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Tung Oil Vs Linseed Oil

Tung oil is the oil that is extracted from the seed kernels of the Tung tree, whereas linseed oil is extracted from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant. These oils are used as wood finishes. This HomeQuicks article provides a comparison between tung oil and linseed oil.
HomeQuicks Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Tung oil is a combination of fatty acids called palmitic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and eleostearic acid, and is derived from the seed kernels of the tung tree. This oil is slightly golden in color. On the other hand, linseed oil contains palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and omega 3 fatty acid, and is yellowish in color.

Both tung oil and linseed oil are used as wood finishes. Application of tung oil gives a smooth finishing to the surface, and helps eliminate the scratches on wood. Linseed oil is also used for giving a finishing touch to the wooden furniture. Due to its polymer-like properties, it blends with other oils, solvents, and resins. It is used in oil paints as a pigment binder.
Tung Oil
➠ Tung oil is also referred to as China wood oil. These trees are mainly found in China.
➠ In order to extract this oil, the seeds have to be harvested and pressed.
➠ This is a conjugated oil. It consists of polyunsaturated fats, and the double bonds of this oil are fully or partially conjugated.
➠ It can be used to prevent rust or corrosion. Hence, it is used in tin cans and cars. It is used in the insulation of electrical devices.
➠ It is used for giving a finishing touch to wooden furniture.
➠ It is also used outdoors because of its anti-wear properties.
➠ It is derived from tree nuts. Hence, some people might be allergic to it. It can lead to the darkening of amber hue, which is an undesirable property.
➠ When applying this essential oil, apply a coat, and allow it to dry completely. Thereafter, sand the surface using a sandpaper. This procedure has to be followed after each coat. It might take days for the coat to dry.
➠ While pure tung oil gives a matte finish, the polymerized version gives a smooth finish.
➠ It is easy to apply, dries quickly, and produces a durable finish. It brings out the texture and the grain of the wood.
➠ It is highly resistant to water, alcohol, and acetone.
Linseed Oil
➠ Since this oil is extracted from the seeds of flax plant, it is also referred to as flaxseed oil. Flax plants are mainly found in Asia and central Europe.
➠ The flaxseeds are either grounded or pressed for releasing the oil.
➠ This is a non-conjugated oil. It consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids, but the double bonds of this oil are separated by minimum two single bonds.
➠ It is used while making linoleum flooring.
➠ It is used in paints as well. As this oil is made of flax seeds, it is used as a nutritional supplement.
➠ It is applied on surfboards to make them water-resistant.
➠ It is used for giving a glossy look to wood.
➠ One coat of linseed oil is sufficient. It does not require sanding.
➠ Since this oil is combustible, care must be taken to avoid fire.
➠ It is not waterproof. As time passes, its color changes to yellow.
➠ If multiple coats of linseed oil were applied earlier, removing them can be a cumbersome task while refinishing.
After going through the aforementioned tung oil vs. linseed oil comparison, you can ascertain which oil would be better suited to your needs. If you are using any of these oils for giving a finishing touch to your wooden furniture, then make sure that you re-apply them after a year.