is a piece of furniture you’re refinishing, do it outside.

Step 4: Let the Wood Stripper Dry

After applying the wood finishing stripper, you have to let it sit for a bit. Don’t start scraping or removing the danish oil right away. This won’t work. Let it dry completely.

You shouldn’t rush this step. Otherwise, you might end up scraping harder. Check out the instruction paper and figure out the time you have to wait.

Step 5: Remove the Danish Oil 

You have to use a small knife to scrape off the danish oil in this step. If you’re using a robust chemical stripper, you’d see that the bulk of the oil will bubble up. Then it would slide off automatically. 

If you’re scraping on a small surface, we recommend using a small wooden surface scraper. We have made a list of the scrapers you can use. 

We hope the scrapers will make your task easier.

Just remove the excess oil residue with a cloth. Then you’d also have to wipe the wooden surface clean.

Step 6: Sand the Wooden Surface

Now that you have a clean surface use sandpaper to remove the excess oil. On smaller surfaces, use macro grit sandpaper. If the surface area is large, then use coarse 60 grit paper. 

Follow these simple steps to get the best results. In case this doesn’t work out, we have alternate methods.

Alternative Techniques to Get Rid of Danish Oil Finishing

It’s possible that the sandpaper technique might fail. In that case, you can try out some other methods. 

We made a research and found some alternatives for you. Check them out!

Alternative 1: Re-oil the Surface

If you want to refinish the wooden surface, you can do a small amount of scraping. Then directly re-oil the surface with the type of oil you want. In this way, you won’t have to do a lot of work. 

Alternative 2: Use Razor Scraper

A razor scraper with a 4-inch wide blade may be able to extract the bulk of the hardened oil. Tilt it gently and at a slight angle to the wooden surface. But just be careful not to let the scraper edge cut into the woodwork.

We have made a list of the best razor scrapers in the market. 

All these scrapers will make it easy to remove the danish oils. And you won’t have to worry about scratching the wood.

You should be aware of some toxins that could be inside Danish oil. So you need to find out if your home has VOCs. After that, you might want to remove danish oil from all the furnishings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can I wax the wood over the danish oil finish?

Answer: You can wax over the danish oil, but you shouldn’t. Waxing on the wood doesn’t protect it. Instead, dirt attaches to the wax polish. 

Question: Does Danish oil come in several hues?

Answer: Normally, danish oil does not come in different hues. But it depends on the brand. Some Danish oil brands have other colors available. So, you won’t have to tint the wood with spirit-based dye. 

Question: How long would the Danish oil last on wood?

Answer: Danish oil finish could last up to 15 to 20 years. But this depends on the coating and how you maintain the wood. You should clean it regularly and avoid spilling water on the wood.


In this content, we have discussed how to remove danish oil from wood. Now you can easily apply this knowledge to use. 

Here is a short trick if you want to reapply the danish oil. If you see that your wooden surface is porous, apply the oil on bare wood. And wait until it’s fully dry. 

Best of luck with your re-furnishing project!

Kevin Smith

3 thoughts on “How to Remove Danish Oil from Wood (6 Steps Guide)”

  1. I finished a piece of teak wood with Watco black walnut Danish oil – one coat. I had tried it first on a piece of leftover teak and it seemed good but once i applied it to my actual project I found it was way too dark and it took away from the natural character the teak wood had before. I also forged on and applied 5 coats of hand-rubbed polyurethane. Now that it is done and has been hanging on my wall for a few weeks I am unhappy with this finished product. Should I go ahead and try and remove it? If I do I was thinking of simply putting a coat off??? Swedish oil or…..something with less darkness that will enhance the teak without hiding it. Will the Watco remain in strips or in the grain at places? Do you think this will actually enhance the appearance of the project or further diminish it?

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  3. I applied a second coat of danish oil to my table and I didn’t wipe it off. It had a shiny finish which I liked so I let it dry overnight. Unfortunately the wife doesn’t like shiny. She wants me to remove the shine(the danish oil) so it will have a Matt finish. Can I reapply another coat of danish oil and wipe it off! I don’t want to apply finish remover, sand, and reapply the danish oil. Let me know

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