Does Formby's Tung Oil Finish darken wood?

Old 05-16-09, 08:07 PM
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Does Formby's Tung Oil Finish darken wood?

I want to refinish a rustic dining table, and want to avoid a poly finish; instead, I want an "in-the-wood" finish. But I really want to avoid darkening the wood. I know that pure tung oil will darken less than boiled linseed oil, but it takes a long time to dry. Because it's a dining table, and some protection wouldn't be bad, I am leaning toward some oil/varnish blend. I hesitate between Minwax tung oil finish and Formby's tung old finish.

I understand that Minwax TOF doesn't have any TO; instead it has BLO. On the other hand, Formby's does state that it has TO. The Formby's MDSD suggest that it is a modyfied soya tung alkyd resin finish. I read somewhere that soya oils darken the least.

Therefore, am I correct to conclude that Formby's TO, even though it's not pure TO, does have some TO and soya oil and therefore will not darken wood as much as Minwax TO finish or BLO?

If Formby's is the way to go given my goals (some protection, avoid darkening), is there any suggestion as to how to proceed? I read somewhere that someone has the first coat 75% mineral spirit/25% Formby's, then 50-50, then 25-50, and ends with a fourth coat of 100% Formby's...

And another question: if I were to go for a cerused/plicked effect, do you think that Formby's, being an oil and (I guess) unavoidably leading to some darkening, will "ruin" the cerused effect? For example, Minwax pickled oak stain states that it should topcoat with water-borne poly, not oil-based poly. I will definitely not use poly -- I will use an "on-the wood" finish.


(By the way, does getting a cerused effect is as simple as using a pickling oil-based stain? Or is it better to use some sort of "wax"?)
Old 05-22-09, 05:57 AM
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Any time I have done a cerused or "Pickled" I used a latex paint to wipe down the piece to achieve the "in the grain" effect of color. I allowed that to dry overnight and then applied either a lacquer or a waterborne polyurethane finish.

I don't know whether a tung oil finish would adhere to the undercoat.

As far as color, you can wipe the raw surface down with paint thinner and that will approximate the color when applying a clear finish.

If you are set on a tung oil finish, I would strongly suggest going to a furniture supply dealer for a 100% pure tung oil. Both Rockler and Van Dykes carry this product. The pure tung oil gives a much more durable finish - it is normally applied FULL STRENGTH - no thinning.

The instructions you saw may have related to applying tung oil over raw wood. Using the wipe on paint technique the wood will be sealed - thining is not necessary.

ANY clear oil base finish will change the color upon application and will yellow over time - Waterborne finishes will not.

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