Tung Oil is a hard drying wood oil that provides a lustrous and beautiful finish. It resists marring, penetrates well, and is environmentally friendly. Our tung oil is 100% pure and of the highest quality you’ll find. It’s all-natural, food safe, and creates a matte finish. FDA approved for food contact. Not convinced? Read the reviews below.
Pure Tung Oil (Chinawood Oil)
- Hints & Tips
- Oil Thinning Guide
- Reviews & Q/A
- Wood Samples
- SDS (Safety Data Sheet)
Enhance the character of wood with our great water-resistant finish
The Tung Oil offered by Real Milk Paint is a 100% pure oil meaning it comes without any heavy metals, additives, or distillates. Most other oils can be anything from a thinned down varnish to polymerized tung, and most have petroleum distillates added. Ours will not build a gloss finish or heavy finish but will penetrate deeply into the wood to enhance character and water resistance while creating a great wood finish.
This makes our pure tung oil perfect for uses such as wood counter tops, bowls, butcher blocks, cutting boards, chopping blocks, outdoor furniture, decks, wood siding, wood flooring, concrete, brick and just about any porous surface that needs an environmentally friendly product.
We guarantee our Tung Oil is ASTM Quality Tested to be light in color with the highest amount of reactive sites to ensure drying and a great wood finish. We use only the freshest, highest quality product. All of our oils are “fresh” pumped from a drum just before shipping.
Keep in mind, it’s a natural “Honey” color. Cheaper grades are generally off-color or greenish. Other companies will not talk about the color because it’s their quality does not uphold. But color is important, you are using it to finish your wood so it makes sense that the way it looks plays a big part in the finish of your product.
- Zero VOC’s
- All Natural means “Green”
- Freshness Guaranteed (fresh pumped daily)!
- Best Available, Grade 1 yellow
- Naturally polymerizing finish
- Cures by oxidation, not evaporation
- Does not form a glossy finish no matter the number of coats
- Form a flexible waterproof finish
- Resists abrasion and acids
- Does not blister and peel (properly applied)
- Does not mold like linseed oil
- Long shelf life (will last for years, properly sealed)
- Does not darken with time like linseed oil
- Concentrated (thin one to one, doubles the coverage)
- Combined with “Citrus Solvent” makes an all-natural finish
- FDA approved for food contact
- Does not go rancid
- 7 to 10 days partial cure, 15 to 30 days full cure
- 8 oz. covers 25 sq. feet
- 16 oz. covers 50 sq. feet
- 32 oz. covers 100 sq. feet
- Gallon covers 400 sq. feet
- Example: One Gallon would cover 400 sq. feet one time.
This is coverage for the oil only and not diluted with any Citrus Solvent, Pine Oil, or any other thinner. Thinning the oil will increase its coverage as well as enhance is saturation abilities.
I was nervous about how well tung oiled wood oak floors would stand up to everything my cats have to offer (spilled food, water, cat litter, the occasional pee, poop, and vomit, as well as their dead critters — frogs, lizards, mice and gophers — but I was committed to using your tung oil for its ease of use/repair and for its environmentally-friendly qualities. One year later I am thrilled to report that the seven applications of tung oil are performing beautifully. Not one stain. (I use water to wipe up, then follow with a swipe of Urinoff.)Even for messes I haven’t found right away (no more than a day or two?), there has been no stain to the oak. Thank you for a terrific product!
The floor is fantastic! I was just cleaning it this morning with a sponge mop and it is amazing how good it looks! I am SO GLAD I found your site with all the how to. Such a WARM and DEEP look…
Properties & Characteristics
- All natural finish that is water and alkali resistant and offers a protective barrier.
- Will not darken with age as other finishes will.
- It resists marring, penetrates well, elastic and unlikely to check.
- It builds quickly, consolidates the wood surface, and builds a transparent matte finish.
- It will not mildew or bleed like linseed oil when dry which makes it an excellent candidate for outdoor finishes.
- It should be kept in an airtight container with minimum airspace.
- It contains no thinners or driers and has a light nutty odor.
- Can be mixed with any other of our Tung Oil Products (i.e. Dark Tung Oil, Dark Half, Half & Half, Outdoor Defense Oil)
- A Pure Tung Oil finish mixed with Citrus Solvent is an all-natural organic finish that is environmentally safe and food safe.
- For a less expensive alternative for thinning the Pure Tung Oil, try our Odorless Mineral Spirits.
How Fresh is our Oil?
All of our Tung Oils are “fresh” pumped from a drum just before shipping. Each size is packaged in #2 HDPE recyclable bottles because being devoted to an environmentally friendly product isn’t just about the what’s in the bottle!
For new wood floors and refinishing wood floors, applications must be thinned for the best wood finish. “Floor Finishing and Pure Tung Oil“, “How to Stain Floors” and “How to Finish Decks and Porches“.
For other applications, the following methods should work well, as always test your application method before full application to a large project. We strive to provide the best information and assistance possible. If you have any question or feedback, please call.
Tung Oil comes from cold pressing of the seeds or nuts of the Tung tree, which mainly grow in the mountainous regions of China away from industrialization and pollution. Climate, soil and air quality are essential for high-quality oil. Ours is 100% Pure Chinese Tung, which is also known as China wood oil and is an all-natural finish manufactured by pressing the tung nut, no petroleum distillates or other additives – just pure oil. Some low priced marketers will package South American Tung Oil (dark, greenish in color) and sell it as the higher quality Chinese. Chinese Tung is available in 3 grades, we only offer the best available, Grade 1 yellow. This high quality offers superior color, faster drying, and a long-term elastic finish. Elasticity is an important factor as it must continue to flex with the expansion and contraction of the substrate on which it is applied.
It’s one of the first and remains to be one of the only truly “Green” or environmentally friendly finishes. It is all natural and contains zero VOC’s. It’s an all-natural finishing product that provides a tough, flexible and highly water-resistant coating or wood finish. It is classed as a drying oil along with linseed, poppy seed, safflower seed, walnut, soybean, oiticica, and a few other oils. Although it is relatively new to the Western world, it has been known for centuries to the Chinese, and until this century, China was the main source. It comes from the seed of the tung trees, Aleurites fordii and Aleurites montana, deciduous trees that are very susceptible to frost damage. This vulnerability has restricted the cultivation of the trees to China and South America. It’s been used in the building trades as a treatment for both stone and wooden structures; in marine trades as a preservative and water repellant on wooden boats for centuries. It is said to have been introduced to the West by Marco Polo. From the 13th to the 19th century, tung oil had only limited use in the West. More recently, it’s gained favor over linseed oil for wood finishing because it is faster drying and does not darken as much with age.
Pure Tung is recommended for finishing kitchen tables, chopping blocks, cutting boards, butcher block, wood and concrete countertops, wood floors, concrete floors, refinishing wood floors, outdoor decks, outdoor furniture, wood siding, log homes (both interior and exterior), and similar uses. Its non-toxic nature makes it particularly appropriate for children’s toys and furniture. It gives good protection to wood paneling and molding.
The oil’s matte finish will do nicely on certain pieces of furniture, but if a glossy finish is preferred you will need to buff and wax the finish or use polymerized tung oil or a formulated tung oil-based product over top.
We have found tung oil to be a valuable helper in the workshop. It adheres very well to unpolished metal, and a light coat rubbed onto tool steel is an effective rust inhibitor. Wooden handles will also benefit from the occasional coat.
THINNING: Can be thinned with Citrus Solvent for an all-natural finish. Can also be thinned with Mineral Spirits, Odorless Mineral Spirits, Paint thinner, Odorless Paint thinner. Do not use the “Green” type paint thinner or “Green” odorless paint thinners. These “Green” thinners contain water. They will not mix with the oil.
TEMPERATURE: Should remain above freezing during and after application for a period of 10 to 15 days. If freezing temperatures do occur it is possible for the fat in the oil to rise out of the oil and deposit on the surface. The warmer the temperature the faster the oil will cure. However direct sunlight baking a surface after a “fresh” application can quickly polymerize the oil and result in a dry rubbery frosted appearance or a distinctly more glossy finish than the surrounding area.
STORING MATERIAL: Stored in moderate temperatures. Do not freeze and do not store in hot places like attics. It should also be stored out of direct sunlight like a mildly heated basement area. A mixture of Tung Oil and Citrus Solvent should be stored in the “White” Citrus Solvent container. These are treated to hold the Solvent for optimum storage.
FDA: Tung Oil is approved for food contact by the FDA. View document.
NOTE: Keep containers tightly closed away from extreme temperature changes and open flames. As with all oils, rags, steel wool, or waste soaked with oil, may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately after use, place the oil-soaked material in a sealed water-filled metal container or hang outside separately to dry.
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- Sample oz. covers 1 sq. foot
- 8 oz. covers 25 sq. feet
- 16 oz. covers 50 sq. feet
- 32 oz. covers 100 sq. feet
- Gallon covers 400 sq. feet
- Example: One Gallon would cover 400 sq. feet one time.
There are four phases when it comes to using Pure Tung Oil for your projects.
- The best operating temperature for applying Pure Tung Oil is above 50°F ( 10°C ).
- Be sure the surface of your project is free of dust, debris, or grime.
- Check to see if the surface is porous. (Pure Tung Oil works by absorbing into the material and filling the open pores. Therefore, if your material is not porous, it will not accept Pure Tung Oil. To test if your surface is porous or not, place a small amount of water on the surface. If the water absorbs, it is porous. If it does not and beads on the surface, you may need to sand and/or strip the surface.)
- If you need to sand your surface, we recommend not going above 220 grit sandpaper. Too high of a sandpaper grit will “polish” the surface, hindering proper absorption of Pure Tung Oil.
- If stripping your surface is needed, we recommend using Soy Gel: Paint and Urethane Stripper.
- If you are looking for a darker color finish, take a look at our Dark Tung Oil.
- We recommend using water or alcohol-based stains on the wood before the Pure Tung Oil is applied. Most oil-based stains should be avoided as they tend to seal the wood and prevent absorption of the Pure Tung Oil.
- DO NOT use a wood conditioner. This will seal the wood and prevent the tung oil from absorbing.
- Determine if you will need to thin the Pure Tung Oil. Pure Tung Oil is a naturally thick liquid and usually requires thinning to help it absorb into the wood. You can thin Pure Tung Oil with a variety of thinners. If you are doing a project where you want to use natural, food contact safe products, try our Citrus Solvent. If you’re looking to be a bit more economical, try our Odorless Mineral Spirits. Any solvent you use needs to be oil-based, not a water-based solvent (usually branded as “green” or “eco-friendly).
- NOTE: Most projects DO require this thinning. Only very old, dry wood or concrete tend to use unthinned Pure Tung Oil.
- Extremely dense woods such as teak, ipe, etc may require thinning up to a 2 to 1 ratio of solvent to Pure Tung Oil.
- Don’t want to deal with the hassle of thinning it yourself? Look no further than our Half & Half! Pre-mixed Pure Tung Oil and Citrus Solvent mean you can use it right from the bottle without any mixing!
- If you’re looking for a wood finish that doesn’t require any solvent, you may be interested in Hemp Oil
When applying thinned Pure Tung Oil, here’s a handy thing to remember: Apply, Absorb, Repeat or Remove
- Apply – Apply the Pure Tung Oil to the surface.
Absorb – Let the Pure Tung Oil absorb into the material.
Repeat – Do what you just did, apply the oil and let it absorb.
Remove – When the oil isn’t absorbing and pooling on the surface, remove it with a rag.
Cure – Let the Pure Tung Oil go through its natural curing process.
For the best results, you want to saturate the material with the tung oil to the point where a majority of the surface is no longer absorbing the oil. This will look like puddles on the surface even after waiting 40 minutes. Just like a sponge, the wood (or other porous surfaces) will only absorb so much oil before it can’t anymore. This saturation is achieved by doing multiple coats.
You can apply Pure Tung Oil with a brush, rag, roller, or even a pump sprayer depending on your project and needs. We recommend brushes and/or foam rollers for most projects.
- Apply a generous first coat.
- Let the tung oil absorb into the surface, waiting if needed, up to 40 minutes.
- Apply another coat, let it absorb, and repeat the previous steps.
- Continue this process until you reach the desired amount of coats or have fully saturated the wood. You can tell the wood is saturated when the oil puddles on the surface and no longer absorbs oil across a majority of the surface. To be sure, wait 40 minutes. If the oil is still puddling, then you will know the surface is saturated.
- Taking a clean rag or cloth, remove any excess tung oil that is puddling or pooling on the surface.
- Hang those oil-soaked rags outdoors to dry. DO NOT pile the rags or put them in a container.
For the best finish, we recommend letting this application rest and settle overnight. The following day, apply one or two more coats of Tung Oil to the surface of your project, following the same steps outlined above.
Pure Tung Oil does not contain any additives to speed the drying process, such as heavy metallic dryers. Because of this, it can take up to 30 days to completely/thoroughly cure by its natural polymerization process. Provided below are some guidelines to follow during the curing phase.
- Pure Tung Oil cures best in warm, well-ventilated places. The warmer and more ventilated the area, the faster it will cure.
- Placing objects on the surface will “suffocate” and prevent the Pure Tung Oil from curing properly. If there is no airflow between the surface and the object, it should be removed until the curing is complete (30 days).
- During the first 15 days of curing, you can use the surface. However, you will want to avoid getting it dirty or allowing liquids to puddle on the surface during this period.
- As the Pure Tung Oil cures, its durability and resistance to liquids and dirt will also increase. The first 7-15 days is when the oil is at its freshest and weakest state. After that point, increased regular use of the surface can take place.
- As Pure Tung Oil cures, it slightly expands and may push fresh oil back to the surface. Check for oil that may be seeping to the surface and remove it, if found, with a rag.
For butcher block, wood countertops, and etc.
- Avoid getting dirt, water, or other liquids on the surface of the butcher block for at least the first 7-10 days.
- We recommend putting wax or parchment paper down near sinks when doing dishes and other activities that splash water about. This will prevent the water from pooling on the surface and can be easily removed after dishwashing.
- Avoid putting cutting boards, appliances, dishes, and other objects that sit close to the recently refinished surface for extended periods of time. These objects prevent airflow and can hinder Pure Tung Oil from curing.
- If you are mounting or under mounting a sink, we recommend waiting for 7-10 days before mounting the sink. We also recommend using either a Polyurethane-Acrylic Caulk or a 100% Acrylic Caulk. Silicone caulk tends to pull away from the oiled surface over time.
- If you have an under-mount sink, we highly recommend saturating the end grain of the butcherblock in the sink area with 100% Pure Tung Oil. This will help seal the very porous ends of the wood and give it the best resistance to water.
For indoor floors
- Feel free to move about on your floors with either socks or rags underfoot after applying the Pure Tung Oil. Moving across the floor with rags or cloth material is actually recommended as it will help buff and prevent any oil that may seep to the surface.
- You can move furniture back into the room after applying the Pure Tung Oil. However, keep area rugs and furniture that sits close to the floor off until the full 30 days are complete. We recommend placing plastic sliders between the floor and wooden legs of furniture. This will prevent the furniture leg from naturally pulling the oil out of the floor.
- While the oil is at its freshest (usually the first 7-15 days) do not walk across the floor with dirty shoes. The dirt will be pressed into the fresh oil and will be hard to remove.
- The floors can be temporarily covered with plastic, painters cloths, or cardboard for no more than a day.
- Avoid having any liquids sit on the surface.
For outdoor decks, siding, and other wooden surfaces
- Freezing temperatures can affect the curing of Pure Tung Oil. You will want to delay your project until the temperatures will be above freezing for a minimum of two weeks during the curing of the tung oil.
- Do not apply the Pure Tung Oil in the direct sunlight. The heat from the sun will flash polymerize the Pure Tung Oil while it is on the surface.
- Try to apply Pure Tung Oil when rain is not in the forecast for a week or two. None of us can control the weather and should it rain on your newly oiled deck don’t worry. As soon as possible, remove the water from the surface using a leaf blower or a broom. You just want to prevent the water from staying on the newly finished surface.
The beautiful thing about a Pure Tung Oil finish is that the maintenance of it is easy. We recommend cleaning the floor with mild soap and hot water. Avoid using harsh chemicals, acids, or strong solvents to clean the surface.
Maintenance coats are on an as-need basis. Outdoor projects may require more maintenance than indoor. Heavily used areas can be expected to require more maintenance than lightly used areas. Typically, surfaces that need maintenance have a very dry, or lackluster appearance compared to when the finish was originally applied.
When doing a maintenance coat you do not need to sand the surface again. Here is what we recommend;
- Make sure the surface is clean and free of dust or debris.
- Make a 2 to 1 ratio of solvent to Pure Tung Oil (2 parts solvent, 1 part tung oil). This thinned mixture can easily find any open pores and fill them.
- Thinly apply this mixture using a clean cloth. Simply wipe it onto the surface, no need to lather it on.
- Wipe up any excess that may be on the surface with a clean, lint-free rag or cloth.
- Allow this thin coat to cure for 24 hours.
- Hang oil-soaked rags outdoors to dry.
- Go back to enjoying the surface like normal!
Pure Tung Oil can last with ease for multiple years on the shelf. Here are some guidelines to help you store it properly so it can be used for your next project.
- Make sure the lid on the Pure Tung Oil packaging is tightly screwed on. This will keep air exchange from happening in the container.
- Store the bottle in a dry, moderate temperature environment. A place where it won’t freeze or become excessively hot. Freezing of the oil will make the natural fats separate from the oil. Excessive heat can cook the oil to the point where it cures in the bottle.
Want to be a Pure Tung Oil pro? Check out the Hints & Tips section!
Hints & Tips
- Do not apply or leave fresh tung oil on the surface in direct sunlight. This will flash cure it on the surface and turn it white and hazy.
- Do not sand between coats of tung oil. This is an application technique for tung oil varnishes, not pure tung oil.
- Do not use Pure Tung Oil over oil-based sealers, stains, and finishes.
- We recommend using a water-based stain to change the color of the wood before tung oil is applied (if a color other than that provided by pure tung oil is desired.) For a darker, all natural, tung oil finish check out our Dark Tung Oil and Dark Half products.
- Pure Tung Oil has not been thinned. Thinners can accelerate the drying process and greatly improve the penetration of the tung oil. In most cases, Pure Tung Oil does need to be thinned. We recommend using Citrus Solvent for a natural option, Odorless Mineral Spirits, or mineral spirits. Leave the thinning to us by using our Half & Half.
- Do not use the “Green” thinners now being sold. They contain water and will not mix with the oil.
- Remember by adding petroleum mineral spirits or other thinners, the oil may become toxic with these substances mixed into it, although the finish produced is not toxic because the thinners evaporate.
- The number of coats of oil to be applied will be determined by the intended use of the piece. One to two coats is enough for decorative work, paneling and molding. For surfaces that receive moderate to heavy use need a minimum of three on up to six coats for maximum protection.
- Apply till the surface reaches the saturation point. This will be evident as the surface will not absorb more oil.
- Do not get hung up on the number of coats, let the wood tell you when it has reached its maximum saturation.
- Renewal and/or maintenance coats are thinly applied with lint-free cloths (old bed sheets work well) or old t-shirt material on an as need be basis. A two parts solvent to one part tung oil mixture is recommended for maintenance coats.
- Pure Tung Oil will be in the wood up to the surface not on the wood like varnish or Polyurethane top coat. The end result is more like seasoning a cast iron pan. This product will give you a surface that will stand up to vigorous use and spills: water will bead on the surface.
- After the tung oil as completely cured (30 days) cleaning of the surface can be done using hot water and mild soap, such as dish soap. Avoid using hard chemicals or acids for cleaning.
Don’t know which oil to use for the specific wood species you’re working with? This infographic should help answer that query! Use the guide below to locate the wood species you are working with. Then, use the color field to see which oil would be best to use for that wood species. This guide focuses mainly on common North American wood species. If your project wood is not listed, use the Janka Scale on the right-hand side to find a wood with a similar rating to yours.
What its made of
We believe in being honest with what is in our products. So, that’s why we provide the ingredients used in them so you can rest assured knowing exactly what’s in the product you purchase from us. It’s just a way we make it easier on you.
Pure Tung Oil is made of
- Pure Tung Oil (Chinawood Oil)
Thats it! Our Pure Tung Oil (sometimes also known as China Wood Oil) is 100% cold-pressed tung oil, with no drying additives or anything else. Pure Tung Oil is approved for food contact by the FDA. View document.