Here are the steps:
- Sand the wood to 180 or 220 grit, sanding in the direction of the grain.
- Apply a wet coat of boiled linseed oil, 100% tung oil, your own mixture or oil and varnish or one of a number of commercial brands of oil/varnish blend (often called “Danish” oil).
- Keep the finish wet on the surface for at least 5 minutes, adding more finish to areas that become dull.
- Wipe off all the excess finish. (Be sure to hang your rags individually to dry so you don’t risk spontaneous combustion.)
- Let the finish on the wood dry overnight (three days for tung oil) in a warm room.
- Apply a second wet coat and sand with the grain using 400- or 600-grit wet/dry (black) sandpaper while the surface is still wet. You don’t need to use a sanding block to back your sandpaper.
- Wipe off the excess and let dry overnight (three days for tung oil) in a warm room.
- Apply a third coat using the same wet-sanding technique if you want. You’ll usually improve the results a little with a third coat.
Run your hand over the surface. It should be silky smooth with a beautiful soft, satin sheen—and with much less work and better results than if you sanded the wood through all the sanding grits up to 400 or 600 grit.