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Q: I have recently looked at a pine floor in a new house and the home owner asked if I could put tung oil on pine floors instead of poly. She told me that she had read it in a magazine, and that it said to wipe the tung oil on then wipe it off. Then, wait for a while and repeat it again. Three times. I told her that I have never done this before and that I would get some input on this matter and get back with her. Can you just put tung oil on a pine floor with out any protection on the top off the oil, and if so is this the correct procedure to do it?

A: I went through this process 6 months ago when a customer with nearly 4000 sq. ft. of new pine wanted it stained and finished, but did not want a polyurethane type product. All my emails and discussions with tech people etc. has given me this: Pure tung oil as a finish won’t work. It is very expensive and very slow drying. You would need at least 10 coats, each taking at least 2 days to dry, which would have to be repeated every 3 months. It doesn’t work! The better choice from this is the polymerized tung oil which basically is cooked and then has mineral spirits added so you can work with it and it will dry. More expensive than the pure tung oil and not a good choice.

I discovered Waterlox which has tung oil as one of the main 5 ingredients. It also contains mineral spirits, linseed oil and resins. This product is fantastic. Easy to apply. No wiping off of the finish. You just apply it with a lamby and go home. No buffing needed to gain adhesion between coats. So, easy to care for. www.waterlox.com

If you have a customer that wants that type of finish, this is the only way to go. None of the other so called “penetrating oils” do a thing.

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