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How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish (Read 235 times)
 
Paul Grenier
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How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Jun 12th, 2019 at 7:18pm
 
I recently decided to give 100% Pure Tung Oil (Hope's) a try and I love the "smooth as a baby's butt" feeling Smiley, but I would like to somehow get it from a flat / matte looking finish to one that is semi gloss or at least a satin finish.
Any suggestions are very welcome  Thumbs Up.
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chris lawrence
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #1 - Jun 12th, 2019 at 9:47pm
 
Let it cure then buff it.
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Louie Powell
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #2 - Jun 13th, 2019 at 6:44am
 
Here's my approach - start by wiping on a thinned (1:1, with turpentine) application, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then wipe off the excess using a bit of shop towel.  Let it cure for four hours, denib with either steel wool or a gray pad, and wipe on another application, full strength this time.  Repeat the process daily until you are satisfied with the result.

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Ed Weber
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #3 - Jun 13th, 2019 at 8:54am
 
chris lawrence wrote on Jun 12th, 2019 at 9:47pm:
Let it cure then buff it.


+1
If it is pure ting oil, a full cure can take up to a month.
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Paul Grenier
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #4 - Jun 14th, 2019 at 8:15pm
 
I know that pure Tung Oil will take up to a month to fully cure.  I'm not sure I understand how putting diluted coats on followed by full strength coats will create a semi gloss shine.  In my experience, buffing will not create a semi gloss shine,  but it will, at best, create only a satin shine.
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Ed Weber
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #5 - Jun 14th, 2019 at 8:23pm
 
Paul Grenier wrote on Jun 14th, 2019 at 8:15pm:
buffing will not create a semi gloss shine,  but it will, at best, create only a satin shine.

You're right but you can get close to a semi-gloss depending on the wax you use.
You may need to experiment on a scrap piece or mix your tung oil with poly and make your own wiping oil finish.
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Charlie Boardman
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #6 - Jun 14th, 2019 at 11:36pm
 
Mix tung oil 1:1 with a gloss varnish (oil based) of your choice, thin if needed with the solvent of your choice. I use D-Limonene (100% orange oil). It works as a solvent and smells better than petroleum based solvents. Apply 2-3 coats letting them dry between coats. I use a 3M gray pad to apply.
Be sure the D-Limonene is 100% pure, it's also sold as a cleaner with degreasers and soaps.
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Paul Grenier
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #7 - Jun 15th, 2019 at 7:04am
 
which gloss oil base varnish do you use successfully with pure tung oil?
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Louie Powell
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #8 - Jun 15th, 2019 at 7:59am
 
Paul Grenier wrote on Jun 15th, 2019 at 7:04am:
which gloss oil base varnish do you use successfully with pure tung oil?


My wiping varnish is a 1:1:1 mixture of Hope's Pure Tung Oil, turpentine, and McCloskey's 'Man-o-War' alkyd varnish - this is the recipe that Russ Fairfield discussed in his writeup on finishing.  The the individual components are a bit difficult to find, and also a bit pricey, but it goes a very long way - I mix small quantities using an old plastic 35mm film canister as a measure, and store it in small glass jars.

I apply it by wiping it on using a bit of paper towel or toilet paper, letting it sit for 30-45 minutes, and then wiping off the excess.  I've waited as much as an hour before wiping, but my experience is that after an hour, the surface starts to get tacky and wiping becomes difficult.  Let it cure for at least four hours, (overnight is better),wipe with a gray Scotch-brite pad, and then apply another coat.  The finish builds as additional coats are applied; depending on the timber involved, two coats leaves a very soft matte surface, but a gloss starts to build after threeor four coats.  Let it cure for a week, buff and wax.

McCloskey's varnish contains a UV inhibitor that seems to slow down the process by which the grain of the wood turns blah.
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« Last Edit: Jun 15th, 2019 at 8:08am by Louie Powell »  

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Louie Powell
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #9 - Jun 15th, 2019 at 8:01am
 
Charlie Boardman wrote on Jun 14th, 2019 at 11:36pm:
I use D-Limonene (100% orange oil). It works as a solvent and smells better than petroleum based solvents. - - -
Be sure the D-Limonene is 100% pure, it's also sold as a cleaner with degreasers and soaps.


Charlie - is there a specific brand of orange oil that you recommend?  I've done some shopping, and the range of choices is overwhelming.
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #10 - Jun 15th, 2019 at 9:34am
 
Louie...I get mine from factorydirectchemicals.com, "NATURAL 100% Tech Grade D-Limonene", they also sell on amazon.
They also carry tung oil.
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Charlie Boardman
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #11 - Jun 15th, 2019 at 9:43am
 
Paul... I currently am using a Varathane product "Ultimate Polyurethane".  When I've used this up I'm going to try "McCloskey's 'Man-o-War'" that Louie suggests.
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Don Stephan
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #12 - Jun 16th, 2019 at 12:37pm
 
To reduce the speed with which remaining finish turns to gel, Stop Loss Bags are an alternative to marbles in the can, or continuing to transfer to smaller containers.  P&L 38 gloss varnish lasted much longer before gelling with the Stop Loss Bags.  (Unfortunately P&L 38 has been discontinued, so yesterday I started a trial with Waterlox Original.   I will be getting a new, clean Stop Loss Bag for the Waterlox.)
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Mike Nathal
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #13 - Jun 19th, 2019 at 7:13am
 
A very similar tung oil/varnish blend is described in an article by Tom Wirsing in American Woodturner in Feb 2018.  He describes his application method, number of coats, etc.  He uses Abralon pads. 
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Ed Weber
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Re: How to turn Tung Oil finish to a semi gloss finish
Reply #14 - Jun 19th, 2019 at 8:23am
 
Making your own tung oil blend.
1. Tung oil needs sanding between coats.
2. Whatever poly/varnish you mix it with won't change #1
3  While time between coats is decreased, there will still be a long cure time
4. You might consider using a single flood coat of tung oil. After it's dried or partially cured, apply poly/varnish over it to achieve the desired sheen.
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