There's an additive you can use called "Japan Drier." Adding a small
amount of these metalic salts will help your tung oil to cure faster.
A couple of tips - a little bit goes a long way. I'll use a capfull
added to a quart of finish (pure oil, oil and thinner mixed, or with or
Don't mix more than you'll need, and don't re-mix any unused stuff with
your stockpile of finish.
One last thought ... you can also apply a spit coat of shellac over the
uncured tung oil. This will seal the oil (and smell) until it cures,
and makes a decent bond with any varnish (poly or otherwise) or top
Here's another alternative... if you're going to top coat with poly
anyway, then why not use a Sam Maloof finish and try a 50/50 mix of
tung oil and oil-based poly varnish? Apply it as you would the tung oil
... first coat thinned 50% with thinner ... just wipe it on (and wipe
the excess off). Repeat in 24 hours, and repeat THAT as necessary.
After about 3 to 5 coats, you'll start to building a finish. You can
then apply your poly straight until you build the finish you're looking