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Blog entry by Bob posted 05-22-2009 08:22 PM 1008 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am current finishing building 13 jewelry boxes ( 3 different designs) and i am using tung oil as a finish. my question to all you finish wizards out there is do i use a paste wax or a polyurathane or what to finish them off? I would appreciate any and all comments.

12 comments so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3550 days

#1 posted 05-22-2009 08:34 PM

Which brand of tung oil are you using?

-- 温故知新

View Bob's profile


26 posts in 2753 days

#2 posted 05-22-2009 08:47 PM

I am using minwax tung oil

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3191 days

#3 posted 05-22-2009 10:19 PM

i would go with shellac if you have that many boxes. but if not the a good drying poly. you need to get some buildup to protect the wood. wax offers no protection at all

View TheCaver's profile


288 posts in 3262 days

#4 posted 05-22-2009 10:27 PM

I believe that Minwax tung oil is a polymerized product. On several occasions, I was able to build a finish with it, although it was near the end of cans when it gets thicker from exposure. You shouldn’t need anything further in terms of protection. If the wood is figured however, you may get more depth from a built finish, but on 13 boxes, I’d tung oil (tung oil PRODUCT = polymerized) it 3-4 times and wax…..

If you are doing this post assembly, then trying to apply poly to the inside of a box and get it perfect will be challenging at best. No matter what the schedule, I now prefinish all interior parts. This has the side benefit of preventing any squeeze out from sticking.

-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 2742 days

#5 posted 05-22-2009 11:33 PM

Whatever you do, don’t use a water based finish with that tung oil. It will make a mess.

I agree with teenager, use shellac 1st if you are going to put poly it.

I’m not big on wax, having not used it a lot, but I’d think that might look good over the tung oil…

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3167 days

#6 posted 05-23-2009 12:13 AM

Carver is right: MinWax tung oil is a varnish based finish, not pure tung oil. Those boxes would probably do better with just a wax finish over the Minwax.

View Bob's profile


26 posts in 2753 days

#7 posted 05-23-2009 03:03 AM

thx for all of your help…i’ve decided to poly half and wax half….since i don’t have any shellac…..again thax
i’ll post a picture of the finished boxes early next week

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3000 days

#8 posted 05-23-2009 03:07 AM

shellac is a good choice or 4 or 5 more coats of tung oil

-- Custom furniture

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 2783 days

#9 posted 05-23-2009 03:20 AM

i would use the tung, and finishing wax.. not a high gloss but a soft gloss.. tung oil tends to last. the great wall of China has sections that are sealed in tung oil.. (the real stuff).. i use tung when i have a piece that i want a little darker. it used to be my only finish but now it’s almost impossible to find natural tung

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3167 days

#10 posted 05-23-2009 06:17 AM

The Real Milk Paint Company sells pure tung oil. Good stuff, I’ve been using it for years.

View Jon3's profile


494 posts in 3528 days

#11 posted 05-28-2009 05:44 PM

Don’t need much beyond tung oil for something as simple as a jewelry box. Your contact surfaces with jewelry are traditionally lined with a felt or a spray-in anyway, so there’s little danger of damaging that surface. If not, then perhaps a poly to keep the metal from damaging the wood.

View SteveN's profile


21 posts in 3665 days

#12 posted 06-08-2009 09:22 PM

There is no, one, perfect finish for every project. The final “look” you want to achieve is a combination of the wood you use the coloring process and the type of finish used and if you “rub out” the finish or leave it be. All play a part in the final appearance.

Knowing the properties and characteristic of a particular type of finish helps one make a better choice based on how the object will be used. You can achieve the same “look” with different types of finish. But selecting a finish based on the type of exposure it will receive (light, chemicals, water, etc.) and ware it will receive during normal use is a more prudent way of selecting the “proper” finish for an object. It translates into how long the finish will stay looking good and how long it will protect the wood it is covering.

Here is a link that will help in making your choice.
What kind of finish should I use to protect my wood furniture?

-- Steve Nearman,,, Fredericksburg, VA

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