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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

When I finish a project with tung oil in the winter (which I'm planning to move away from), I bring it inside to allow it to dry in a warmer and consistent environment. However, as I'm sure you know, tung oil has a strong smell until it dries. The smell usually fades enough in a day to not be noticeable but it made my girlfriend ask "why don't they make it scented?". My initial thoughts were that I don't know what chemicals are used to scent candles (or chemistry behind wood finishes) so maybe it would interfere with the color or bond. I figured I could make some rosemary tung oil (fill a little jar with rosemary and then fill it with tung oil then wait) and test it out. Before I go through this effort and wait a whole month though, I thought I'd check with you all to see if there is a good reason I've never heard of scented wood finish. The biggest con might just be that the scent will fade quickly meaning only the maker and their household will potentially see the benefit but I'm a maker so that would be good enough for me to make my own oils with simple scents like rosemary, thyme, and creosote.

Thanks,
 

· The Nut in the Cellar
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That's thinking a bit outside the box. I'm guessing it will take a lot of scent to overcome the tung oil odor. I have no idea what the particular scent oil will do to the function or process of how the oil will cure. My prior basement shop originally had no ventilation and SWMBO could detect finishing odors upstairs even with the shop doors closed. I added an exhaust fan from a stove hood to solve that issue. My new basement shop also has a 3" inline duct fan to the outside through a dryer vent so shop odors don't accumulate.
 

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Hello all,

When I finish a project with tung oil in the winter (which I'm planning to move away from), I bring it inside to allow it to dry in a warmer and consistent environment. However, as I'm sure you know, tung oil has a strong smell until it dries. The smell usually fades enough in a day to not be noticeable but it made my girlfriend ask "why don't they make it scented?". My initial thoughts were that I don't know what chemicals are used to scent candles (or chemistry behind wood finishes) so maybe it would interfere with the color or bond. I figured I could make some rosemary tung oil (fill a little jar with rosemary and then fill it with tung oil then wait) and test it out. Before I go through this effort and wait a whole month though, I thought I'd check with you all to see if there is a good reason I've never heard of scented wood finish. The biggest con might just be that the scent will fade quickly meaning only the maker and their household will potentially see the benefit but I'm a maker so that would be good enough for me to make my own oils with simple scents like rosemary, thyme, and creosote.

Thanks,
I wouldn't recommend adding anything to the tung oil other than maybe paint thinner. Anything you would add to it would ruin the finish. If you just can't stand the smell you would be better off choosing a different finish. It's one of the reasons they came up with water based finishes. They are not as good of a finish but it doesn't have the odor,
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wouldn't recommend adding anything to the tung oil other than maybe paint thinner. Anything you would add to it would ruin the finish. If you just can't stand the smell you would be better off choosing a different finish. It's one of the reasons they came up with water based finishes. They are not as good of a finish but it doesn't have the odor,
Are you concerned about an additive affecting the look or the durability of the finish? If the latter, do you know if there’s any documentation out there on that? If it’s just the look that might be affected, I would think that it’s worth sacrificing a few ounces to find out. I personally don’t hate the smell of Tung oil but my girlfriend doesn’t like it and a nicer smell would be nicer haha.
 

· The Nut in the Cellar
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Why not just experiment and see what happens? Again, I've not seen anything on this in the past, but that doesn't mean it won't work. Nobody heard of using coffee filters to dewax shellac until the late nineties, so I say go for it with some scraps and let us know what happens.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Why not just experiment and see what happens? Again, I've not seen anything on this in the past, but that doesn't mean it won't work. Nobody heard of using coffee filters to dewax shellac until the late nineties, so I say go for it with some scraps and let us know what happens.
Thanks, I plan to once I get some fresh rosemary (couple days) but just wanted to see if anyone here knew if it was definitely a bad idea and why.
 

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Are you concerned about an additive affecting the look or the durability of the finish? If the latter, do you know if there’s any documentation out there on that? If it’s just the look that might be affected, I would think that it’s worth sacrificing a few ounces to find out. I personally don’t hate the smell of Tung oil but my girlfriend doesn’t like it and a nicer smell would be nicer haha.
You would be adding a substance to the finish which may not be even be compatible. You would have to be a chemist with a background on hardening oils to even make the attempt. A foreign substance may not even mix at all or cause the finish not to dry or might appear to work but start pealing off in a month. It's like if you had a car that ran on diesel and thought the fuel was too high so you put gasoline in it instead. A person should stick with the intended use.
 

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As Jim said, give it a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. To be honest, I don't see any reason this would affect the nature of the oil. However I also don't know how much of the rosemary scent will be imparted to the oil. Let us know how it goes.
 
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