This is pre-mixed Pure Tung Oil and Citrus Solvent from the Real Milk Paint Co.
We found that is most cases the Pure Tung Oil is too thick to penetrate most surfaces. Thinning with a natural solvent helps the oil penetrate deeper into the material. The 1 to 1 or Half & Half ratio works great all around for most surfaces like new raw wood, butcher block countertops, cutting boards, concrete, terra cotta clay pots, stone, and slate. This finish is also food contact safe! Generally, 3 to 5 coats are needed to seal and waterproof. This all-natural finish does take 7 to 10 days to develop a water resistance and a full 30 days for a complete cure. A quick way to see the color of your surface before oiling is to just wet with water. The way it looks wet but not glossy is the color you have when the oil is dry! Can be mixed with any other of our Tung Oil Products (i.e. Pure Tung Oil, Dark Tung Oil, Dark Half, Outdoor Defense Oil).
- Pint – 16 oz. covers 50 sq. feet
- Quart – 32 oz. covers 100 sq. feet
- Gallon – covers 400 sq. feet
Example: 1 Gallon will do 1 coat on a 400 sq. foot surface.
How to Finish Wood Countertops and Butcher Blocks
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Directions for Use
- The surface should be dusted to remove all loose particles.
- Any wood filling (fillings with real wood dough accept tung oil) or wood staining (water or alcohol stains work best) must be done before the oil is applied.
- For the most thirsty surfaces like old weathered wood, 100-year old wood floors that were never finished or unsealed concrete consider using Pure Tung Oil that is not pre-thinned like Half & Half.
- In colder weather, check the weather to ensure you have a 2 week period minimum after your application of the tung oil where the temperature will be above freezing. You do not want the tung oil to freeze during its application or curing period.
- The first coat of Half & Half should be a liberal one.
- Apply with a natural bristle brush, sponge brush, or a thin foam roller.
- Allow this coat to sit for a minimum of 40 minutes so the oil can soak in. When it soaks into the wood, apply another coat immediately. Continue to apply coats, one after another, until the surface is saturated and stays glossy for up to an hour. If eighty percent of surface area stays glossy, the pores are saturated and this can be considered your final coat.
- Now, wipe down the surface with a clean rag removing any excess oil that is on the surface. Continue to check for any seeping in the next few hours, and rub this off as well. Do not allow standing oil on the surface overnight. Any standing or puddles of oil should be wiped away with clean rags.
- After allowing the oil to soak overnight, apply one more coat to the surface the next day. Let this sit for a minimum of 40 minutes, but no more than 2 hours. Wipe up any oil that has not soaked in. Now the tung oil will be in its curing stage.
- Hang oil-soaked rags up separately to dry.
- For woods with very dense pores (such as Teak, Ipe, Mesquite, etc.) consider thinning more than what is provided by Half & Half. We recommend mixing Pure Tung Oil with two parts solvent (Citrus Solvent or Odorless Mineral Spirits) to one part oil. This will help it absorb and penetrate better into the dense wood. Most woods do not need this extra thinning.
- The Half & Half will take 7 to 10 days for a minimum cure and 15 to 30 days for a full cure.
Guidelines for Use while Curing
For floors, countertops, and other heavily used surfaces here are some general guidelines for use during the curing time of the tung oil.
- Keeping the surface free from dust, debris, dirt, and liquids during the first 7-10 days of the curing time is paramount.
- Restrain from covering the surface treated with Half & Half for extended periods of time. The pure tung oil needs air flow in order to cure.
- For countertops and butcher block near sinks, consider covering an area around your sink with wax paper while the sink is in use. This will prevent water from splashing onto the surface. Then you can easily remove the wax paper when the sink is not in use.
- On floors and large surfaces, feel free to move about on the surface with clean socks or rags under shoes. In fact, we encourage “ice skating” with rags under your feet as it will pick up any oil that may seep to the surface during the curing process.
- Furniture can be moved back onto the floor after 7-10 days of curing time has occurred. Do not put area rugs or furniture items that rest close to the surface until full 30-day cure. These will prevent air flow. Wooden furniture items should have wax paper placed between the legs and the floor to prevent wicking of oil out of the surface.
- For decks and outdoor surfaces, should it rain, remove water from the surface as soon as possible with a broom or leaf blower.
- Remember, a full cure for the tung oil is 30 days. However, the pure tung oil finish will gradually harden over that period of time. Thus more resistance to use can be anticipated in general as the curing time progresses.
- 8oz covers 25sq. feet
- 16oz covers 50sq. feet
- 32oz covers 100sq. feet
- Gallon covers 400sq. feet
- Example: One Gallon would cover 400sq. feet one time.
What its made of
We believe in being honest with what is in our products. So, thats why we provide the ingredients used in them so you can rest assured knowing exactly what is in the product you purchase from us. It’s just a way we make it easier on you.
Half & Half is made of
- Pure Tung Oil
- Citrus Solvent
Mineral Spirits vs. Natural Citrus Solvent Frequently Asked Questions
How does Citrus Solvent differ from mineral spirits?
Citrus Solvent is orange peel oil. It is the natural clear liquid that is in the rind of the orange. Citrus Solvent is an organic substance, in contrast to Mineral spirits, which is created through a chemical process called “Oil Cracking”. Mineral spirits is a by-product from the manufacture of gasoline. Citrus Solvent on the other hand is a by-product of the orange juice industry from squeezing oranges. After the orange juice is squeezed the peels are then sent back to be further squeezed to extract the Citrus Solvent from the peels. The liquid is collect for other uses. Citrus Solvent does not cause any ozone depletion or contamination. Even if the orange peels were discarded the Citrus Solvent would be release to the air regardless.
How does Citrus Solvent work? Is it just like regular paint thinner?
Citrus Solvent will evaporate like paint thinner but just a little bit slower. However, the fumes are much safer.
What are the benefits of using Citrus Solvent as odorless mineral spirits?
Citrus Solvent is not odorless but does have an orange smell. Lower quality odorless mineral spirits may be more toxic than Citrus Solvent. Extended long term exposure to any and all solvents are not recommended.
Can Citrus Solvent be used for degreasing, the way mineral spirits can?
Yes, Citrus Solvent makes an excellent degreaser. In many cases it works better than mineral spirits.
Is Citrus Solvent safer to use on antiques than paint thinner?
Citrus Solvent is a good degreaser and works well for de-waxing. Citrus solvent would be safe for almost all finishes except for some delicate water base films.
Do I need to wear a mask and gloves when working with Citrus Solvent as an odorless mineral spirit?
Gloves would be good to wear if you have sensitive skin. Citrus Solvent can dry out the skin. Good ventilation is recommended if you are doing a large project. An organic filter mask is recommended for protection from odorless mineral spirits.
When using Citrus Solvent in place of paint thinner or mineral spirits, is the same amount of product used?
Yes, the exact same amount of Citrus Solvent is required in place of paint thinner or mineral spirits.
How fast does Citrus Solvent evaporate compared to paint thinner and mineral spirits?
Citrus Solvent will dry a bit slower than paint thinner or mineral spirits.
Does Citrus Solvent require as much ventilation during use as mineral spirits or paint thinner?
Ventilation would be recommended for all solvents.
Is Citrus Solvent safer to store than mineral spirits or paint thinner?
Recommended storage for Citrus Solvent would be the same as for mineral spirits and paint thinner.
What are mineral spirits?
Mineral spirits are a low volatility petroleum derivative commonly used as a substitute for turpentine for paint thinning. Originally developed in the late twenties, mineral spirits were first created as a formula for the dry cleaning industry. Today, mineral spirits are used in a number of applications as a cleaner, degreaser, and lubricant. Mineral spirits are created through the combination of various chemicals with hydrocarbons into three basic types. The most commonly used for paint applications is type II odorless mineral spirits. Although mineral spirits are considered safe as cleaner, OSHA, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, warns of “potential acute health effects” including irritation of the skin and eyes, and the hazardous potential of mineral spirits if ingested or inhaled. Furthermore, mineral spirits are toxic to the lungs and nervous system, and “repeated or prolonged exposure” can produce “target organs damage”.
At The Real Milk Paint Company we do our best to provide safe products as well as information. However we can not guarantee that individuals with compromised immune systems or allergies will not have a reaction to our products. We strongly recommend that each person take their own personal responsibility in testing this product for their own personal use.