How many coats of polymerized tung oil

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Forum topic by Taizer posted 02-12-2015 01:12 AM 1128 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 1658 days

02-12-2015 01:12 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tung oil and black walnut

Hey all. I am not new to woodworking but I am a newb when it comes to working with polymerized tung oil. I am working on a bed project using black walnut. I was wondering how many coats of tung oil I should apply and what steps I should take between coats? I have sanded to 220 grit. Do I need to sand between coats? If so what grit should I use and is it okay to use an electric sander or should I sand by hand? I also read somewhere that steel wool can be used between coats.


2 replies so far

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1675 days

#1 posted 02-12-2015 06:39 PM

I’ve only used pure Tung oil so I can’t answer specifically. Pure tung oil is considered a finishing oil so it doesn’t require a top coat, but will require intermittent coats over the yrs.

However, each species absorbs at a diff rate, you can apply too much and or too many coats, this’ll cause your project to sweat the excess out over an extended period, months to a yr, (past experience).

Depending on the temp, humidity and species, let it sit for 10min to 1/2 hr then wipe thoroughly I’d allow it to dry for a couple days then sand if you didn’t previously raise the grain, otherwise use steel wool or nylon mesh burnishing pads on the surface. Repeats the procedure a couple 3 times if oil alone or the same then cover with poly or Shellac.

-- I meant to do that!

View jdh122's profile


1089 posts in 3270 days

#2 posted 02-12-2015 08:38 PM

I’d suggest you sand by hand rather than by orbital machine. I’d also suggest you raise the grain before applying your first coat (which is what Ghirdrah was referring to): after you’ve finished all the sanding, scraping and planing, wet all the wood with a slightly damp cloth. Let it dry and then sand it very lightly with a high-grit sandpaper (220-300 grit). But be sure and sand it only lightly so that you only knock off the raised grain and dont sand it to the point where there is new fuzzy grain to be raised by the first coat of tung oil. I also use nylon mesh pads (equivalent to 000 steel wool) between coats.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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