Why We Use Tung Oil

One of our customers’ frequently asked questions is, “What product is used to finish the wood on a farmhouse table?” I love it when they ask.

Our secret is Tung Oil.

Tung oil, also known as China wood oil, is a drying oil that’s been used for thousands of years. (It was actually used to waterproof wooden ships at one time.) It’s made by extracting the oil from the seeds of nuts from Tung trees.

Tung oil has a resin in it that does 2 things: 1) It creates an incredibly rich-looking patina that enhances barn woods’ natural beauty. 2) When properly applied, it offers wonderful protection to tables (or other pieces of furniture).

We use the most premium brand available. It took us many months to find the supplier we use. (Our source is safeguarded for proprietary reasons, of course. If you become a customer, however, and ever want to re-oil your table at some point, then we’ll share our supplier with you 🙂

The particular brand of Tung oil we use gives every one of our customers the following benefits:

  • It penetrates deep into the pores of the barn wood to bring out its beauty in a very natural way. This gives our tables (and other pieces of furniture) a genuine “old world” look to them.
  • It’s incredibly water resistant. It sinks deep down into the wood and becomes part of it. Your table then becomes very resistant to moisture, dirt, common household chemicals, alcohol and variations in temperature. Imagine leaving a wet glass on a varnish-finished table for 5 or 6 hours. A cloudy mark would build up underneath its finish. This doesn’t happen with Tung oil. The oil doesn’t create a plastic-like coating on top of the wood … it’s a part of the wood itself.
  • You can always bring back your table to its original finish. We’ve had families with young children buy our tables and then desire to re-oil them after those few years of very hard use. No problem. With our instructions, your table can always be brought back to its original finish.

When finishing tables, we typically apply up to 5 or 6 coats of Tung oil. We also hand-sand the finish between each coat too. It’s a process because each application of the oil takes about 24 hours to dry. The results are well worth it though.

This is why the particular brand of Tung oil we use is special. I’ve spoken to a lot of “do-it-yourselfers” who buy low-grade Tung oil and put it on their tables … only to discover that it takes a very, very long time to dry. The whole project becomes very frustrating.

The brand we use isn’t cheap. It runs about a hundred dollars a gallon. But it’s worth it. Our customers love the look and protection that results on their tables. And that is very satisfying to us here at FurnitureFromTheBarn.


Tung oil on chestnut

Tung oil on oak

Tung oil on oak

Tung oil on white pine





Please visit the following pages for even more information:

Furniture Gallery Page: https://www.furniturefromthebarn.com/reclaimed-barnwood-furniture-gallery.php

Farmhouse Tables Page: https://www.furniturefromthebarn.com/reclaimed-farmhouse-tables.php

Customer Showcase Page: https://furniturefromthebarn.com/customer-showcase.php

Have any questions? Contact us anytime: https://furniturefromthebarn.com/contact-us.php

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