Tung Oil

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Forum topic by SamSludge posted 06-22-2015 09:18 AM 848 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1159 days

06-22-2015 09:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tung oil gelling waterlox

I do a lot of small projects and like to use Waterlox. But after a few uses, the tung oil component gels even though the can is tightly sealed. How can I prevent the gelling?


-- Sam Sludge

10 replies so far

View michelletwo's profile


2735 posts in 3009 days

#1 posted 06-22-2015 11:32 AM

change into other containers & keep the oxygen out.

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2128 days

#2 posted 06-22-2015 11:54 AM

I stopped using Waterlox for the same reasons.

Make your own wiping poly/varnish! Two coats of 50/50 mix equals one coat of film finish. I mix as needed in a cheap kitchen measuring cup.

Oil gloss poly and use 50-50 mix of poly & solvent thinner mineral spirits or naphtha. Naptha dries faster but harder to find at big box stores.

-- Bill

View SamSludge's profile


4 posts in 1159 days

#3 posted 06-22-2015 12:09 PM

Thanks for the reply. I have been searching for a container that allows the removal of oxygen, like is used to remove oxygen from partially used wine bottles. But haven’t found such yet.

-- Sam Sludge

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3800 days

#4 posted 06-22-2015 01:05 PM

I had the same experience when I first started using tung oil. Here’s a cleaver fix. The problem is air present in your can that fills the area where oil was and dries the remaining oil in your can! So, how to get rid of the air???? Easy. When you are finished using your oil you need to ‘press the oil up’ back to the top so that oil fills the can and not air! Place marbles in the can until the oil is back to the top!This displaces the air as the volume of marbles adds to the volume of remaining oil. Viola! The air is gone and the marbles don’t care. When the can is used up, take the marbles out and soak them in a jar of paint thinner in preparation for your next can of tung oil.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4980 posts in 2486 days

#5 posted 06-22-2015 01:19 PM

I’d try the marbles trick, it seems to work better than most other (I’ve tried most of them). Storing it in a refrigerator also helps, but you have to allow it to warm slightly before use. The other thing is don’t leave the can open any more than absolutely necessary, take what you need from the can and close it back up. DO NOT return the finish you removed back to the can. I’ve kept it for a few days in a cottage cheese container with a lid used till I was done, or it was gone. Lastly, there are these bags available, I have some but haven’t had a chance to use them just yet…it’s kind of a variation on the marbles trick.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Tim's profile


3802 posts in 1954 days

#6 posted 06-22-2015 01:52 PM

The marble trick is pretty good. You could try a wine preserving gas too.

View splintergroup's profile


2007 posts in 1215 days

#7 posted 06-22-2015 02:07 PM

A trick I’ve found that works well is to reuse the “box ‘o wine” bladders.

Typically I’ll buy Poly in 1 gallon cans for economy. Once the seal is broken however, there will be a skin to deal with every time I want to use it.

It can get messy if you are not careful. Use a funnel to fill an empty (and clean) mylar (or whatever they are) bladder. The bladder collapses as you pour your finish out with the handy dispenser valve. This means no air to cure your finish while it waits on the shelf.
The bladders are mostly solvent proof, I have yet to find any finish that is incompatible.

View SamSludge's profile


4 posts in 1159 days

#8 posted 06-22-2015 02:12 PM

Thank you all for the suggestions on marbles, StopLossBags and the wine bladder. I am pursuing now.

Much appreciation

-- Sam Sludge

View Ocelot's profile


1974 posts in 2631 days

#9 posted 06-22-2015 02:25 PM

I have a container of pure tung oil that is still unopened. I’ll get some marbles before I open it.

Thanks for this thread.


View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1215 days

#10 posted 06-22-2015 03:24 PM

I can’t figure out why industry hasn’t been using bladders for all perishable products, milk, soda, glue, paint, oils, stains etc., already, think of all the product that wouldn’t go to waste due to air infiltration.

-- I meant to do that!

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