Shellac over Tung Oil???

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Forum topic by JimT posted 03-25-2009 03:52 AM 5510 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 3877 days

03-25-2009 03:52 AM

I should probably start with a disclaimer… finishing is not my thing, in fact I wish I didn’t have to do it. With that said, I’ve completed a small project made entirely from Brazilian Cherry and have coated it with one coat of Tung Oil. It looks great but I’d like to add a little more protection and a little more sheen, can I apply shellac over the tung oil once the tung oil has dried completely?
Thanks, Jim

10 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#1 posted 03-25-2009 03:55 AM

Yes. Shellac can be used over any undercoating once it has cured. Give the tung oil 24 to 72 hours, depending on the temperature, to cure and topcoat it with shellac.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4019 days

#2 posted 03-25-2009 04:09 AM

I would caution one thing… It may take even more time for the Tung Oil to cure if you live in a high humidity area. Here in Florida I give it several days….

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3422 days

#3 posted 03-25-2009 04:58 AM

I would say a couple of weeks. Tung oil takes time to dry completely, specially on endgrain areas

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3914 days

#4 posted 03-25-2009 05:14 AM

IMHO – I’d let Tung Oil cure at least a week before applying the top finish…..better safe than sorry.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View JimT's profile


10 posts in 3877 days

#5 posted 03-25-2009 05:20 AM

Thanks for the quick replies guys… I applied the Tung oil three days ago and its almost finished “leeching” from the end grain. Like everyone suggested, I’ll give it another 4 or 5 days and see what the shellac looks like on top. I’ll post some pictures too, thanks again for all the help.

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4355 days

#6 posted 03-25-2009 05:45 AM

yep, just re-read today that Shellac can go over anything but wax.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4128 days

#7 posted 03-25-2009 05:53 AM

I would allow the oil 1 week at least. If you are keeping it in a cool basement or garage to dry, better go two.

A finish that releases will be the epitome of frustration.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View SSS's profile


3 posts in 2577 days

#8 posted 06-04-2011 01:34 AM

Thanks for all this info. Wondering about some related advice for a mahogany butcher block table (not endgrain). I want to finish it with a few coats of tung oil and wonder if I could do a coat of Carnuba wax on top of that for additional protection from heavy use – any thoughts about whether this is a good idea?

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267 posts in 2718 days

#9 posted 02-25-2012 01:25 AM

This is what’s great about this site! Almost 3 years later and this information is STILL good scoop. Thanks, LJs!!

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

View KenBee's profile


109 posts in 2664 days

#10 posted 02-25-2012 04:32 PM

I use BLO under my shellac on some projects. I am trying to finish up a box that will use one coat of BLO, 3 coats of shellac and 2 finish coats of wipe on polyurethane. The only complaint I have with BLO is that it will turn lighter woods darker so I am careful what I use it on. The box I mentioned above is made from Red Oak, Walnut and Red Cedar. The BLO turned the Red Oak into a beautiful golden color, the walnut and Cedar a bit darker. I haven’t applied the poly yet but the BLO and Shellac finish makes the colors jump out in a beautiful contrast. I am hoping with the Poly being clear satin it will really set off the colors this being the first time using this combination of finishes. I also lightly rub down with a 3M finishing pad between each coat.

-- If it won't fit get a BIGGER hammer.

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