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  • Tung Oil or Boiled Linseed Oil


    I've seen others comment they use boiled linseed oil as a base before painting their project.
    I have never applied a base of any sort before I paint and was looking into this.
    I read that BLO is highly flammable and the a rag with it on it could self ignite. Now that would concern me some.
    So I am thinking instead of using BLO that I would try Tung Oil, which I believe is safer.
    Has anybody had any experience using Tung Oil instead of BLO as a base?

  • #2
    Tung oil has always been my choice when choosing a oil finish. Second is dainish oil. You want to use 100% tung oil. Tung oil is a more time consuming process it needs to cure between applications and times can very depending temp and humidity. There a number of good tung brands. My choice is Real Milk Tung Oil. You can find a number of sites about "Tung Oil vs BLO" That may help you make your choice.
    We live in the land of the free because of the brave!

    https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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    • #3
      For years now like Randy a big fan of Milk 100% pure tung oil. I never paint my carvings but always start my finishing process with a hardening oil. I have recently changed to Walrus Oil brand Furniture Finish Oil. It is a blend of safflower oil and several other polymerizing (curing) oils. The biggest reason for the change is the Walrus Oil product is almost odor free it has a hint of lime scent when first applied. You do need to be patient with oil finishes they need about a month out of direct sun light at room temperature to cure. If you seal the surface of the wood before the curing is completed the oil in the wood just stays as an oil.
      Ed
      https://www.etsy.com/shop/HiddenInWood https://www.facebook.com/CentralNebraskaWoodCarvers

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      • #4
        Dear Mud,

        Couple other thoughts. All oil based products have the potential for spontaneous combustion, not the same as flammable. Second tung oil and tung oil finish are completely different things. Both have there uses but should not be confused.
        Ed
        https://www.etsy.com/shop/HiddenInWood https://www.facebook.com/CentralNebraskaWoodCarvers

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        • #5
          I think about the oils and then, say to meself,,Bah, and go ahead oner. But yes in the wrong situations a lot of oils are "flammable/ explosive" and otherwise wrong. Some of my combos I use a Tung oil and Denatured Alcohol 50/50 mix. and others a BLO mixed 50/50 depends on the wood. BUT always in a vented and clear area. Safety is always on top, and gloves that don't " melt with " these oils. Well that's all .
          Chuck
          Chuck
          Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!

          https://woodensmallthings.blogspot.com/2021/01/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Muddy Dog View Post
            I've seen others comment they use boiled linseed oil as a base before painting their project.
            I have never applied a base of any sort before I paint and was looking into this.
            I read that BLO is highly flammable and the a rag with it on it could self ignite. Now that would concern me some.
            So I am thinking instead of using BLO that I would try Tung Oil, which I believe is safer.
            Has anybody had any experience using Tung Oil instead of BLO as a base?
            I know quite a few carvers who use BLO. Dave Stetson and Wayne Shinlever are two - I've taken classes from both. I use a 1" paint brush to apply the BLO, then use paper towels to wipe off the excess BLO. The brush is cleaned using a little soap and warm water in the kitchen sink. The paper towels I take out to the BBQ grill, put them in it, and light it on fire. If I burn it, it can't spontaneously ignite.

            Claude
            My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

            My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

            My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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            • #7
              I use BLO. After wiping with a paper towel, I soak the towel and lay flat to dry. Took a class by Floyd Rhadigan. He recommended this.
              Last edited by deancarlsen; 03-01-2021, 06:32 AM.
              Dean

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              • #8
                Wiping rags I hang flat, but I apply the oils with brushes, more control and easier to clean than disposing of a pile of rags.
                I use both oils, each has their place in my world!

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                • #9
                  What kind of paints do you like to use on your carvings? Oils? Acrylics?
                  I'd be inclined to do whatever artists do for the kinds of paints that they are using.

                  I'd expect maximum compatibility without any guess work.
                  Gesso for oils. Medium and/or titanium white for acrylics.

                  Me? Go to the hardware store and have them stir up a quart (medium + pigments).
                  Something that washes well with water. Two coats is usually enough.
                  Brian T

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                  • #10
                    • Linseed oil carries a slight yellow tint, whereas tung oil dries to a clear finish
                    • Tung oil creates a harder, more durable finish than linseed oil
                    • Tung oil is more water-resistant than linseed oil
                    • Raw linseed oil takes significantly longer to cure than pure tung oil
                    • Tung oil is generally more expensive than linseed oil
                    My experience used Boiled linseed at the beginning on some things that were painted. But BLO turns darker with time. Sometimes a lot, I have a few old Santas I made got them out this year, a darn area where the BLO peaked through were black I found out that black mold loves BLO with our high humidity. and .....plus it seems to never dry, and likes to attract dust. Some of the items turn so dark I went in and repainted after ten or more years. I stop using Boiled linseed for this reason. And went to other finishes. Few mentors of mine hate BLO told me the reason was it never dried, ....but I get stubborn and decided at the time to do it because others said it was ok, found out the mentors were right in my own book of opinions. Sometimes you need to make mistakes yourself to find the lessons.

                    When I paint wood, I use a sanding sealer and let it dry, then light sanding on the carving to smooth it out for painting, and then paint the item and antique it and seal with whatever kind of finish I want. I never used gesso, on wood but it awesome on canvass.

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                    • #11
                      I use a base of BLO, then right to the thinned acrylic and kind of scrub it in. My true preference is BLO and Oils, wet on wet. The issue is drying time. Oils look beautiful on wood, but take forever to dry. Just my $.02.
                      Steve Reed - Carvin' in the flatlands!
                      My FB page:https://www.facebook.com/stephen.ree...7196480&type=3

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                      • #12
                        The pictures below are my first foray into painting acrylics over the top of BLO. I painted the eyes and teeth first, then coated with BLO, let dry for about 3 days, then went over the top with acrylic...basically, the only thing that was painted was the hair and eyebrows with a water thinned Burnt Umber after the BLO coat. The skin is what the BLO looks like on the raw wood.

                        I took a class from Roger Stegall last November, and that is the process he uses on all of his carvings. I like the process so much that I am going to use it from here on out.

                        Good luck!
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Muddy, i have used BLO since 1984 with no issues, I use paper towels when wiping off the excess, then eveerything goes in a bucket which i fully wet before disposing of, hope that helps.
                          Mark N. Akers
                          My Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KarolinaKarver

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