Figuring out the best choice finish for your kitchen table can be a bit of a head spinner. And knowing how to apply that finish, (so that you get the exact personalized look you want), is tricky too.
And there’s more to it besides.
Your choice of finish options range from lacquer to polyurethane, to shellac, and even epoxy resin.
But those finishes, while incredibly durable, don’t soak right into wood the way an oil finish does.
Oil finishes, (like Tung oil and Danish oil), work by sinking into wood. These oils coat wood fibers, (and wooden surfaces), with a water-repellent brittle resin – helping to keep moisture out.
What Is Danish Oil? Danish Oil is a blend of Linseed oil (sometimes Tung oil), varnishes and mineral spirits. And this drying oil finish can nourish and enhance worn-down looking wood grain.
But, what about Rubio Monocoat? How can this product work to protect your kitchen table?
Well, Rubio Monocoat is a hard wax oil finish. Just like Danish oil, this product contains Linseed oil as a key ingredient.
But while Danish oil mixes Linseed oil with varnish an mineral spirits, Rubio Monocoat blends linseed oil with natural waxes and pigments.
Now, both Danish oil and Rubio Monocoat work by soaking right down into timber. However, there is one important difference between the two; film build-up. While Danish oil will build up a fair bit of film on the surface, Rubio Monocoat doesn’t leave much behind on the top side of wood.
And why does all of this matter? Well, because that combination of wax vs varnish surface build-up is key when it comes down to comparing the durability and waterproofing qualities of these two wood finishes.
So let’s get started…
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Rubio Monocoat Vs Danish Oil for Waterproofing
One of the main reasons why it is so important to finish bare timber, is to protect it from woods natural enemy… water!
Moisture, humidity, water rings and drink spills are going to quickly damage your table from the inside out, (if you don’t add a few coats of something water-resistant to it).
Does Rubio Monocoat Seal Wood?
There are very few finishes or sealers that are waterproof. Short of vacuum sealing your table in plastic, you’ll struggle to find a 100% waterproof finish.
However, you can get finishes and sealers that are incredibly water-resistant, such as polyurethane and epoxy.
Related Post: Can You Apply Epoxy Over Polyurethane? (Your Questions Answered!)
And a hard wax finish like Rubio Monocoat will make your tables surface very water-repellent, minimizing the impact of water damage and rot.
Do You Need To Seal Danish Oil?
Yes, you often do, especially if you are coating this onto a wooden table that will see some frequent use.
Just like a hard wax oil finish, Danish oil doesn’t form a 100% waterproof seal around wood. So a table covered in just Danish oil alone will suffer water damage.
Don’t misunderstand, Danish oil will do a great job at preventing water decay, sure, but it is not something that can handle a regular deluge of water.
Does Danish Oil Get Darker With More Coats? Danish oil darkens wood (which is a hallmark of its main Linseed oil ingredient). And applying more coats of it will darken wooden surfaces further.
Related Post: All About Danish Oil: Advantages and Disadvantages
Does Danish Oil Prevent Mold?
Thanks to all of it’s hard resin, wood fibers won’t soak up moisture as that water will struggle to get past that Danish oil in the first place.
And without moisture and damp, mold, simply won’t have anywhere to grow.
So, a Danish oil finish can help prevent mold from settling in on your kitchen table.
Related Post: Rotting Wood Around Your Sink? 3 Ways To Protect That Wooden Worktop
Rubio Monocoat Vs Danish Oil for Durability
There is another reason why you need to add a sealer atop a typical oil finish.
While they can both do a pretty good job at shrugging off small dent impacts, they aren’t the best at it.
Once again, tough sealers like polyurethane can handle tough impacts and abrasions.
But that doesn’t mean an oil finish isn’t fairly hard-wearing too…
OK, So Is Rubio Monocoat Scratch Resistant?
It can handle light scratches, thanks to its waxy, softer film. But, it is not scratch resistant. Instead, where it holds an advantage over Danish oil is in the ease with which you can spot-repair scratches on the surface of this hard wax film coat.
In other words, much of the durability in Rubio Monocoat is more tied into the fact that it can be easily repaired and maintained.
Can You Put Polyurethane Over Rubio Monocoat?
OK, so you know how it’s better to err on the side of caution and add a sealing top coat to an oil finish?
Well, here is where it can get a little tricky with Rubio Monocoat.
Wax is notoriously slippery stuff. So slippery in fact, that top coating sealers such as polyurethane struggle to stay on them.
So, while you can apply polyurethane onto a wax finish, don’t be surprised if that poly peels off in short order. Particularly if that surface is on a vertical table leg rather than a horizontal table top.
Which is a big reason why it is so hard to apply sealers, (such as poly or lacquer), on top of a waxed shellac. You can learn more about this by checking out our post here: Can You Put A Durable Lacquer Finish Over Shellac?
Now, the waxy substance in Rubio Monocoat could make life very difficult for a polyurethane coat, in that poly may struggle to adhere to it.
So, if you want to put polyurethane onto Rubio Monocoat, you will need something to help that poly stay on.
This is where Dewaxed Shellac comes in.
Dewaxed shellac, to put it simply, is shellac but with all it’s wax removed.
Related Post: Can You Apply Epoxy Over Shellac? (3 Key Things You Need To Know)
And while shellac will shrug off everything, dewaxed shellac is the complete opposite… practically everything sticks to it. We’re talking stone, metal, hard wax oil finish coats, and polyurethane.
So, if you layer on a coat of dewaxed shellac onto Rubio Monocoat, you can then apply polyurethane onto it.
The poly will stick to the dewaxed shellac. And the dewaxed shellac will stick to Rubio Monocoat.
Having said all of that, if you do put a top coating sealer over this hard wax oil finish, you will miss out on Rubio Monocoat’s easy-to-spot-repair benefits.
What About Danish Oil? Is Danish Oil A Durable Finish?
Danish oil, just like its Linseed oil base ingredient, forms a rigid coat on lumber.
However, thanks to the addition of varnishes, Danish oil is tougher and more durable than Linseed oil alone.
It also tougher than Rubio Monocoat when it comes to handling big impacts (like say dropping something on the table).
Yet, its brittle rigidness means that scratches can form more easily on Danish oil (compared to using Rubio Monocoat instead).
But, is it durable? Well, it is not as durable as a polyurethane coat. However, it is more durable than natural oil finishes like pure Tung oil and Linseed oil.
Is Danish Oil Suitable For Outdoor Use? Only if used in conjunction with an exterior graded top sealer. In which case, you can apply Danish oil as a primer.
To Wrap Up…
If your table is more decorative than functional, then Danish oil is a perfect way to make natural wood grain stand out. Coat this wood finish on, and it will really show off your crafted masterpiece.
However, if your table is going to see a lot of practical daily use, then you need a wood finish that is going to be easy to fix in a pinch. In which case, go with Rubio Monocoat. It won’t take much effort to repair (provided you haven’t applied a top coat over it).