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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Watco oil finish too light


Several years ago I stained my bathroom oak cabinets with Watco Danish oil in the light oak colour.
I would like these cabinets to be a darker colour.  Can I just add a darker Watco colour over top?  Would a Minwax colour work better?
I do not want to finish the cabinets with any poly coatings afterwards as I like the look and feel of the Watco oil finish.  I also appreciate how easy they are to look after and touch up scratches if necessary.
Any advice you can give me would be appreciated.

Hi Kathy,

You might have some problems trying to get another coat of Watco to darken your existing cabinets because Watco seals the wood. It penetrates and absorbs into the wood, and effectively seals the wood. So applying another coat of Watco to darken the cabinet might be ineffective.

My best advice might be to sand the wood a bit, to break the seal and open the pores. If you can make the surface a little more penetrable, the next coat of Watco will be able to absorb better.

I would recommend lightly sanding the wood - with maybe 320 paper, and then re-oiling the wood with a darker tint of Watco. If the first coat isn't dark enough, let it dry and try a second coat 24 hours later. When it's finally as dark as you want it to be, you're essentially done.

Or - if you want a bit more sheen, you can wax the cabinets with a good paste wax, like Johnson's  or MinWax paste wax. That will bring up a little sheen and make the cabinets feel a little more silky.

Good luck, hope this helps. Write back if you have more questions.

Jamie in Vegas

Jamie Yocono
Wood It Is! Custom Cabinetry
Las Vegas, NV

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

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Jamie Yocono


Woodworker, Furniture designer/builder, industrial arts educator. Bachelor degree in Furniture Design, and journeyman carpenter, with a 4 year apprenticeship. Currently owner of custom furniture/cabinet shop in Las Vegas, NV. Can answer most woodworking questions EXCEPT those regarding repairs, refinishing, and antiques.


Bachelor in Furniture Design - Ohio University (1980) Journeyman Carpenter, Local 639 Adult educator - Developed adult education woodworking program for the University of Akron, and taught classes there for 9 years. Opened a private woodworking school in Las Vegas, NV and teach private and semi-private lessons. In 2011, I will begin teaching UNLV woodworking classes at my school. Sweet!

Furniture Society

Tile Design and Installation Magazine (Article on inlaying tile into wood)

Journeyman Union Carpenter Bachelors degree in Furniture Design (Ohio University) College of Hard Knocks!

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