How to Use Tung Oil

Tung oil is a wood finishing product, often used to give furniture or other wood items a wet look. Read on for information on how to use this oil properly.
Sheetal Mandora Apr 14, 2019
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There are two types of tung oil―pure oil and oil finish. With the pure oil, a tung tree's nut is squeezed to get the pure oil. This oil is applied for a tough and water-resistant finish that doesn't make the surfaces dark. Unlike the linseed oil, pure oil gives a golden tint to the furniture and wooden surfaces.
Now comes the finish which gives a "wet look" to wood. Paint and varnish makers use the oil finishes because it penetrates deep into the wood surfaces. The pure oil is heated which increases its viscosity. The remaining product (oil) is used as thinners and polishing the wood.

How to Use the Oil

Many homes have wooden floors, patio, and deck floors which loses its original shine after a while. To make your wooden floors look like new, take a look at how to finish a floor with the oil.

Step 1

First of all, you will need to sand off the current cover on your floors. The oil can't be applied on top of any finished or painted floors. Although you can add a new coat of oil over an old one.
You will have to sand the floors lightly (take a 150-grain sandpaper) so that it can open the pores of the wood. This way the oil can penetrate in the floors properly.

Step 2

Use a mop and floor cleaner to clean the floors before you begin the application. You need to get all the dirt and grease off the floor, or else the oil won't sink in.

Step 3

Take equal parts of oil and paint thinner. If the material of your floors is hardwood, then you will have to add more paint thinner. Let the liquids mix in for about forty minutes, and pour it in a bucket for easy access.

Step 4

Start from the inside, near the walls and work your way out. Make sure you have enough ventilation in the room, and wear gloves and scarf on your mouth. Use a mop or paint roller to start the oil application. The first layer will be a bit thick so that everything can seep through the wood. The gloss will last about 20 to 40 minutes.

Step 5

As the first coat dries, follow the same procedure for the second coat. After half an hour, wipe the excess oil from the surface with a clean towel. Leave the floors to dry overnight. Check if you are satisfied with the shine, if not, then apply another coat for the desired glow.
Proper Maintenance
  • Sand light scratches on your wood furniture, and use a coat of the oil.
  • For indoor furniture or surfaces, you might have apply a coat every 2 to 4 years.
  • Outdoor furniture get soiled due to weather changes and sunlight, so apply a coat every 1 or 2 years accordingly.
One point to take note of, if you are allergic to nuts, stay away from the tung oil as it is made from a nut itself. Have someone else from your family or hire someone to complete the application for your wooden floors.
As you are mixing the oil with the paint thinner, the result of it is very toxic. But once you have finished applying it and the floors are dry, the finish turns non-toxic.