What is Tung oil?
Tung oil, also called "Chinese wood oil", was already used in Asia 2,000 years ago. Mainly for making paint and ink, but also for finishing wooden objects including wooden ships. The reason is that the oil dries well and therefore repels water. The oil is also food-safe and today has found its way for finishing worktops, floors furniture and even children's toys.
How is Tung oil made?
Tung oil is made from the seeds of the Tung tree. This tree is particularly common in China. Flowers grow on this tree that eventually produce seeds. These seeds contain valuable oil. Once the seeds are ripe, they are harvested and pressed, leaving raw Tung oil. This pure oil can then be made into wood oil, paint or ink.
The oil in use
When using Tung oil, the surface should be completely dust-free. You can then use a cloth to rub in the oil. Here, it is important that a thin layer of oil is left behind. This is because the oil has a long drying time. When there is too much oil on the surface, it does not dry properly and sticks. When the oil has soaked in, the surface gets a protective layer and gives a matt, transparent finish.
Tung oil storage
Tung oil should always be stored in a sealed bottle. In fact, when it comes into contact with oxygen, the oil dries out. Has the oil become cloudy? Let it come to room temperature and shake the bottle.
As with other oils, there is a risk of spontaneous ignition with cloths containing Tung oil. This means the cloth could catch fire. Therefore, always leave a used cloth spread out to dry, store it in a sealed tin or under water.