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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just finished a three story home using mahogany flooring. I am just a GC and have used the same floor guys for 15 years with no major problems to speak of. This homeowner wanted to use TUNG oil on the floors. The floor installers finished the floors 4 days ago and we went back to check on them and it has not dried and looks just as wet as the day they put it down. I've never had to tell these guys what to do with a finish and they never asked but after some research I found that it should be Cut 1/1 with thinner. Not sure if they did that or not? What can I do to help the situation? Any help is appreciated!
 

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You'll have to contact your subs - no telling what "tung oil" is. It could be raw tung oil, boiled tung oil, tung oil modified linseed, and so on. They should know what product they put on, how long to dry, etc.
 

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I used to finish lots of furniture with tongue oil in the cabinet shop.It takes a long time to cure and hdavis has a good point about the various types.I never cut it 1/1 but did cut it some and added some japan drier and usually some oil based varnish.This lets it dry quicker and gives a harder finish but still the same look.
If it was raw tongue oil it could take 30 days to cure.
 

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Time to start over.

This a great example of why you shouldnt let homeowners dictate products or process. Now youll have an argument. The sub will say I did what you told me to and the home owner will say why did you listen to me? I say the cost of refinish falls on whoever chose the product.

There are many types of tung oil but from what Ive read it provides almost no protection to the wood. Theyd probably walk through it six months any way.
 

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I agree with all the above. I made furniture for several years. Tried tung oil once. Took weeks to dry. What a mess.
 

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I'm surprised the question was put to the board, and not to the Floor sub.... Especially since "tung oil" can be any of dozens of finishes.

Most "tung oil" finishes are a mix of tung oil and oil based what ever. If a HO wants a "natural" tung finish, then it either raw or boiled tung oil. Raw takes for ever to harden.

For maximum penetration with boiled tung oil (or any of the modified ones), it's usually used straight on the first coat. This gives the longest drying time, but it can't be left pooled on the surface, it will just be a mess. Excess is wiped off to leave a thin coat. Thinning may be done on later coats to speed drying.

If I had plenty of time for it to dry on a floor, I wouldn't mind using it. Even the faster drying alkyd blends I've used take days between coats.

For a natural finish, I'd be inclined to use tung oil modified linseed varnish just to get a little more hardness. That's a traditional blend and dries reasonably.
 

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Time to start over.

This a great example of why you shouldnt let homeowners dictate products or process. Now youll have an argument. The sub will say I did what you told me to and the home owner will say why did you listen to me? I say the cost of refinish falls on whoever chose the product.

There are many types of tung oil but from what Ive read it provides almost no protection to the wood. Theyd probably walk through it six months any way.
+1 Tongue oil is not a good finish for a floor.
Agreed. Tung oil never really hardens, it's a dirt magnet, and it won't protect the floors.

It's easy to criticize the O.P. in retrospect for letting this happen, but it's rarely that the homeowner wants tung oil, or natural lime plaster in the shower, or a specific brand of paint, but that it's natural, or green, or hypo-allergenic, or "I heard that it really brings out the natural beauty of the wood", etc. Then you figure out the right thing to do and sell that to them.

The maintenance requirement is usually enough to talk people out of unusual or traditional finishes: "Tung oil is a wonderful, old-fashioned luxury finish. Will you be doing the maintenance or do you want to sign a contract with us? It shouldn't take more than a half day each month, and the fumes really aren't that bad. Traditionally people would have used turpentine, but we'll have to find something else, as turps is a horrible carcinogen and central nervous system poison."

How long before the owner moves in?
 

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Well, what does an electrician know ?:blink:

Somewhere along the line of the OP, floor contractor or whoever, someone could'a, should'a, would'a done a little research on tung oil before putting it down on the floors. Knowing the pro's and con's could have avoided this issue and something else more appropriate could have been used.

I come across this issue (not tung oil) all the time where the HO or Business Owner wants a certain thing, device, location, etc. because the heard that it was good (or the best). I always ask: Who did you hear that from?......the answer tends to be some dumb ass poohba on the internet, friend of a friend, neighbor, distant relative and so on.....who....never used it or did it....but thought in their head that it might be good.

Just to be nice about it, I usually agree with the client that the thing they want is good, but here is the other side of it: short life span, expensive maintenance, constant adjusting, fun for a week---then forgotten...........or my favorite reason for not using or doing something..."I can bend the laws of physics, but I can't break them".

PS...any advice from the following people on how to do something, use something or buy something...should be completely dismissed: Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dr. OZ, Jenny McCarthy, Gwyneth Paltrow, any Kardashian, and 99% of the folks on the HG channel.
 

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how it was applied would be good to know..is it wet or just tacky?

try wiping it down with mineral spirits then buffing with white pads to remove excess from the floor.

then buff it with dry rags..

give a couple days and check it..art that point...screen/sand it and apply a poly, Waterlox tung oil finish over it to fix it or hand rub same oil on it.
 

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I used 'Danish Oil' on a small heart pine floor in a 1/2 bath once, and it looks beautiful. I think it's a modified Tung oil, but not really sure. The HO's insisted on it, and I insisted on NO WARRANTY. They were fine with that, and the floor has held up great so far (5 years - recoated every 18 months or so). It said on the can 'Not for use on floors', but the HO wanted what she wanted.
PS...any advice from the following people on how to do something, use something or buy something...should be completely dismissed: Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dr. OZ, Jenny McCarthy, Gwyneth Paltrow, any Kardashian, and 99% of the folks on the HG channel.
:thumbsup: :laughing: :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well the floors are getting buffed out today. The tung oil had to be wiped off manually then the floors were given a few days to dry. The oil was selected by the homeowner and out floor guy who we've used for 15 years didn't apply it correctly. The homeowner got a straight tung oil which should have been a modified tung oil to achieve what we needed. In the end the floors came out ok and the homeowner is happy.
Thanks for the responses
 

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Well the floors are getting buffed out today. The tung oil had to be wiped off manually then the floors were given a few days to dry. The oil was selected by the homeowner and out floor guy who we've used for 15 years didn't apply it correctly. The homeowner got a straight tung oil which should have been a modified tung oil to achieve what we needed. In the end the floors came out ok and the homeowner is happy.
Thanks for the responses
Thanks for the follow up and the good news. I wish more people would let us know what the final outcome is on their questions. :thumbsup:
 

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Well the floors are getting buffed out today. The tung oil had to be wiped off manually then the floors were given a few days to dry. The oil was selected by the homeowner and out floor guy who we've used for 15 years didn't apply it correctly. The homeowner got a straight tung oil which should have been a modified tung oil to achieve what we needed. In the end the floors came out ok and the homeowner is happy.
Thanks for the responses
Glad it turned out OK, and thanks for the post:thumbsup:
 

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Well the floors are getting buffed out today. The tung oil had to be wiped off manually then the floors were given a few days to dry. The oil was selected by the homeowner and out floor guy who we've used for 15 years didn't apply it correctly. The homeowner got a straight tung oil which should have been a modified tung oil to achieve what we needed. In the end the floors came out ok and the homeowner is happy.
Thanks for the responses
BTW, welcome to the exciting world of tung oil finishes:laughing:
 

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Great info in this thread. Now the key words "tung oil" are logged into the file with things to be extra aware of. Its good to do research prior to learning a hard lesson, doesn't always happen for some reason or another. Every once in a while there is a snag but it always works out. Thanks to everyone that offered info.
 
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