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When using penetrating finishes (tung oil in this case) is it correct to wipe off all excess?

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Forum topic by BobVila posted 11-19-2017 07:56 PM 6667 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BobVila

18 posts in 29 days


11-19-2017 07:56 PM

I’ve been afraid to leave too much on there, I sort of ruined it last time I think. Read an article that said to wet sand and wipe off excess. I have a practice piece pictured here. I haven’t noticed a difference past the first coat (of 3 so far). Do I keep sticking with the method? The fear is that all Im doing is wiping it on a sealed piece of wood then wiping it off.

I’lll try to nutshell this so I don’t bore you:

I put on the first coat of tung, looked great. I wet sanded and wiped off the excess.

I put on coats 2 & 3 and wet sanded both of those too, at the end of each I took a dry cloth and wiped it down.

I think it looks great, but it’s a glossy can, I think it looks like more of a clear satin, which isn’t the look I’m going for.

Worried I’m putting a lot of work into throwing my tung oil in the trash can on a used rag.

Thoughts?


22 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3625 posts in 2142 days


#1 posted 11-19-2017 10:59 PM

Not that I have the answer but what exactly is the product you are using. Some products that say Tung oil have little to no Tung oil in them.

https://youtu.be/KqKzUGkiue0
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+apply+tung+oil+to+wood

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Manitario

2550 posts in 2716 days


#2 posted 11-19-2017 11:51 PM

I use Minwax “tung oil” on the majority of my projects. It gives a nice sheen after 4-5 coats and a small amount of protection. Any sort of “penetrating” oil such as tung or linseed needs to have the excess wiped off or it will (almost) never dry. Most of the “tung oil” products, unless they specifically say “pure tung oil” are usually a mix of polyurethane and linseed oil and very little actual tung oil. Doesn’t matter though, application is the same; wipe on a generous coat, wait 5-10 min and wipe it off. Don’t need to wet sand; helps if you’re trying to fill the pores of the wood, otherwise just give it a very gentle sand after it’s dry.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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jdh122

959 posts in 2650 days


#3 posted 11-20-2017 12:18 AM

You do need to wipe it all off before it dries, or be faced with a gummy mess. You can wipe it off after 10-15 minutes or keep it wet for 20-25 minutes before wiping it off.
You probably already know this, but don’t throw your rags into the trash can, as rags soaked in a drying oil can ignite. If you spread them out somewhere until they dry you can then throw them away.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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MJCD

505 posts in 2204 days


#4 posted 11-20-2017 12:23 AM

I second Manitario’s comments.

Waiting the few minutes allows finishes to seep into the fibers; but never let the excess remain on the wood, regardless of what the finish is. Oil-based products will take days to cure if amounts are allow to ‘pool’ on the surface (also, you risk runs and drips); and you’ll have a difficult time getting the surface sheen uniform. Get your finish on; and by the time you’ve applied finish to the full piece, it’s time to get the excess off. If you apply with a brush, think of using a moist (with finish) rag to clear the excess – this will eliminate brush strokes.

If you are delayed in wiping-off the finish, and it starts to tack, it’s best to let the whole thing cure/dry; and work with it thereafter. Don’t try to remove excess finish once it has started to tack/dry

MJCD.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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BobVila

18 posts in 29 days


#5 posted 11-20-2017 02:37 AM

Ok, cool. So the gloss is only going to have a little shine to it, it’s not going to gloss like polyurethane will?

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Lazyman

1493 posts in 1220 days


#6 posted 11-20-2017 02:57 AM

Tung oil and boiled linseed oil are both low sheen finishes, even when they really have some polyurethane in them. The sheen in your picture is probably about as much as you are going to get, though you may be able to build up the protection a little with more light coats.

You can find out what is in it by going to the manufacturer’s website and find their MSDS (just googling product name and MSDS usually works). It will list the ingredients. If it really is tung oil that will be listed as the only ingredient. If you see a bunch of chemicals and solvents you don’t recognize, those probably have some sort of modern synthetic varnish in them. The ones with things other than tung oil actually do cure more quickly. If you want a better sheen, you may want to consider using a wipe-on poly because they build up a finish better than something like pure tung or boiled linseed oils.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

1970 posts in 422 days


#7 posted 11-20-2017 03:14 AM

AlaskaGuy asked the critical question that hasn’t been answered. What product are you using? Without knowing that, any advice is useless since different formulations will call for different techniques.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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AlaskaGuy

3625 posts in 2142 days


#8 posted 11-20-2017 06:54 AM

Minwax Tung oil finish is an oil/varnish blend… It is an in-the-wood finish and high gloss is not really an option with an oil/varnish blend. 65% mineral spirits 35% split between the linseed oil and the varnish of their choice. You can make your own buy mixing equal amounts of BLO, MS, and varnish.

I found this interesting

the difference between Minwax’s Tung oil finish and the Antique oil finish?

Nothing… they have identical MSDS sheets.

Reference read Scott Holmes post.

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?144330-Rubbing-out-Minwax-Tung-Oil-finish

This is worth a read too.

http://www.askhlm.com/Articles/ArticleViewPage/tabid/75/ArticleId/4/What-Is-A-Woodworker-To-Do.aspx

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4753 posts in 2326 days


#9 posted 11-20-2017 11:51 AM

Bob, in the marketing of finishes, the name means almost nothing (witness “Teak oil”, something that doesn’t exist). When you ask finishing questions it’s best to be very specific about what product you are addressing (just a tip). That said, I agree with everything said above but here's another short article that may have some info that’s of use.

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

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BobVila

18 posts in 29 days


#10 posted 11-20-2017 04:21 PM

Formby’s High Gloss. Sorry Alaska guy, I forgot to answer that one, I was in a hurry when I replied.

So when I was using it incorrectly, I got a high gloss out of it. It had a high gloss but didn’t look very good, it had some inconsistencies in it.

When switching methods the expectation was to get that same high gloss with less flaws. Now it looks much better but it doesn’t seem to be building the gloss layer on it, which is why I was wondering if I’m just wasting it.

High gloss isn’t a necessity, this is an experiment, it was just expected, that’s all.

The use of tung oil (or whatever is actually in there) to darken projects just a hair, seems to be effective. For high & low glosses, clear satin or high gloss polyurethane have yeilded great results.

I just wanted to learn how to use this properly so that when the need arises I’ve got it covered and don’t ruin anything.

Thanks for the replies.

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Fred Hargis

4753 posts in 2326 days


#11 posted 11-20-2017 07:16 PM

That’s actually just a very thin varnish. There’s not actually a reason to wipe it on, then off. The coats will be very thin, and should tack up very quickly allowing several in one day. You mentioned wet sanding using it, I wonder if that was referring to a method of filling the grain. I’ve used it often in that way and like the way it turns out, especially on woods like oak.

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

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BobVila

18 posts in 29 days


#12 posted 11-21-2017 12:12 AM

I watched a YouTube on it, 2 things I noticed from the video that I experienced:

He mentioned it’d dry in 6 hours so you could get multiple coats/day.

He mentioned after a couple coats I’d see some dull areas, and to just keep going, they’d go away.

I’m on 5 now I believe.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1033 posts in 2594 days


#13 posted 11-21-2017 01:25 AM

Tung oil (from the tung nut) is interesting as it is a liquid when it is applied. When it comes in contact with air it slowly polymerizes into a solid wax over time. Should your can of real tung oil become somewhat empty, the air in the can will slowly turn it to a waxy solid. For this reason, you must keep as much air as possible out of the can during storage. Either transfer the contents to a tightly lidded jar that is just large enough to accommodate all of the oil or dump glass marbles into the can to raise the oil level to the top of the can.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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Rich

1970 posts in 422 days


#14 posted 11-21-2017 01:35 AM


Tung oil (from the tung nut) is interesting as it is a liquid when it is applied. When it comes in contact with air it slowly polymerizes into a solid wax over time. Should your can of real tung oil become somewhat empty, the air in the can will slowly turn it to a waxy solid. For this reason, you must keep as much air as possible out of the can during storage. Either transfer the contents to a tightly lidded jar that is just large enough to accommodate all of the oil or dump glass marbles into the can to raise the oil level to the top of the can.

- Planeman40

Or get a can of Bloxygen. Any time you’re closing the can up for more than a few days, spray Bloxygen under the cap for one or two seconds before you seal it up. It is inert argon gas that is heavier than air and will lay down on the surface of the oil and protect it from the damaging oxygen. I don’t bother with it when I’m in the middle of finishing a project and the can is only closed until the next coat goes on, but for long term storage, it will pay for itself.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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BobVila

18 posts in 29 days


#15 posted 11-21-2017 12:08 PM



Tung oil (from the tung nut) is interesting as it is a liquid when it is applied. When it comes in contact with air it slowly polymerizes into a solid wax over time. Should your can of real tung oil become somewhat empty, the air in the can will slowly turn it to a waxy solid. For this reason, you must keep as much air as possible out of the can during storage. Either transfer the contents to a tightly lidded jar that is just large enough to accommodate all of the oil or dump glass marbles into the can to raise the oil level to the top of the can.

- Planeman40

Oh cool, never heard of it, is it at Meijer & Wally World, places like that? Or is it more of a specialty wood workers store?

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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