tung oil

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Forum topic by Steelpapa posted 07-24-2012 02:29 AM 4257 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 3044 days

07-24-2012 02:29 AM

I put Old Masters Tung oil on a stripped mahogany dresser. It called for two coats but it seems to be still too dry. The directions said not to use more than two coats. I used steel wool on it between coats. Is there a final finish or do I just use 0000 steel wool and leave it alone

-- Ron,Texas,

9 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2491 days

#1 posted 07-24-2012 11:39 AM

If this is Tung Oil, what you have is what you should have. You could top coat it if you want with something, but the oil will have to somewhat cure out. If this is the Tung Oil Varnish what you started with was mostly MS, and another coat or 2 may not be hurt. Most Danish oils (that’s what this is) do not do well with multiple coats, they can get gummy. Both finishes are considered “in the wood” type, thin coatings that offer little protection but you can feel the grain.

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

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2186 days

#2 posted 07-24-2012 04:35 PM

My understanding of pure tung oil (from Lee Valley’s information sheet that comes with it) is that many more than 2 coats are typically required for the finish to build. Your “tung oil” must be tung oil and something else.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2689 days

#3 posted 07-24-2012 04:40 PM

If this is what you are using it is 50% Mineral Spirits. I looked at the MSDS for the product and “Tung Oil” is not even listed as an ingredient.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View Steelpapa's profile


29 posts in 3044 days

#4 posted 07-25-2012 12:13 AM

I used 100% Pure Tung Oil. Richard same colored container but the number is 90004. In contains nothing else but says I can thin it with mineral spirits. Thanks for the responses..and I think I will follow ya’lls advice and let it cure out

-- Ron,Texas,

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 2380 days

#5 posted 07-25-2012 03:48 AM

I’ve been using Formby’s tung oil & been putting 4 or 5 coats on every project, each coat adds to the depth & sheen. Using 600 grit sandpaper to rub in the next to last coat, wipe on the last.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2132 days

#6 posted 07-25-2012 10:30 AM

Pure Tung oil needs 24 to 48 hours between coats. For woods with very open pores, allow an extra 24 hours drying time.
Two to four coats are enough for decorative work, paneling and molding.
Surfaces that receive moderate use or handling will need about six coats.
Heavily used surfaces, such as tabletops, should be given ten or more coats for maximum protection, plus a light renewal coat a couple of times a year.

Tung oil can be applied pure (without additives) if a non-toxic finish is required. If this is not necessary, you can accelerate the drying process and greatly improve the penetration by cutting the first coat of oil with mineral spirits, turpentine, or naphtha by 50%., Instructions tell you Pure Tung Oil becomes toxic with these substances mixed into it.

Cutting Tung oil with solvent/thinner essentially making a sealer coat that dries faster than pure oil. When instructions talk about V.O.C’s from thinner, you should read MSDS for that product. One part oil to one part Solvent/Thinner is a 50-50 mix. Cutting Tung oil as describes will increase number of coats to protect your product.
Renewal and building coats are quickly applied with cheesecloth, a lint free cloth or old nylon stockings. This process will give you a surface that will stand up to vigorous use and spills: water will bead on the surface. Renewal applications over couple to several years impart a beautiful patina to wood.

Pure Tung Oil’s matte finish will do nicely on certain pieces of furniture, but if a glossy finish is preferred you will need to buff and wax the finish, or use polymerized Tung oil or a formulated Tung oil based product.

-- Bill

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2132 days

#7 posted 07-25-2012 10:53 AM

Pure Tung Oil, has only one ingredient in it and should say or list 100% Tung Oil.

You can buy products with Tung Oil in the name but contains no Tung or any other oil as a ingredient. Some products use cheaper oils. So check labels for ingredients or MSDS for the product.

Want to know if buying Oil Varnish or Wiping Varnish check ingredients for clues.

Oil Varnish will have a matt finish, not much protection and will contain over 50% to 75% solvent/thinner. Drying Oil or resin in product less than 50%

Wiping Varnish slight more sheen luster and tad more protection should contain more than 50% or higher resin, and oil content. Solvent/thinner and metallic driers never more than 50%.

Manufacturer do not always list all ingredients on labels and MSDS.

Formby’s Tung Oil finish is a wiping varnish product as well as General Finishes Arm-R-Seal.

-- Bill

View Steelpapa's profile


29 posts in 3044 days

#8 posted 07-26-2012 04:15 AM

The ingredients listing said 100% tung oil nothing else. Thank you for your advice because i have waited 36 hours and i will put on another coat. I am going to check on the polymerized Tug oil.

-- Ron,Texas,

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2132 days

#9 posted 07-26-2012 11:58 AM

Need some polymerized Tung oil check what have to say and prices at:

A nice read:

Even Sutherland & Wells talk about renewing their products over time.

Many folk switch to wiping varnish product like Formby’s Tung Oil Finish, Water Lox, General Finishes Arm-R-Seal due to time & expense.

-- Bill

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