Applying Waterlox Original Resin-Modified Tung Oil finishes over 100% Pure Tung Oil

Our Waterlox Original Resin-Modified Tung Oil products are compatible with 100% Pure Tung Oil1; provided the Pure Tung Oil has been applied and cured for over 30 days.

If you are not sure what the surface is finished with, one method of testing for pure Tung oil is to apply a drop of ammonia to a small, inconspicuous area. Cover the drop with something hollow to prevent the evaporation of the ammonia (e.g.: Dixie® cup, shot glass, etc.) The ammonia will not only yellow, but will eventually wrinkle the film if it is an oil coating.

To prepare the surface for re-coating with Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish (TB 5284), we recommend cleaning the surface with regular mineral spirits (paint thinner) and allowing it to dry completely. After the surface is dry, a light buff with a maroon pad or a 3M® white pad for larger jobs or 0000 steel wool or 320 grit sandpaper for smaller jobs is sufficient. Wipe down the surface with regular mineral spirits (paint thinner) a second time.

To be sure the surface is ready to be re-coated, we recommend conducting a cross-hatch test to check for adhesion before beginning the entire project.

After the surface is prepared, re-coat with the Waterlox Original Resin-Modified Tung oil finishing system; as described for the project. (One coat of 100% Pure Tung Oil is not counted as a coat for the finishing system. If however, 2-3 coats of Pure Tung Oil were applied, that would constitute one coat.)


1 Raw oil, such as 100% Raw Tung Oil, penetrates into the wood pores but does not really protect the wood. It can be difficult to apply, and they offer little or no protection to the wood substrate and can remain tacky like fly paper until dry. Because of this they require frequent and time-consuming reapplication, will water spot and are usually not recommended for working surfaces such as floors or counter tops or for use in water-sensitive areas. While Waterlox Original Resin-Modified Tung oil finishes contain a superior drying oil, namely Tung Oil, they are fully cooked varnishes, which dry quicker and form permanent films tough enough to walk on and take daily abuse. Waterlox Original Resin-Modified Tung oil finishes are also water and chemical resistant (e.g.: alcohol and alkali).

Tung oil is non-toxic and food-safe, although, Tung oil is steamed and pressed from the nut of the Tung tree which would be considered a tree nut oil. If you or someone who will be living with the finish has a tree nut allergy, consider whether or not this is a factor in finishing your wood project.

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