What is Tung Oil?

Wood finished with Pure Tung Oil

What is Tung Oil and why do we use it?

Lets jump straight in, what is Tung Oil? Tung Oil is a hard wearing, naturally derived oil, extracted from the seed of the tung tree, and so is completely free from additives making it non-toxic and safe to use in all environments and on a variety of items.

As well as being highly resistant to water, Tung Oil helps to prevent drying and deterioration of wood.

It is ideal for sealing bare and unfinished wood, helping to prevent it from marking and staining with use.

It's these traits which make Tung Oil a great choice for food surfaces such as kitchen worktops, as well as kitchen utensils, children’s furniture and toys, and even outdoor wood such as decking.

Although Pure Tung Oil is easy to apply with a foam brush or lint free cloth, as it a natural oil that contains no thinners or drying agents, it has a longer drying time (of 24 hours) than some other oils. This is important to consider when oiling outdoor wood, such as decking.

It dries to a natural, matt finish and can be used on all types of wood, both hardwood and softwoods to enhance the natural beauty of the grain. 

How to use Pure Tung Oil


As well demonstrating how easy it is to use our Pure Tung Oil, you will also see the effects of the oil on 3 different pieces of wood: beech, oak and walnut - light to dark coloured woods.

You can see how the Tung Oil darkens them to a different degree but enhances the grain of the woods. 

Tung Oil Overview;

  • 100% Natural, non-toxic and safe to use
  • Highly resistant to water and food stains
  • Helps to prevent drying and deterioration of wood
  • Dries to a natural, matt finish
  • Drying time of 24 hours
  • Coverage: 20m2 per litre
  • Coats: 3 coats to bare wood
  • Re-coat time: Once previous has dried
  • Maintenance: Once a year, or when showing signs of 'drying'
  • Application: Apply with a Foam Brush or Lint Free Cloth

Tung Oil Uses

Being a natural oil, Tung Oil is safe to use in all environments and on all types of wood, including;

  • Interior and exterior wood
  • Hardwoods and softwoods
  • Food surfaces such as kitchen worktops and dining areas
  • Kitchen utensils
  • (Children’s) Furniture and toys
  • Doors and Windows
  • Hardwood Floors
  • Turned Wood
  • Untreated timber and bare wood
  • Decking

Wood Finishing Oils

Using an oil to finish either stained or bare wood is a good option to provide protection from daily use, weather and moisture.

Wood oils are easy to apply and will help enhance the natural beauty of the wood.

When it comes to choosing a specific oil, it mostly comes down to the environment the item is being used, how you want the finished article to look and if it is a natural oil. 

I hope this has helped answer the question 'what is Tung Oil?'; if you want to learn more about wood oils, or if you need help deciding which of our Wood Oils would the most suitable for the item you are working on, read our blog all about Wood Oil Finishes.