How To Use Tung Oil On Wood Floors? |8 easy Comprehensive Guide

How To Use Tung Oil On Wood Floors

Looking to breathe new life into your wood floors? Introducing tung oil for finishing wood floors! Derived from the seeds of the tung tree, this natural oil has been cherished for centuries for its ability to enhance wood’s beauty and offer durable protection. But how to use tung oil on wood floors for best results?

To use tung oil on wood floors, start by preparing the surface with thorough cleaning and sanding. Apply thin, even coats of tung oil using a brush or cloth, allowing each coat to dry completely. Sand lightly between coats for a smooth finish. Allow the final coat to cure before use.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step guide with tips to use this oil perfectly. Without wasting time, let’s dive into the main discussion.

8 Steps How To Use Tung Oil On Wood Floors Perfectly:

For a flawless finish on your wood floors, follow these steps to use tung oil effectively. From surface preparation to final curing, this guide ensures your floors receive the perfect application for lasting beauty and protection.

Step 1: Thorough Surface Preparation

Before applying tung oil, ensure the wood floors are properly prepared. Start by cleaning the floors thoroughly to remove any dirt, dust, or residue. Besides, sand the wood lightly to create a smooth surface and to open up the wood pores, allowing the tung oil to penetrate more effectively. Proper surface preparation is crucial for achieving a beautiful and long-lasting finish with tung oil.

Step 2: Ventilate the Area

Ensure proper ventilation in the room where you’ll apply the tung oil. Open windows and doors for adequate airflow, as tung oil can have a strong odor.

Step 3: Use High-Quality Tung Oil

Opt for high-quality tung oil to ensure optimal results. Pure tung oil is often preferred for its natural finish and deep penetration into the wood fibers. However, tung oil finishes, which may contain additives for faster drying or enhanced durability, can also provide excellent results. Choose a tung oil product that meets your specific needs and preferences to achieve the desired outcome on your wood floors.

Step 3: Mix Tung Oil

If you’re using pure tung oil, you may need to dilute it with a solvent like mineral spirits or citrus solvent according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Mix the tung oil thoroughly before application.

Step 4: Apply Thin, Even Coats

When applying tung oil to wood floors, it’s essential to apply thin, even coats for the best results. Use a brush, lint-free cloth, or applicator pad to apply the oil, working in small sections at a time. Be mindful not to apply too much oil at once, as this can lead to drips, puddles, or uneven drying. Applying thin, even coats ensures uniform coverage and a smooth finish on your wood floors.

Step 5: Allow Proper Drying Time

After applying each coat of tung oil, allow sufficient drying time before applying the next coat. Follow the given instructions regarding drying times, which can vary depending on factors such as temperature, humidity, and the type of tung oil used. Rushing the drying process can result in uneven drying and may compromise the quality of the finish. Patience is key to achieving optimal results with tung oil on wood floors.

Step 6: Sand Between Coats and Wipe

To achieve a smooth and flawless finish with tung oil, sand the wood floors lightly between coats. Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections, rough spots, or raised grain. Sanding between coats helps to promote better adhesion of subsequent coats and ensures a uniform finish across the entire surface.

After sanding, be sure to wipe away any dust or debris before applying the next coat of tung oil. Wipe away any dust with a clean, dry cloth before applying additional coats of tung oil.

Step 7: Build Up Multiple Coats

For enhanced protection and a more durable finish, consider applying multiple coats of tung oil to your wood floors. Each additional coat will build up the protective layer and deepen the richness of the finish.

Take your time to apply thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Building up multiple coats of tung oil will help to achieve a beautiful and long-lasting finish on your wood floors.

Step 8: Allow Final Cure

After applying the final coat of tung oil, allow the floors to cure for at least 48 hours before placing furniture or rugs back onto them. This allows the tung oil to fully penetrate and harden, providing durable protection for the wood.

10 Tips To Get The Best Results From Tung Oil For Wood Floors:

You can enhance the effectiveness of tung oil by combining it with other ingredients to create a custom wood finish. Here are some ingredients you can consider adding:

Tip 1: Enhance Durability with Polyurethane

Mixing tung oil with polyurethane can increase the durability and water resistance of the finish. Polyurethane adds a protective layer over the tung oil, making it more resilient to scratches, stains, and moisture.

However, keep in mind that adding polyurethane may slightly alter the natural look of the wood compared to pure tung oil.

Tip 2: Accelerate Drying with Japan Drier

To speed up the drying time of tung oil and reduce waiting periods between coats, you can add a small amount of Japan drier to the mixture. Japan drier contains metal salts that catalyze the oxidation process, allowing the tung oil to dry faster. 

Be cautious not to add too much Japan drier, as excessive amounts can lead to over-hardening and potential cracking of the finish.

Tip 3: Improve Penetration with Citrus Solvent

Citrus solvent, derived from citrus fruits, can be added to tung oil to improve its penetration into the wood fibers. Citrus solvent acts as a thinner, helping the tung oil to spread more evenly and deeply into the wood.

Further, citrus solvent has a pleasant scent and is less toxic compared to traditional solvents like mineral spirits.

Tip 4: Boost UV Protection with UV Absorbers

To protect wood floors from sun damage and discoloration, consider adding UV absorbers to the tung oil mixture. UV absorbers help to block harmful UV rays, preventing the wood from fading or yellowing over time.

This is particularly beneficial for wood floors exposed to direct sunlight or UV-rich environments.

Tip 5: Add Color with Pigments or Dyes

If you desire a specific color or tone for your wood floors, you can incorporate pigments or dyes into the tung oil mixture. Pigments and dyes come in a variety of shades and can be mixed to achieve custom colors.

Try experimenting with different concentrations and combinations of tung oil to find the perfect hue for your wood floors.

Tip 6: Increase Water Resistance with Beeswax

Adding beeswax to the tung oil mixture can enhance water resistance and provide an extra layer of protection against spills and moisture. Beeswax creates a barrier on the surface of the wood, helping to repel water and prevent damage.

Be mindful that beeswax may slightly darken the appearance of the wood, so test it on a small area first to ensure compatibility with your desired finish.

Tip 7: Improve Scratch Resistance with Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax is another natural ingredient that can be mixed with tung oil to improve scratch resistance and durability. Carnauba wax creates a hard, glossy finish that helps to shield the wood from scratches, abrasions, and wear over time. Incorporating carnauba wax into the tung oil mixture can result in a more resilient and long-lasting finish on your wood floors.

Tip 8: Enhance Depth and Sheen with Shellac

For a richer, deeper finish with a higher sheen, consider adding shellac to the tung oil mixture. Shellac creates a lustrous, glossy surface that enhances the natural beauty of the wood.

Also, it provides added depth and dimension. Mixing shellac with tung oil can result in a more luxurious and elegant appearance for your wood floors, especially when applied in multiple coats.

Tip 9: Reduce Odor with Essential Oils

If you’re sensitive to the strong odor of tung oil, you can mitigate it by adding a few drops of essential oils to the mixture. Essential oils not only help to mask the smell of tung oil but can also impart a pleasant fragrance to the wood floors. Choose essential oils with scents that you enjoy, such as lavender, citrus, or cedar, and add them sparingly to the tung oil mixture for a more enjoyable application experience.

Tip 10: Seal and Protect with Wax or Varnish

After applying tung oil and allowing it to dry completely, consider sealing and protecting the finish with a layer of wax or varnish. Wax provides an additional barrier against moisture and wear, while varnish adds a clear, protective coating that enhances durability and gloss.

Applying a topcoat of wax or varnish can prolong the life of the tung oil finish and keep your wood floors looking beautiful for years to come.

Note: While many of these tips are based on common practices and the properties of the suggested ingredients, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of each method may vary depending on factors such as the type of wood, environmental conditions, and personal preferences.

Related Questions:

What Should You Not Do To An Oiled Wooden Floor?

To maintain the integrity of an oiled wooden floor, avoid certain practices. Firstly, refrain from using harsh chemical cleaners or abrasive tools, as these can damage the oil finish. Also, avoid excessive moisture exposure, such as standing water or wet mopping, as it can cause warping or staining.

Lastly, prevent heavy furniture from dragging across the floor to prevent scratches, and use felt pads under furniture legs to minimize damage.

What Grit Sandpaper Is Recommended For This Project?

For sanding wooden floors before applying tung oil, it’s recommended to start with medium-grit sandpaper. It typically around 120 to 150 grit, to remove any existing finish or imperfections. After this initial sanding, progress to a finer-grit sandpaper, such as 180 to 220 grit, for a smoother surface.

Finally, use an even finer-grit sandpaper, around 320 to 400 grit, for a polished finish between coats of tung oil, ensuring a flawless and professional result.

Can Tung Oil Be Used On Engineered Wood Floors, Or Is It More Suitable For Solid Wood?

Tung oil can be used on both engineered and solid wood floors. But it may perform differently on each. Engineered wood has a veneer of real wood on top of a plywood base, while solid wood is made entirely of wood. Tung oil can enhance the natural beauty of both types.

However, it may penetrate differently due to the engineered wood’s construction. Testing on a small, inconspicuous area is recommended to ensure compatibility and desired results.

How Frequently Should Tung Oil Be Reapplied To Protect And Maintain Wood Floors?

The frequency of reapplying tung oil to wood floors depends on various factors such as the level of foot traffic, environmental conditions, and personal preference for the appearance of the floor. As a general guideline, it’s advisable to reapply tung oil every few years like 1-2 years to maintain the protective finish and refresh the appearance of the wood.

However, some high-traffic areas may require more frequent reapplication to ensure continued protection against wear and tear.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Tung Oil On Wood?

Tung oil offers many benefits. However, it does have some disadvantages. Firstly, tung oil can be slow to dry, requiring multiple coats and extended drying times between applications. Further, pure tung oil may not provide as durable a finish as synthetic alternatives.

This makes it more susceptible to scratches and wear. Furthermore, tung oil can darken with age, potentially altering the appearance of the wood over time. Lastly, tung oil may require regular maintenance and reapplication to maintain its protective properties.


Knowing the proper approach of how to use tung oil on wood floors is key. Using tung oil on wood floors can be a rewarding process that enhances both the appearance and durability of the wood. Before applying any additives to tung oil, it’s advisable to conduct thorough research, perform compatibility tests, and follow manufacturer recommendations. This will help ensure that the desired results are achieved while maintaining the integrity and longevity of the wood finish.

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts