Tung Oil for Quilt Racks?

Will tung oil come off on cloth? It's a risk. October 26, 2007

If I finish a customer's custom quilt rack with pure tung oil, will I run any risk of the finish eventually deteriorating, getting sticky, or migrating into and possibly ruining an expensive heirloom quilt?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor K:
It's a possibility I wouldn't want to take. Pure tung oil is hard to find. Almost all is modified, or just thinned varnish.

From contributor D:
I've used pure tung oil a little and I don't believe there is any reason for it to do anything funky as long as it's totally cured, but that may take a while. Polymerized tung oil might be a good alternative, as it would be "tung oil," but would dry faster and harder.

From contributor C:
A pure tung oil finish with no topcoat will eventually dry out and need to be reapplied.

From contributor P:
Walnut oil would probably be better.

From contributor J:
In my opinion, tung oil is a lousy finish. It's used mostly as an ingredient in varnishes. The cachet of tung oil came from an article in Fine Woodworking magazine in the 70's which extolled it as a super finish, but it's not very hard or moisture resistant. You're better off, I think, with a good non-spar varnish (some spar varnishes never completely cure). You can speed up the polymerization of many varnishes by exposing them to UV (old guitar maker's trick).