Tung Oil Versus Bar Top Sealer

It's labor-intensive, but Tung oil can rival an epoxy bar finish for toughness and water protection. July 11, 2009

Question
I am building a bathroom vanity out of white cedar and I want to use Tung oil to give it a nice golden color. After that I want to use the thick bar top pour on sealer (EnviroTex Lite) to keep water from ruining the wood. The sealer directions say it can't be used over oil so I'm assuming that the Tung oil will be a problem. Anybody tried using bar top sealer over Tung oil?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor B:
I know that you use shellac in the US. In England we have one called button shellac, and this would give a golden color. I would never use oil under a bar top finish.



From contributor R:
Cedar be some tough stuff by itself. If you want to build up a few more coats of Tung oil on top of what you already have thatís cool. You will eventually have a waterproof finish that would laugh at that "thick bar top pour on sealer" you spoke of.


From the original questioner:
That's interesting. I didn't think the Tung oil would keep my wood protected from the water. How many coats of Tung oil are we talking about?


From contributor R:
It depends if youíre using a Tung Oil thatís been cut and cut and cut some more or if youíre using a Pure Tung Oil. Many artifacts from the deep were finished with Tung Oil and look just as good today as they did hundreds of years ago. Google Tung Oil and look for Pure Tung Oil Ė itís a beautiful finish but it does require proper drying times between coats.

I would heat it up in a Dutch Oven and apply the first few coats while its warm. Remember the cedar is a soft wood and it will soak up the first few coats of oil. Eventually you will reach the saturation point and the coats from there on in wonít just soak into the wood but they will soak into each other Ė thatís when the buildup begins. You can add color to the Tung oil be they in a powder form or a UTC type color. Just make sure the powder is an Analine type made for oil's. The UTC's can be mixed right into the Tung oil.