Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have used many types of finish through the years including oils but this is my first time using Tung Oil (kitchen butcher block counter). I have applied at least 14 coats and some same areas show a flat sheen. I have tried sanding with 320 – 400 grit sandpaper and 0000 steel wool between coats and the same areas are still flat.
When I started I used some oil I already had on hand and began with 100% pure, but after a few coats I thought that maybe the oil was too old and also discovered that I should have thinned it a little so I purchased new Real Milk Paint Tung oil and citrus oil for thinning. I sanded with 220 and applied a thinned coat of the new thinned oil and after a few coats thinned switched to pure for about 6 coats.
I am thinking of beeswax to even the sheen? I also suspect that I may need to wait until the oil fully cures and then sand and add a few more coats? I was also thinking of a coat of phenolic varnish since it contains tung oil but am not sure if it is food safe. As I said, this is the first time I have used Tung oil so I stumbled somewhat. Any advice from the more experienced would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Tung Oil

I have never had a problem with tung oil. I use only polymerized oil and I have never thinned it. I also do not sand fine than 220. I apply coats 24 hrs. apart with no sanding between coats, The final 2-3 coats I use 0000 steel wool to apply the oil.
Your wood may have areas with more porosity allowing more oil to be absorbed effect on the gloss. Try applying more oil to these areas.
It is always best to use a test piece first as your project will be the test piece.
What kind of wood are you using and pictures would help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It is a maple long grain butcher block counter. I thought of the wood absorption at first but the dull areas are irregular in shape, not along the pieces. I have a feeling that I did not wipe well enough and have too much oil in those areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,347 Posts
I think I would slow down before you need to add coats of paint and varnish remover. Tung oil is a very very slow drying finish that might take days between coats to dry. How fast did you apply the 14 coats? You just need a lot of patience to work with tung oil. The best way to tell if a coat of tung oil is dry enough for another coat is to briskly rub the finish with a clean cloth and see if the tung oil smell rubs off on the rag. When there is no smell it is dry enough to recoat.

I wouldn't recommend using steel wood between the coats of any finish. Steel wool is dirty, it turns to dust and if you don't fully clean it off you end up getting the schards in the finish. I would use only sandpaper. The 320-400 grit paper is your best bet. Sanding with water is more effective too.

I wouldn't put any type of wax on the finish until it has cured for many months. Anyway if it doesn't work correcting the sheen then you have to clean the wax off to apply more coats of finish and sometimes that isn't easy.

Any finish manufactured today is food safe including your tung oil if allowed to cure. Having 14 coats on it now that may take a while. The surface may cure but the coats below may take many months if you rushed the drying time. It would just need to be pampered until then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I waited 24 - 36 hours between coats. It seems my best bet is to let it cure for a month or so and sand fine and add another even coat. I guess I did not wipe it off well enough, I thought that I was wiping too much off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,347 Posts
I waited 24 - 36 hours between coats. It seems my best bet is to let it cure for a month or so and sand fine and add another even coat. I guess I did not wipe it off well enough, I thought that I was wiping too much off.
Well you don't want to wipe it off with each appliclation. You just wipe on a thin uniform coat and let it dry. The first coat when you are starting with raw wood it is often recommended you thin it by 50% but after that I would apply it like varnish. 24 to 36 hours may be enough some times however this time of year when it is cool and damp may not have been nearly enough. It's just best to rub it with a cloth rather than timing it.

It would help the drying process if you would go ahead and sand it now and let it sit for a month to cure. Sanding would cut the surface to give better access to air. Then put it somewhere where there is ample ventilation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your input.

I am in South Florida and the temps have been in the mid 70s to low 80s and I love open windows (there is a window above the counter) so there is plenty of ventilation. The counter is installed and am finishing it in place with the sink installed. One mistake that I made was not taping off the sink, I did not realize that after drying the only way to remove tung oil was mechanical, I have a lot of cleaning work ahead of me.

I mainly used tung oil so I would have a surface that if marked would be easy to repair, I am wondering now if I should have used satin urethane and just been careful.

I have made my own oil varnish in the past using 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 mineral spirits and 1/3 varnish; I am seriously considering a few top coats of the same mixture but using tung oil in lieu of the linseed oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I have used Tung oil a fair bit on hard wwoods over here in Oz.
I sand to round 300 - 400 grit, then soak wood with oil for a day, give it another soak then hit it with random orbital with 500 grit and work up to 1200. Sander on flat out and plenty of oil on wood, do not wipe off excess. Get's a wonderful finish, the heat from the sanding is like burnishing etc. The finish really pops the grain with out timber going real dark etc. Have a crack on some scrap, I think it'll be worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I applied tung oil to a bed several years ago. some of it has turned very sticky so that the blankets are sticking to it. What did I do wrong and what do I do about the problem now?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,347 Posts
I applied tung oil to a bed several years ago. some of it has turned very sticky so that the blankets are sticking to it. What did I do wrong and what do I do about the problem now?
It sounds like there is something else which has gotten onto the finish which is sticky. I can't picture tung oil re-liquefying. A wax or polish could do something like that.

What I would try is cleaning it with a solvent. First make sure there is ample ventilation in the room and there is no source of spark or flame. Even turn the lights on and put tape over the switch. A light switch can cause a spark if turned on or off. Then with clean rags wash the bed with naphtha frequently changing rags and allow it to dry. Naphtha is a fairly strong solvent but is not so strong it would damage a finish or the floor if some dripped. If you have carpet you might put a plastic drop cloth down.

Then after it's clean you can determine what to do next. I'm thinking it probably would just need some paste wax but if it looks like bare wood you might tung oil it again or put a different oil based finish over the top.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top