Interested in your thoughts/methods- prep and Tung oil

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Forum topic by BillyDoubleU posted 10-15-2017 07:17 PM 676 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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152 posts in 1245 days

10-15-2017 07:17 PM

Oh yeah, Tung oil but before we get there.

I’ve been reading “Understanding Wood Finishing” and read that there is not much point to sand finer than 220. I think I’ve read that going finer can reduce a finished ability to penetrate.

So now we come to the wood. Do more open pore woods lend themselves to a finer grit as opposed to a more closed pore wood. What about actual hardness. Does that make a more noticeable difference?

Now to Tung Oil. Yes I know there are different kinds regarding purity. I’m using minwax.

The direction state to wipe off excess after 5-10 minutes and let dry for 24 hours. I finished red oak and revolted every 2-3 hours without wiping away excess and it looks great. Sanded to 800. Similar results are showing for black walnut.

Doing the same with Morado has not been the same. Sander them to 1000 and had some scratches show up in the 1st coat. Not cool. So I tried sanding with a 1000-1200 grit and quickly gave up and dropped back to 220 then to 400 with better results.

Then to try something different I actually wiped off the excess.

I’m reading I need to sand between coats as well? Do I?

Do you?

So the long and short of it, how much do you sand and then what’s your application method?

3 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6313 posts in 3297 days

#1 posted 10-16-2017 11:01 AM

I was waiting for others to reply, but will offer this. First, what Minwax calls “tung oil” isn’t, it’s little more than wiping varnish (very thin varnish). The only products that are truly tung oil will be labeled “100% tung oil”. But that’s probably why you had such success with it on the red oak. I don’t know what “Morado” is, and couldn’t find it with a search so no comment on that. Sanding between coats has one of 2 (or both) purposes. The biggest one is the smooth out any dust nibs and whatnot that may have appeared, and is the only reason I ever sand between coats. The second is to provide some “tooth” for the next layer of finish. This is most often needed with urethane formula finishes because urethane inhibits adhesion…so you need to help it out.

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

View BillyDoubleU's profile


152 posts in 1245 days

#2 posted 10-16-2017 12:37 PM

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3687 days

#3 posted 10-16-2017 08:46 PM

I use Minwax “Tung Oil” almost exclusively on every project, mostly b/c I’m lazy and it’s easy to apply and I like the look of an oil finish. I don’t think there is any real “tung” in Minwax “tung oil”; it would be what Flexner calls a “wiping varnish”.

I sand after every coat b/c I find that I end up with an overall smoother finish. Usually I use at least 4 coats. I sand the wood to 220 and then lightly sand with 220 after the first coat. After second coat it gets a light scuff with 400. Subsequent coats either get progressively fine grits, eg. 600 then 800 or I just stop with 400. After the final coat I put a light coat of paste wax.

You can also put a couple of very thin coats of wipe-on-poly after your final “tung oil” coat if you want a bit of gloss or a bit more protection for the finish. Yes, I know that Minwax “tung oil” already has poly in it but you’d have to put an excessive amount of coats down to get the same effect as a couple coats of wipe on poly.

I wipe off the excess after 5 min; I find that if I wait too long, the finish gets gummy and hard to wipe. Also, if I don’t wipe off carefully, the excess takes a lot longer to dry and can appear glossier than the rest. It’s also important to wait 24h b/t coats; you’ll find that subsequent coats don’t dry properly and can be gummy or sticky otherwise.

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

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