I'm redoing our kitchen cabinets...and I want to put oil on them when
I finish stripping them.
I did one very small door a few months ago...to see how it looked when
done. I used linseed oil on it...which is what I always use. It
looks great...exactly the look I'm looking for.
I have never used tung oil...have no idea even what it looks like when
Can someone give me some practical experience they've had with tung
oil? Is it much different in application...looks...etc. from linseed
oil? This is all going on birch, BTW.
Do ya think the one door with the linseed oil will match the tung oil
door? I was planning on putting on 4 coats of linseed oil. Will I
need that many of tung oil for the same level of protection?
Have a nice week...
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!
In a kitchen setting, I would highly advise using a more protective varnish.
These cabinets tend to be abused and wiped down more than any other in your
That said, a common recipe for a finish is to mix equal parts of Boiled
Linseed oil, Tung Oil, and Varnish.
All of the above. Your mixture is often the ingredients in "Danish" oil and
its variants. The thinner is added for ease of application. Another common
recipe is what Leon said ... BLO/Tung/Poly(varnish) ... mixed by many a
woodworker, and sold commercially as "Sam Maloof" finish, among others,
because it is what he purportedly uses on his rocking chairs.
Trent, Rick is right on the turps/oil/varnish mixture. You definitely want to
use a more
protective finish than just oil. You might also look at the FWW article from
about rubbing in thinned spar varnish.
It is oil, thinner, varnish. The results are basically a Danish oil. Very
high oil to resin content. While the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 formula is common you can
vary the properties by varying the ratio's.
The thinner helps in penetration of the oil and the varnish resins provide a
bit more protection then oil alone.
It makes little sense to mix three oils, varnish being a high ratio resin to
tung oil mix to start with, since you gain little and don't get the
penetration the above will give you.
But, like chicken soup it can't hurt and if it gives you the warm and
fuzzies, what the hell.
You might want to stay away from oil based finishes for the interiors. They
have a characteristic of smelling uncured for a long time afterwords.
The Tried and True Varnish Oil is supposed to be a solution to this sort of
problem but I understand its contingent on using very thin and well cured
between coats which is most easily done when the product is heated.
I'd be more inclined to use shellac on the interiors.
Agree about shellac being a possibility. However, from my experience, the
only dependable, long lasting, ultimately satisfying way to go on kitchen
cabinets can be summed up in one word: "lacquer" ... and I like spraying
shellac every chance I get.
I would NEVER use anything but oil-based poly on kitchen cabinets, because
it has the greatest resistance to water. Of course, if you never use the
kitchen except for chinese takeout (and I think that this does in fact
characterize a lot of very expensive kitchens), then it matters not what you
use. Water-based poly is probably ok too, but it generally is more likely
to waterspot. In any case, oil finishes are not water resistant--the more
oil, the less resistance. You can mix oil and varnish or use commercial
products, but none of them will hold up as well as poly. Sprayed lacquer is
ok, and catalyzed finishes used by professionals are obviously great, but if
you are doing it yourself, brushing on poly with a Jen Manufacturing foam
brush is hard to beat for ease, total effort, and expense. And I LIKE the
smell of curing varnish, which only lasts a month or so really. But that's
me. Oil smells a lot more.
I really like oil for situations where it is possible to pretty much
guarantee that no idiot is going to put a wet glass on it, and in fact I
have been finishing some furniture pieces with just tung oil and paint
thinner. It takes about 6 weeks to finally get pretty dry, but it does
eventually dry, and it doesn't darken the wood as much as linseed. It is
also supposed to be somewhat more waterproof.
Now this isn't meant to disagree and personally, I wouldn't depend on any
oil finish for any great protection from moisture, but I've always read the
opposite. Linseed oil being more moisture resistant then tung oil. It was
supposedly it's only saving grace. But then again that is what I seem to
remember reading at some point. I'm going to see if I can find that little
piece of trivia.
On another point that came up in the tread which I'm only addressing on
yours rather then one of the other posts because it's less work then
answering two posts, so forgive me.
Kitchen cabinets are all vertical surfaces and are really only subjected to
standing water during floods. Barring that eventuality I've never seen any
reason that why oil can't be used on the cabinets (NOTE, not counter tops).
From a practical point of view not only is it easy to apply but, even if it
should become dull, it is also easily rejuvenated with further applications
Yes, oil doesn't provide a lot of protection from water but it does provide
some, more then enough to withstand the occasional sink overflow or spilled
glass of milk. Add a good coat of wax and an oil finished kitchen cabinet
set will probably stay better looking with less maintenance longer then a
lacquer finished cabinet set.
Just a thought or two.
Some practical experience tends to lead me to believe otherwise, but the
jury is still out. Although I finished my current kitchen with lacquer, my
previous one was finished using an oil/varnish. The accumulation of airborne
cooking oils grease down through the years did nothing but muck up the
latter. Had nothing to do with vertical surfaces.
I have not been that long in this kitchen, but thus far I see none of the
problems in this regard that I saw in the last kitchen early on.
They used to seal the tricks in front of the fireplace with Tung oil.
It kept the grease drippings from the pot or kettle from staining the
bricks. This was several hundered years ago. Back when I was just a
mere lad. At least I think this was what they told us at Williamsburg.
On Thu, 6 Nov 2003 08:20:29 -0500, "Mike G"
Among paddle makers, many believe that oil is better than any hard finish.
But putting a paddle in the water a gazzillion times a day isn't quite
the same as wiping up a splash of tomato sauce. Personally, if it's a
real kitchen, I'd not use anything but a hard, washable finish.
I hear the opposite from paddle makers. Tung's a tad more resistant. YMMV
Something tells me this could be debated till the cows come home.
On Wed, 5 Nov 2003 21:52:08 -0500, "Mike G"
This has frequently been empirically true, but it's because of
different driers, not because of different oils
Linseed oil has fallen from favour and now tung is more popular
(broadly speaking). This has roughly coincided with fears over heavy
metals, and a shift from lead-based driers to manganese ones.
Now there may be some difference between the oils themselves, but
there's a _huge_ difference between the effects of these driers. Lead
becomes more effective in rising humidity and manganese becomes less
so. Above 70% RH, manganese barely works (one of the reasons not to
apply oil finishes in a damp atmosphere). If you study old
gunsmithing references (The Modern Gunsmith from the 1930s is a good
book and still quite common) you'll see much discussion of the effects
of either drier, or of mixing them, on gunstocking oil finishes. Bill
Knight (The Mad Monk) has also done useful research in this area.
Even after the finishes are fully cured, there are differences in
their resultant surface. A lead-dried oil finish _feels_ different -
it's often described as having a "leather-like" texture. It's also a
matter of historical record that the favoured recipe for waterproofing
oilcloth to make travelling chests etc. was a lead based drier. This
was seen as more resistant to water, and also as lasting longer when
exposed to water.
So there may be differences in the oils, and their relative tolerance
for water. But the type of chemical drier used is even more
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