Curing for wooden tool handles takes roughly 30 days in a dry place, but you can typically use them lightly 10 to 15 days after restoration. (Placing the tool in a warm place will aid the curing of the oil.) Alternatively, if you don’t want to mix your oil with a solvent or plan on leaving the axe or garden tool in a damp place or outdoors, consider using our Outdoor Defense Oil in place of our Pure Tung Oil.
Protecting Wood Axe Handles and Garden Tools
When you purchase a new tool, you want to protect and preserve it right out of the gate. The way to properly protect your wooden handle depends on what kind of finish is already on it. If you’re dealing with oiled wooden handles, then adding a bit more oil on a regular basis can help preserve them. If the axe or tool handle has a sheen or like varnish then other oil finishes typically can’t be used overtop. If your tool handle is raw wood, you can also paint it with Real Milk Paint® to jazz up your gardening tools or color-code multiples of the same item you use for different tasks. For added protection, add Pure Tung Oil to the painted surface once dry to further preserve the wood handles.
Maintaining Garden Tools with a Wooden Handle
Let’s say you find an axe, shovel or hoe at a garage sale that’s in good shape aside from a broken handle or rust on a tool head and you want to restore it and give it a new life. Products from the Real Milk Paint Co. can help by providing an eco-friendly way to finish your axe handles or garden tools project. After you fix broken handles by cutting and shaping new ones, you can readily protect and maintain your repairs by first sanding the surface with sandpaper until smooth, then adding color with Real Milk Paint® or waterproofing with Pure Tung Oil or Outdoor Defense Oil.
Best Garden Tool Restoration Products
While many people swear by boiled linseed oil when they want to restore wood handles, this finish has its downsides. First, boiled linseed oil is processed with metal solvents to speed up its drying time, so it’s not very good for you or the environment. Next, even though it dries quickly, it also wears away quickly if you touch and use the tool handles frequently. And while boiled linseed oil does provide water resistance, better options exist if that’s your goal.
Pure Tung Oil
Pure Tung Oil, also known as chinawood oil, offers complete water resistance in an eco-friendly package. This 100% pure finishing oil penetrates wood well and quickly, and since it polymerizes via oxidation, it doesn’t dry out wood with evaporation. Made with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Pure Tung Oil also resists marring, acid and abrasions, making it ideal for objects like shovels that see heavy-duty usage during gardening. As a bonus, Pure Tung Oil not only helps you restore, protect and maintain wooden handles, it also offers a balance of grip vs. glide. Allowing you to handle your tools with precision when needed or let them run smoothly through the hand.