Old Craft Made New
The delicate artistry involved in staining wood is a process as old as antiquity, and has been used for centuries by craftsmen to enhance the beauty, and protect the life of any woodworking project. Traditionally used oils, such as linseed, safflower, and walnut, as well as other plant extracts have been utilized for their beautifying qualities and protective benefits throughout Europe and the Americas. However, for many centuries the Chinese have known and profited from the use of pure Tung oil in wood staining.
Tung oil is generated by processing the dense seeds of the deciduous Tung tree. These trees are especially susceptible to specific weather and frost conditions. Their natural growing tendencies, therefore, restrict cultivation to certain Asian and South American climates.
Recently, however, a trend in the use of Tung oil to replace linseed oil in the wood staining process of fine furniture has taken place. Its curing and aging properties exceed those of any other wood finishing oil, making it an ideal application where certain conditions are imperative. Tung oil will not darken over time, it cures quickly through an oxidation process, not evaporation, and will not mold. These benefits, along with forming a flexible waterproof finish, great grain penetration, and its refusal to peel or blister, combine to produce an outstanding finishing product.
Uses and Advantages of Dark Raw Tung Oil
Especially useful in creating an antique look and fine patina on crafted woodwork, floors, or molding, Dark Raw Tung oil contains all the benefits of pure Tung oil, and is applied using the traditional oil staining methods, but includes the advantage of accepting citrus solvent, mineral spirits, or other similar thinners to increase penetration and drying times. (Using a toxic thinning agent will change the non-toxic properties of the oil)
A generous first coat should be applied, and then any excess removed with a cloth. The number of coats required will depend upon the desired appearance, with renewal coats applied as needed.
Dark Raw Tung Oil is treated with a non-toxic, naturally occurring resinous hydrocarbon to deepen its tincture. Allow it to thoroughly dry between coats to correctly ascertain the depth of color and saturation. Buffing or waxing is required to generate a glossy shine on the piece.
Particularly suited for surfaces that will endure heavy use, Dark Raw Tung oil produces a lasting matte finish that will splendidly adorn any piece of furniture. The process of staining wood has been wonderfully renewed by the addition of this oil product, which will literally magnify and enhance the surface of many projects.
Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.