Vicki Cunningham
Vicki Cunningham
  • Hometalker
  • Trussville, AL
Asked on Oct 19, 2017

Does anyone know a way to get tung oil out of antique oak wood?

BijousRoxanegPyd29312582
+6

Answered

Would love to put a polyurethane finish on my antique oak kitchen table, but the previous owner put tung oil on it and if I can't get the tung oil out, the polyurethane will "fish eye".

4 answers
  • Pyd29312582
    on Oct 19, 2017

    An oil based polyurethane may not cause problems. Tung oil usually provides a nice finish and can easily be brought to a new finish level with application of new coats. Make repairs as needed to the wood either filling or raising and sanding or scraping, and then apply the oil. Likewise Poly can be applied in as many coats as you care to apply to get the finish you want. Sand between coats and wipe with a tack cloth. After a minimum of 3 coats rub with 'rottenstone' which is a very fine abrasive you can get at better hardware or paint stores. You mix it with a little water and gently rub to a highly smooth surface to apply your final coat of poly.
    Poly will never look as good as an oil / wax surface because it 'sits on top' of the wood, not soaking in, but the poly is very durable.
    Please practice on scrap or the underside to ensure you like the results.

    Your original question on removal - you can put the table in sunlight to warm, perhaps creating a plastic greenhouse around it for higher temperature. You would then wipe off the table and repeat until the wood stays 'dry'. A long process unless you are in the southwest!
    You can also use Oven Cleaner or Engine Cleaner to wash and dissolve oil again until the wood is dry of oil, then you will need to finish the wood with sanding and scraping etc. before you stain it if desired and protect it with the poly. I do think oil based poly produces the better finish.
    • Vicki Cunningham
      on Oct 19, 2017

      I much prefer the look of poly over tung oil, so will try the oil based poly. It also is much better, in my opinion, for use on a daily used table. It is so hard to get food off and keep clean. thanks!

  • Bijous
    on Oct 19, 2017

    Please, please don't destroy the top of this table.
    • Roxaneg
      on Oct 20, 2017

      If it's the gloss you don't like, sand lightly and use either a satin tung oil or the poly. Oil tung oil was meant to nourish the wood. Modern tung oil is more of a combination of different finishes that soaks into the wood and leaves behind a sheen based upon which one you apply-- gloss or satin or semi-gloss. It's not really oily when it's fully dry; the name is misleading.
  • Roxaneg
    on Oct 19, 2017

    If the tung oil is dry, then you can put polyurethane over the top. There should be no problem, I do it all the time.
  • Bijous
    on Oct 20, 2017

    Okay, I accept that from one Cunningham to another.
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