Benefits and Uses of Tung Oil

Tung Oil is considered as the finest natural wood protector in the world. This oil is easy to work with and is able to adapt quickly to different functions and can be used on almost any wooden surface, including interior and exterior furniture, floors,  play areas, musical instruments, etc.

It is usually water, food, and alcohol resistant. The oil is safe for food contact when dry and is used for salad bowls. It is certified as an EN71 toy safe category.

Tung oil is very easy to maintain. Re-application of a single or maybe two thin coats once a year will keep wood looking naturally fresh. Damaged or scratched areas can also be easily maintained by reapplication of Tung Oil.

Uses and Applications of Tung Oil finish:


Ensure surfaces are clean and dry. Any dirt and grease should be removed from the surface with white spirit or any other form of the agent. For old wood, sand it to a smooth and clean surface and wipe with white spirit to remove any dust. The prepared surface will then be ready for a fresh coating of this oil.

It is best applied with a T-shirt material cloth. It can also be applied with a brush. Two coats of this oil should be allowed to penetrate fully. For new wood, the first two coats of this oil should be thinned with white spirit, as this will help aid absorption, and should be applied evenly. When using a cloth, use a circular pattern to work into the wood, and apply until the wood stops absorbing. Allow this oil to penetrate for 30 minutes before wiping off. The third coat should be implemented directly.

It naturally has a matte finish, which can be polished slightly with a very fine grade 000 wire wool.

Read more – 10 benefits and uses of pumpkin seed oil.

Maintenance and Repair


Its finish is very straightforward and easy to maintain and repair. Most damages, such as cup and pan rings and stains from spills such as wine can be removed by gently applying the affected area with more of this oil, which will merge in with the original finish.

  • Coverage

It will cover about 10-15 square meters per liter depending on surface texture, and the thickness that is applied.

  • Drying Time

It is a natural product. There are no added driers. Allow 24 hours between two coats. A thick layer may take up to 3 days to dry.

It will bring out the natural color of the wood.

  • Tung Oil Use in Wood Finishing

Watch this video to know how to apply Tung oil:

Tung oil finish is accepted more than pure tung oil because this thinner version of the oil and it penetrates into the wood pores quickly. Once the product on which this oil dries, you are left with 100% pure tung oil. It is then covered by 100% pure tung oil to create a thicker, solid layer. The end product is a beautiful, reflective layer which gives off a shining appearance.

Even though it is the most commonly used in wood finishing, Tung oil is also used in the staining of granite and marble due to its strong penetrating power. It forms a permanent layer and after drying out it gives a wet look. You will find it in many inks and oil-based paints, where it is used for its glossy effect.

Benefits of Tung Oil as a Woodworking Finish:


Tung oil is also known as China Wood Oil, Lumbang oil, Noix d’abrasin or simply wood oil, and is made from the seed kernels of the Tung tree (Aleurites fordii and Aleurites Montana, family Euphorbiaceae). Tung oil is known for hundreds of years in China, where it was used as a preservative for wood ships. The oil penetrates the wood, then hardens to form a hydrophobic layer (repels water) up to 5 mm into the wood.

Tung oil seeps into the grain of the wood commonly referred to as “making the texture pop”. Tung oil provides a hard surface finish that; as long as the surface is intact, it provides a waterproof finish.

Tung oil has a proven history in exterior applications. Though the dried oil is relatively hard, it is usually chosen for its aesthetic appeal than its wearability.

Advantages of Tung oil:

The following points refer primarily to pure 100% Tung oil and as long as the surface bearing it  has not been damaged; Tung oil provides the following benefits:

  • Waterproofing
  • Resistant to alcohol
  • Disobedient to acetone (such as nail polish or remover)
  • Resistant to fruit acids and vegetable acids (such as orange juice)
  • Easy to apply (rub on, rub off)
  • Easy to re-apply if the original finish becomes worn or damaged.
  • 1/2 hour after applying the oil, rub that surface with a clean rag to remove any excess oil.

Written by Ashley Grace

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