Tung Oil

Tung oil is a raw ingredient for making paint, or for staining wood. You can use it raw or pigmented. In China, it's used for making oil paint, but in the west it's more often used for oiling in wood, to make it durable. Linseed oil goes darker in time, but tung oil wil keep more or less the same.

Tung oil is made from a nut (the tung nut), if you're allergic to nuts, be careful with this material - even the smell of it can trigger an allergic reaction. Also be careful with wooden kitchen utensils (like bowls) that were treated with tung oil.

Polymerized tung oil

Just like linseed oil, tung oil is also available in a polymerized form. It was heated and is more elastic and film-making than normal tung oil. The rough substance is very thick (looking like maple syrup to motor-oil). It can be thinned with turpentine.

Treating wood with tung oil

When working with polymerized tung oil, it's best to dilute the first layer strongly. The oil will go deep into the wood, and succeeding layers can be applied "fat over lean" - just as in oil painting. That means: every succeeding layer of oil or paint should be fatter (less solvent, more oil). Wood treated with tung oil will be water- and alkali resistent.

The drying process

Tung oil dries from within, while linseed oil makes a film on the outside first. Linseed oil dries in contact with oxygen, and tung oil by another chemical reaction. Linseed- and tung oil never should be mixed.

Sustainable finish

No need to say: tung oil is a very 'green' and sustainable finishing product - it's a purely natural material.

Chinese oil paints

Chinese oil paints are made with tung oil, while western oil paints are made with linseed oil. Therefore - halas - these two kinds of oil paint can't be mixed. Just choose either one of them - both paints are good.

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