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Tung oil taking forever to dry!

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Forum topic by Pabs posted 06-26-2017 12:47 PM 1112 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pabs

244 posts in 3599 days


06-26-2017 12:47 PM

so after much debate regarding the finish to put on my counter tops (butcher block style) I went with pure Tung oil.
one, because I can apply indoors without nasty fumes (I have young kids at home) and two because I had a lot of it on hand.

I’ve applied a good 5 coats. I put a liberal amount on , wait an hour or so and wipe it off .. then wait a day or two before next coat. sanding with 0000 steel wool between coats.

anyway, the last coat I put was over a week ago.. maybe close to 10 days. counter is still damp from oil. if I put my hand on it I still have oil residue! I’ve used the stuff before and never took that long to dry it seems

looks great but can’t really use my counters. getting tired to doing my dishes in the bathtub!

is there something that I can do to speed up the drying process? running fans maybe?

as it is now I can’t apply caulk between tile and counter as the caulk won’t stick to the oily counter top nor can I install the sink as I can’t seal under it…

any help would be appreciated

-- Pabs


26 replies so far

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

168 posts in 920 days


#1 posted 06-26-2017 01:55 PM

Pure Tung oil can take 30 days or more to dry,you have 5 coats that are probably not dry between coats. try wiping down the surface with some alcohol, or a dry cloth
I use this method from the web.

Use any clean, lint-free rag to apply tung oil. If you use a rag that has rough-cut edges, be sure to fold the rag so the rough edges are held in your hand and are not on the wood surface, since any loose wood fibres may catch the edge of your cloth and leave troublesome lint behind.

Apply a small amount of oil to your cloth (not the wood surface) and proceed to apply the oil to the work surface. Work from the least accessible areas (interior or underside) first and work towards the easiest sides. This will keep you from putting your elbow or forehead against a freshly oiled surface ;)

Apply by rubbing along the grain. Do not starve the wood, meaning you should not have to rub hard or often to get the surface wet, and if you are then re-oil your rag more often. Do not over saturate the surface either, meaning the surface should be wet but the surface should not have any standing puddles. If there are any puddles, remove them before continuing on to the next section of your project.

Approximately 1/2 hour after applying the oil, rub the project with a clean rag to remove any excess surface oil. Some people feel that a more vigorous buffing heats the oil and increases its penetration into the wood surface, however this is an optional effort that may produce minimal returns at the expense of your elbow grease.

Let the project stand for at least 24 hours, or until dry. It may take weeks for a full curing/drying, but I am referring to the absorption of the oil by the wood surface. To obtain a super-smooth finished surface, rub the project surface with 0000 steel wool (or equivalent). The dust produced from this sanding should be a white powder, and if you get a gummy resin instead, wait another day before proceeding. Repeat the application of the oil, 1/2 rest period, and removal of the excess.

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CharlesNeil

2436 posts in 4015 days


#2 posted 06-26-2017 02:26 PM

Richard has given you some good advice.. I use Naphtha to clean it down , because it will also pull some of the oil off and allow it to dry more thoroughly,
slow drying oils take alot of time , like Pure tung, , Blo to mention a few .

Fast drying oils like Arm R Seal or Minwax Wipe on poly , do much better and are faster and more durable in my opinion .

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Rich

3659 posts in 734 days


#3 posted 06-26-2017 02:47 PM



Fast drying oils like Arm R Seal or Minwax Wipe on poly , do much better and are faster and more durable in my opinion .

- CharlesNeil

Particularly on a surface that is wet a lot, like around a sink. I’ll add Waterlox products to Charles’ list as a product I’ve used on countertops around sinks, and the water just beads up. Very durable against scuffing and scratching too.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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CharlesNeil

2436 posts in 4015 days


#4 posted 06-26-2017 03:10 PM

I agree Rich

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CharlesNeil

2436 posts in 4015 days


#5 posted 06-26-2017 03:27 PM

I will add that when i wrote my book , we tested every oil we could get, and if you want a low sheen Formbys Tung oil did the best, its not really tung oil, but in all the test it stood right with the rest mentioned above

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Rich

3659 posts in 734 days


#6 posted 06-26-2017 03:38 PM


I will add that when i wrote my book , we tested every oil we could get, and if you want a low sheen Formbys Tung oil did the best, its not really tung oil, but in all the test it stood right with the rest mentioned above

- CharlesNeil

Maybe you can tell me. Why the heck do they call that stuff tung oil, since it’s not? Also, maybe you can educate me on another one. I understand the concept of Danish oil being oil and hardener, but what’s teak oil? Does it have a special use, or is it like tung oil finish and just labeled that way?

And, back on the subject of pure tung oil, all I’ve used is Milkpaint brand. I was having a heck of a time getting it rubbed in and it getting kind of gummy due to being too thick. I picked up a jug of their citrus solvent and cut the oil by 50%, and it made a huge difference. Smells good too :)

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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CharlesNeil

2436 posts in 4015 days


#7 posted 06-26-2017 03:46 PM

Rich , not sure on the teak oil, basically Danish oil is BLO, I tried the Teak oil, walnut oil and some others, theytook for ever to dry , and even then many of them were gummy , I tested them on glass, it was an interesting experiment .
As to truth in advertising , they call it Tung oil because its a name people recognize , like Milk paint,many products labeled that way are not milk paint at all, but basically latex paint,
Then we have water base finishes labeled “LACQUER”, there is no way to make a water base lacquer,
I questioned one manufacture as to why, they told me it was so the old timers like me, would buy it because they were familiar with lacquer …go figure

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Pabs

244 posts in 3599 days


#8 posted 06-26-2017 04:25 PM



Pure Tung oil can take 30 days or more to dry,you have 5 coats that are probably not dry between coats. try wiping down the surface with some alcohol, or a dry cloth
I use this method from the web.

- Richard Lee

rubbing with alcohol would remove the oil sitting on the surface? would that damage the finish?
and what kind of alcohol? rubbing alcohol?

-- Pabs

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Rich

3659 posts in 734 days


#9 posted 06-26-2017 05:08 PM

No, rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol and water. When someone mentions alcohol in relation to finishing, it’s always denatured alcohol, which is just grain alcohol that’s been made unfit for drinking so they can sell it without a liquor license.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Pabs

244 posts in 3599 days


#10 posted 06-26-2017 05:20 PM



No, rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol and water. When someone mentions alcohol in relation to finishing, it s always denatured alcohol, which is just grain alcohol that s been made unfit for drinking so they can sell it without a liquor license.

- RichTaylor

gotcha…
so you are saying I could apply a bit to a rag and rub on the oily finish on my counters, what should I expect to happen? for it to just dry up a bit? after I apply the alcohol do I need to sand again with fine wool as I have between coats and that’s it?
and does that stuff stink badly? counters are installed in the house and locked in…the idea of taking them outside is almost impossible…can I apply the stuff indoors without fear of fumes getting to me or my kids?

thanks for the advice!

-- Pabs

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Rich

3659 posts in 734 days


#11 posted 06-26-2017 05:33 PM

I’m afraid I can’t solve your problem. You’re in a situation now where the only fixes involve highly volatile solvents. For instance, the naphtha that Charles recommended would cut through the oil best, but it requires thorough ventilation. Even denatured alcohol will put out fumes that you don’t want to be breathing.

Maybe it’s best not to try to fix it. The oil will dry eventually. I think if you rub it daily with a clean, dry cloth it will help some. If you can find something like the Milkpaint brand citrus solvent I mentioned above, that would help speed things up too. Perhaps there are other similar products available to you, but I don’t know what they sell in your area.

Edit: Basically, try to find a non-petroleum based solvent. Also, if you can find such a product, be sure to test it on an area that won’t show before you go rubbing it all over the whole countertop. You sure don’t want to risk making things worse.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Pabs

244 posts in 3599 days


#12 posted 06-26-2017 06:06 PM

waiting it is then :(

I guess I can put sink back and use foam gasket until oil has cured. and try not to get water on the wood as much as possible.. once dry I can then seal it with silicone..

thanks for the advice

-- Pabs

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5094 posts in 2638 days


#13 posted 06-26-2017 06:10 PM

The curing process is a reaction with oxygen, so a gentle breeze (small fan on low speed) might speed it up a bit.

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

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Pabs

244 posts in 3599 days


#14 posted 06-26-2017 06:23 PM



The curing process is a reaction with oxygen, so a gentle breeze (small fan on low speed) might speed it up a bit.

- Fred Hargis

I will put fans on for sure.. .but why low speed? what would be the harm in the wind speed being high?

-- Pabs

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

168 posts in 920 days


#15 posted 06-26-2017 07:42 PM

Why not try a bit of alcohol in a spot a see !
I would at least be wiping it down frequently with a clean cloth.

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