The popularity of modern and industrial-influenced design schemes means concrete fixtures have soared in popularity with homeowners — where tile once reigned supreme, concrete has now taken over. From kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities to backyard living spaces and basement flooring, concrete is the new way to give homes an aesthetic edge while also being kind to your budget.
Concrete surfaces look their best when they’re properly sealed due to their porous nature, which attracts and holds dust and debris when left in its natural state. That’s where Pure Tung Oil by the Real Milk Paint Co. comes in — it provides a flexible waterproof finish that retains a low-luster look, no matter how much you apply. This means using tung oil or Dark Tung Oil to seal concrete keeps your interior or exterior features well-protected and looking their best over time.
Benefits of a Pure Tung Oil Finish
When you’re looking for a safe option for sealing a concrete surface, our Pure Tung Oil finish is your best bet. An all-natural formulation that’s food contact-safe enables worry-free sealing of your kitchen countertop, and the finish doesn’t mold for fuss-free application on bathroom vanities. This lack of harsh chemicals found in other concrete sealers like polyurethane makes our tung oils pleasant to use, even in areas without much ventilation.
All-Natural Concrete Sealer
Most concrete sealer products have numerous ingredients, but our Pure Tung Oil just has one: 100% grade A yellow pure tung oil. Also known as chinawood oil, tung oil has helped protect surfaces since at least the 14th century when Chinese sailors applied the substance to ships to seal and preserve the wood. Marco Polo brought tung oil back to Europe, but the drying oil only gained widespread popularity in the 19th century as a go-to product for sealing concrete, wood, and stone.
Use our Pure Tung Oil all over your home thanks to a formulation that doesn’t expose your family to harsh chemicals found in polyurethane and other potentially dangerous sealants. Perfect for creating a durable finish on concrete surfaces inside and out, our tung oil contains zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and boasts a pleasant nutty smell for increased enjoyment during your concrete sealer project. You can also apply tung oil to a concrete countertop worry-free since our formulation is FDA-approved as safe for food contact.
Simple to Apply and Maintain
Most concrete surfaces, even smooth ones, are plenty absorbent and so using Pure Tung Oil as is works best. However, if the surface isn’t as absorbent then you cut our Pure Tung Oil at a 1:1 ratio with our Orange Oil Natural Citrus Solvent. The mixture goes on smoothly the first time and during subsequent applications. We also offer Half and Half — a premixed formulation that’s 50% Pure Tung Oil and 50% Citrus Solvent — when you want to get started on your concrete sealer projects right away. Keep in mind that whether you apply tung oil once on indoor countertops or over time as maintenance coats for outdoor furniture, this all-natural finishing oil delivers a transparent matte finish that never gets glossy with subsequent applications and enhances the natural color of the concrete.
Naturally Polymerizing Finish
Unlike mineral oil and vegetable oil, naturally polymerizing Pure Tung Oil cures by oxidizing and hardens with time for a low-luster finish that’s both protective and pretty. Tung oil cures quickly as well, so you’re not stuck in limbo waiting for your deck or countertop to dry. Partial curing when you use tung oil to seal concrete countertops runs roughly 7 to 10 days, while a full cure takes approximately 15 to 30 days. Keep in mind that tung oil cures to a flexible waterproof finish that resists abrasions and acids doesn’t blister or peel when properly applied, and doesn’t mold like linseed oil for added confidence in use.
A Beautiful Look Every Time
What you see is what you get when you apply tung oil on concrete surfaces like concrete countertops and vanities indoors or porches and patios outdoors. This concrete sealer never darkens with time to ensure your kitchen countertops, basement floors, outdoor slab, or bathroom vanity retain their beauty for years to come. But if you desire a richer look for your concrete surface, consider using our Dark Tung Oil or Dark Half tung oil premixed with Citrus Solvent to add an interesting touch to your concrete project plan.
Apply Tung Oil to Concrete With These Supplies
Using tung oil to seal concrete provides excellent protection while beautifying the concrete surface. If you’re ready to seal a surface like concrete countertops or flooring with tung oil or Dark Tung Oil, first gather the supplies you need, including the following:
- Pure Tung Oil or Dark Tung Oil by the Real Milk Paint Co.
- Tri-Sodium Phosphate
- Orange Oil Citrus Solvent
- A paintbrush or foam roller
- A clean rag or two
- Some good old-fashioned elbow grease
How to Seal Concrete Surfaces With Tung Oil
Create an elastic finish that repels water and dust just as well as mold and mildew by using tung oil to seal concrete. When you apply tung oil to concrete surfaces like concrete countertops and other features around your house, this concrete sealing essentially helps ward off dirt, grease, and grime with its durable waterproof finish. Apply tung oil properly by following these steps:
- First, slip on some rubber gloves and mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of Tri-Sodium Phosphate in a bucket with a gallon of hot water. Grab a clean rag and when the solution fully dissolves, wipe it onto the concrete surface to remove all the dirt, grease, and grime from the porous slab. Let the concrete surface dry completely before your tung oil application begins.
- While you’re waiting for your concrete countertops, flooring or walls to dry completely, mix up your tung oil or Dark Tung Oil at a 50:50 ratio with Citrus Solvent if needed. Typically, you can use the tung oil without thinning on most concrete surfaces.
- Next, pour a small amount of your tung oil mixture onto the concrete surface and rub it in with a paintbrush or foam roller. The oil should absorb into the porous concrete quickly, so you can keep adding oil as it penetrates to ensure full coverage on your concrete countertops, slabs, or vanities.
- Continue to apply tung oil to the concrete surface for optimal results, waiting approximately half an hour between coats to let the finishing oil soak into all the cracks and crevices. Most of the time, applying as many as three to five coats of tung oil to concrete delivers the desired finished effect due to the porous texture requiring more coverage to achieve a durable finish that repels grease, grime, food, dust, and debris.
- Once the concrete surface won’t absorb any more tung oil, (it will look like a puddle on the surface after waiting approximately a half hour) wipe down the area with a clean rag and wait for it to cure. Tung oil cures rather than dries via exposure to air, which oxidizes it for a naturally polymerizing finish. This process occurs partially within 5 to 7 days and fully within 15 to 30 days, so you don’t have to wait forever to continue using your concrete countertops, furniture, or flooring. Keep in mind that the warmer the environment, the faster the cure.
Tung Oil Curing Times for Concrete Countertops
While it might be tempting to start using your concrete countertops or surfaces right away, be sure to wait at least 5 to 7 days to begin using them — lightly! This concrete sealer may well feel dry to the touch after you apply tung oil in several coats, but fully curing is essential to achieving the full potential of this finishing oil — keeping water, dirt, grease, grime, mold, and mildew out of the porous texture. For full use of your kitchen countertops or bathroom vanities, we suggest waiting 30 days to ensure a full cure is achieved.
For the first week, we recommend not using the surface as much as possible. Light usage is okay during the second week, but make sure not to leave objects sitting on the concrete surface for hours and definitely keep water off the slab. If your sink touches the newly sealed area, we recommend using wax paper to temporarily cover the concrete surface to help keep it dry and prevent splashes. Finally, during the third and fourth weeks, the tung oil should achieve an almost-full cure, so you can use it more, but make sure to keep it dry and prevent water from sitting too long on the surface.
DIY Project Tips and Tricks
Use these tips and tricks to get the most out of using Pure Tung Oil. No matter if you want to seal concrete or enhance your woodworking projects, this sustainable finishing oil offers a safe, natural alternative to concrete sealing products containing harsh chemicals.
- Always use a rag to rub in the tung oil or a paintbrush or foam roller to glide it across the concrete surface. Smoothing the tung oil across the surface of your concrete ensures nice, even coverage and prevents the all-natural concrete sealer from oxidizing in puddles during the curing process.
- If you feel your concrete surface needs more protection, simply add another coat of tung oil at any time — no sanding, stripping or other clean-up prep steps necessary. This remarkably forgiving finishing oil builds and consolidates quickly to enhance protection without creating mismatched layers on your concrete countertops, vanities, or flooring.
- Tung oil offers fantastic results for both indoor and outdoor home improvement projects, but it likes warmer weather. For best results, apply tung oil at temperatures above freezing and make sure to keep the concrete out of lower temperatures for 10 to 15 days afterward.
- Tung oil cures faster in warm environments, but direct sunlight can cause a fresh application to polymerize rather than oxidize. Because this process can create a frosted look on your concrete surfaces, it’s best to apply tung oil as a concrete sealer in shaded areas, indoors, or when the outdoor project is not in direct sunlight (i.e. apply in the morning or evening).
When you’re ready to tackle your next concrete sealing project, the Real Milk Paint Co. is here to help with high-quality tung oil products that are simple, convenient, and pleasant to use. Contact us with any questions by filling out this form or calling us directly at (800) 339-9748.