Help on Tung Oil

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Forum topic by blackivory69 posted 09-10-2010 05:06 AM 3026 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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84 posts in 3045 days

09-10-2010 05:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: floor tung oil finish top coat sheen

Hi fellow LJs. Need help here about my project. I just stripped one of our bedroom floor with red oak floor (it had varnish). I started with 50 grit and I’m done sanding it to 120 and I’m ready to finish it with Tung Oil. I bought Pure Tung oil and will mix it with mineral spirit and will add Japan drier. I’m planning to put 3 coats of tung oil. My question is if my BOSS (Wife) wants a glossier sheen, should I just keep on adding more coat. Or buff it? Or use paste wax? Please help, thanks in advance.

-- blackivory69

7 replies so far

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 2975 days

#1 posted 09-10-2010 06:08 AM

BI, I’m a fan of tung oil finishes, just not for floors. I would go with a good grade of poly finish, couple of coats of satin, then if not glossy enough, a final coat of high gloss. It’s hard to beat poly for a durable and attractive floor finish. With luck some of the more knowledgeable finish guys will chime in here and give a hand.

-- Smitty

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2909 days

#2 posted 09-10-2010 06:18 AM

Does the Tung Oil have a sheen to it all ready? I just helped my dad refinish his oak floors a few months ago and he used Tung Oil. I don’t think it was pure Tung Oil though. It was called Waterlox and had a Satin finish to it. The floors turned out great with 3 coats and IMO its more of a semi gloss. I think the more coats you do the more gloss you will get. The oil needs 12 or 24 hours to dry before adding another coat, I cant remember exact time and has a strong smell. If you have not done this before your going to find that your not going to want to apply more then a few coats, especially if your staying in the house as you do this. I also think they advise not putting any weight on the floors for a couple days after. Like I said though we used something called Waterlox Tung oil which may not have been pure so it could be a little different.

Once its done your going to want to wax it good. I think 3 coats and a good wax and you will have a real nice shine/gloss.

Hope this helps a little

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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Rick Dennington

5913 posts in 3223 days

#3 posted 09-10-2010 06:54 AM

Greetings Dcase, I’ve not used Waterlox before, but I believe what you helped your dad put down was a tung oil finish. There’s a difference in t.o.finish, and pure t.o. Pure tung oil has to be cut with mineral spirits, otherwise it’ll be sticky, gummy, and will never dry. I use pure t.o. on a lot of my projects, and cut it 50/50 with spirits. I don’t like tung oil for floors, either, cause I don’t think it will hold up very long due to heavy wear and foot traffic…..They make a good polyurethane made for floors (so they say), but any good poly will work if applied right…....So I think what you probably put down was a t.o. finish, and not pure…......So really, it’s up to blackivory as to what he wants to use…..we’re just giving recommendations…...

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

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84 posts in 3045 days

#4 posted 09-10-2010 07:18 AM

I’m a fan of Waterlox. In fact I just drove more than an hour just to buy it. Maybe you’re wondering why I drove that long just to buy the darn thing. If you’re guessing, yes I live in Southern California and Waterlox was banned here because of the VOC. So I had to drive to another County just to buy it. And when I got there, I bought 5 Quarts (3-original, 1-high gloss, 1-marine) cost me almost $170 at Woodcraft.
Rick is right. Waterlox is just a tung oil base and not pure TO. I choose TO because of the easy repairability of the finish. I’m a novice woodworker so if there’s any other finish that you can suggest that easy to repair please share. Thanks.

-- blackivory69

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 3477 days

#5 posted 09-10-2010 10:17 AM

Just did about 1400 sq ft with Waterlox, it’s the 3rd floor I’ve done with Waterlox, and they all turned out great
on Oak I will use 2 coats of Waterlox original Sealer/Finish, semi gloss and 1 – 2 coats satin finish.

see for your self.

its the only way to go.
my 2 cents

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4156 days

#6 posted 09-10-2010 01:11 PM

1. Skip the Japan Drier. It doesn’t significantly improve the curing time of pure tung oil.
2. Naming your species of wood and your intended project is important.
3. IMNSHO, tung oil is a better ingredient than full strength finishing product.
4. Walerlox is a tung oil/resin blend, the best of both worlds.
5. Polymerized tung oil can be used to produce a glossier top coat. It dries quicker and can be buffed to a better sheen. However, it is expensive and requires a lot of elbow grease.

-- 温故知新

View blackivory69's profile


84 posts in 3045 days

#7 posted 09-10-2010 05:51 PM

Todd – Your floor came out really nice and that’s exactly what I want to do on my floor. I love to use Waterlox but the only one reason that stopping me is the availability of it when it’s time for me to repair the floor 2-3 years from now. Like I mentioned Waterlox was now banned here in Sothern California. Nobody (even Waterlox manufacturer) will ship to So California.

-- blackivory69

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