Tung oil Vs. Linseed oil Vs. Danish Oil

This article will explain the comparison between tung oil, linseed oil, and Danish Oil.

You will find out how to use it in wood or any materials. Understand their main characteristic and how to apply them in proper ways.

Tung oil

Tung oil is a drying oil, just like linseed oil. Tung oil gives a silk matte finish.

If you want a slightly higher gloss, you can put the workpiece in the Traditional wax after finishing with Tung oil or choose Improved Danish Oil.

Raw Tung oil smells slightly like nuts, is light yellow, and contains no thinners or drying agents.

In addition, Tung oil is seen as the best protection for wooden ships.

Tung oil is preferred over linseed oil because it dries faster, is stronger, and doesn’t darken as much over time.

Because tung oil is food safe, it can also be used wonderfully for finishing children’s toys and furniture.

Tung oil is probably the most commonly used natural drying oil in paint applications after linseed oil.

Tung oil is often used in combination with linseed oil as a binding agent.

The properties complement each other, the molecules (fatty acid chains) of linseed oil are very small (very good penetrating power), and those of wood oil is relatively large and filling.

For example, every good clear yacht varnish contains tung oil and linseed oil! One cannot do without.

Tung wood oil has been individually recommended by several sources as an impregnating oil and works excellent as such.

In theory, it is said that only tung oil can lead to a whitish film, which is why it was traditionally always mixed with other oils.

Turpentine in a combination of tung oils

You can mix the Tung oil with, for example, 30% turpentine oil to increase the penetrating power (and therefore the protective value) and shorten the drying time of the tung oil.

To shorten the drying time of the Oil even further, you can, of course, add a dash of Siccative (possibly additionally) to the turpentine oil.

Advantages of tung oil

  • Tung oil gives an excellent water-repellent result when tung oil is applied in several layers with a cloth or brush.
  • Tung oil is somewhat thicker than linseed oil, it quickly gives a firm layer thickness, excellently protecting the wood and giving a transparent, matte finish.
  • Several woodworkers that workpieces made from not completely dry wood cracked much less than workpieces treated with tung oil.
  • Tung oil can be used for the finishing of all kinds of wooden objects.

Disadvantages of tung oil

  • Tung oil has, according to some, a somewhat unpleasant odor. This smell and penetrating power can be improved by adding turpentine oil.
  • Tung oil sometimes dries spotty because the outer layer dries faster than the inside; a dash of sunflower oil can also be added to the tung oil. This would reduce this effect.

How to apply tung oil

The surface must be smooth and dust-free before the Tung oil is applied. Any sanding sealers, stains, and pore fillers should also already have been applied.

  • Dilute the first layer of Tung oil with approximately 25 to 30% turpentine oil and apply the Tung oil generously to the surface. If desired, it can be rubbed into the wood using a dot or an old rag.
  • Leave the Tung oil for about 30 minutes and then remove the excess Tung oil with clean, dry cloths.
  • After another half hour, check whether there are still wet places and remove the excess Tung oil there as well.
  • Allow the layers to dry for 3 to 7 days before applying the next layer.
  • Dilute the second coat with approximately 10% turpentine oil and apply subsequent coats undiluted until the wood is sufficiently saturated.

How many layers of Tung oil are needed is determined by the workpiece. Normally, 1 to 2 coats of Tung oil for most objects is sufficient; Up to 10 layers of Tung oil can sometimes be applied to objects made of end grain wood.

Maintenance and care

Maintenance of a surface finished with Tung oil is done by periodically applying a thin new layer of Tung oil using a cloth to repair any damage.

A floor or other wooden object that has been provided with a layer of Tung oil never needs to be bare again but only needs to be provided with a new layer to make the surface more and more beautiful.

Raw Tung oil has a drying time of a few days to a week.

The advantage of this is that the oil continues to penetrate for a long time;

The disadvantage is that dust can also stick to the surface during that time. If you want Tung oil but a much shorter drying time, choose the Improved Tung Oil

There is also a risk of spontaneous combustion of the used rags with tung oil as with linseed oil. So let these dry spread out, store them underwater or in a closed metal drum.

Never throw a crumpled rag with Tung oil between the wood chips!

Make sure that the layers are not applied too thick so that no oil dries on the wood! Always rub well after about 20 minutes so that no oil dries ON the wood!

Linseed oil

Flaxseed oil, often referred to simply as linseed oil, has been extracted for centuries from the seeds of the flax plant (Linum Usitatissium) grown in Europe, Canada, and Russia.

The raw linseed oil is obtained by pressing the seeds. In the past, this was done on a large scale with the help of windmills.

Raw linseed oil is not yet immediately suitable for wood preservation, so that this raw product undergoes all kinds of treatments, depending on the producer and the desired quality.

For example, the linseed oil can be degummed, the acidity can be adjusted, it can be bleached, and its odor can be reduced to ultimately get a refined linseed oil.

It will be clear to you that all these steps cost money, and there is, therefore, a big difference in the price and quality of the types of linseed oil available on the market.

Linseed oil has the best drying properties of all vegetable oils

and is therefore widely used for the surface treatment of wood, steel, and plastics, among other things. In addition, it is also used in the production of Linoleum.

Also, linseed oil gives a high elasticity to the final product.

The cheaper (i.e., less processed) types of linseed oil are used, among other things, for sealants, cheaper wood protection, as an additive for rust-resistant paints, and as an additive for printing inks.

If this cheaper linseed oil is used for wood protection, it is provided with drying agents, called siccatives, to shorten the drying time.

The more expensive, boiled linseed oil

is used in large quantities to make wood protection products, light-colored lacquers, printing inks, and paints.

Due to the excellent oxidizing properties of this linseed oil, Oil is created that has good flow properties, and excellent pigments are absorbed.

This Oil dries considerably faster than raw linseed oil so that less or no siccative is needed.

Also, (cheap) raw linseed oil to which Siccative has been added is unfortunately sometimes marketed under the name of “boiled linseed oil,” but that is not boiled linseed oil at all.

How to apply linseed oil

By mixing this linseed oil with Tung oil, you get a more wear-resistant finish. A commonly used mix consists of 50% linseed oil and 50% tung oil.

Always keep boiled linseed oil in bottles as full as possible so that there is as little air above as possible. As a result, the Oil in the bottle dries out less quickly and therefore has a longer shelf life.

Linseed oil is sensitive to soap and is therefore broken down. So if you have treated your countertop with linseed oil, it is preferable to clean it with only water and no soap.

To apply a full oil finish, proceed as follows:

  • Provide the workpiece with a fresh layer of Oil every day for a week as described above.
  • Provide the workpiece with a fresh layer of Oil once a week for a month.
  • Provide the workpiece with a fresh oil layer once a month for six months.
  • Then provide the workpiece with a fresh oil layer once every six months.

Danish Oil

Danish Oil is a wood oil made from several special ingredients, including tung oil.

When the Oil is dry, it is hard and durable and can be painted over. But the wood is also beautifully finished with only Danish Oil!

The wood gets a neutral light shine and is suitable for every type of wood.

Danish Oil can penetrate deep into the wood, and it protects the wood very well. This makes Danish Oil suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Unlike wood treated with linseed oil, wood treated with danish Oil does not attract dust.

One of the drawbacks of traditional Danish oils is that quite a few layers are needed before the wood is saturated.

How to apply danish Oil

  • First clean and smooth the wooden surface, then apply a thin layer of Danish Oil with a soft cloth or brush. Let this dry.
  • You will get the best result when you apply about three layers. The first layer penetrates deeply into the wood if you dilute the Oil with a turpentine ratio of 1:1. The next layers were undiluted.
  • It is essential to wipe the surface with a cloth about 10 minutes after processing for interior work. Then you have the most beautiful shine, the smoothest surface, and your object (inside or outside) will look good for a long time.
  • On average, a new layer can be applied after 3 hours. After an average of 1 hour of drying time, the wood is dust-dry, which depends, among other things, on the temperature.

Hang used clothes outside and let them dry. With this 2.5 liter can of Danish Oil, you can cover one layer of approximately 30 to 35 M2.

Tip!  Test the Oil on a test piece before use on the actual surface. Also, transparent or colorless gives a different shade to the wood.

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