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Which Is Better For Wood?

Teak oil vs tung oil is a common comparison. They each have their own pros and cons, so they are both used for different reasons. Both teak oil and tung oil are good oils, but which is better?

Teak Oil Vs Tung OilView in gallery

Today, we will compare the two and go over why each of them is used. If you use one of them, you may end up switching or you may find comfort in the fact that you’re doing the right thing all along.

Teak Oil Vs Tung Oil

Tung oil vs. teak oil. When looking at just one of these wood oils, you can easily see everything that it can do and how it can benefit the wood. But when comparing them to the other oil, you may be able to see the flaws.

Before we begin comparing tung oil and teak oil, it’s important that we go over the two separately. Because it is difficult to compare two items without any background on them. So let’s get started with that.

What Is Tung Oil?

Tung oil is a very old oil often called China wood oil. The oil is obtained by pressing the seed from the nut of the tung tree. When hardened, tung oil becomes strong and does a good job of protecting surfaces.

Even Confucius wrote about tung oil in 400 BC. After all this time, you may think that the popularity of such an ancient oil has dropped, but it has not. Tung oil is still a wonderful oil for protecting wood.

What Is Teak Oil?

What Is Teak OilView in gallery

Teak oil is not a simple oil like tung oil. Teak oils are made from other oils, such as tung oil or linseed oil. Additives are mixed in with the intent of making the oil especially effective on teak wood. This doesn’t limit the oil though.

Teak oil is known for being fast-drying and offering a lot of protection for many different types of wood. Some teak oil has polymer mixed in to make these effects even stronger, giving a hard, fast-drying finish.

Which Is Better? Teak Oil Or Tung Oil?

Which Is Better? Teak Oil Or Tung Oil?View in gallery

Now that we’ve gone over tung oil and teak oil separately, it’s time to compare them. To do that, we will be listing categories and giving each category a winner. Time to find out which wood oil is better for you.

Price: Tie

This one is a tie because some people prefer pure oils while others want enhanced oils. Teak oil is enhanced so it costs about the same as tung oil which is 100% natural and derived from the tung tree.

The fact that one is pure and the other is enhanced evens out the prices. You can expect to pay around $20 for 16oz or $1 per ounce if you get it in bulk. If you find something much more than this, shop around first.

Protective Quality: Teak

While both teak oil and tung oil offer a lot of protection, teak oil offers more overall. It works better on hardwoods and is more scratch-resistant. Since this is where the protective quality of the oil is measured, teak oil wins.

This does not mean that tung oil is not effective it simply means that teak oil dries harder and thus, offers a more protective shell. So if all you want is the hardest finish, then teak oil is your best bet.

Versatility: Tung

Because it is in its natural form, tung oil is versatile. It doesn’t penetrate wood, is always safe to use, and the wood can be worked with after you apply the oil. The same can’t be said for teak oil.

If you don’t know if you should use tung oil or teak oil for your wood then tung oil is a safe choice.

Doesn’t Discolor: Tung

Teak oil can discolor wood, especially porous wood. If you don’t want this to happen then tung oil is a better bet. While teak oil doesn’t always discolor wood, there is a better chance that it will than tung oil.

However, teak oil can definitely give your wood a warm and radiant glow. So if you want the discoloration then teak oil can do that. But if you want the original color to remain forever then tung oil is better.

Drying Time: Teak

Teak oil dries faster than tung oil. Tung oil make take two to three days to dry fully. But teak oil will dry in less than ten hours. In addition, you can add new coats to teak oiled wood more often than you can with tung oiled wood.

You can add another coat of teak oil just a few minutes after you add the first coat. But with tung oil, you may have to wait hours. So if drying time is important to you the teak oil is the only valid option.

Storage: Teak

If you try to store tung oil for an extended period of time, you may end up with a gummy mess in the can. But teak oil seems to store fairly well due to the additives, some of which are added so that it will store well.

The additives are not natural and are used to make sure that the teak oil lasts as long as possible. These additives are preservatives, which brings us to our next point.

Ease Of Use: Teak

Though this is a close battle, teak oil comes out on top. It is easy to apply, easy to recoat and dries nicely. You can have the entire piece of furniture coated fully and dried in just one day. The same can’t be said for tung oil.

Toxicity: Tung

Because tung oil is natural, it is non-toxic. This is a huge plus for those who want shiny wood but don’t want to add chemicals to it. Chemicals have been added to teak oil to give it that extra kick, so it can be toxic.

The exact formula changes depending on the brand but tung oil remains the same. It is a natural oil that is derived from tung seeds. This is something you can always count on when buying it in its pure form.

Water-Resistance: Tung

Because it is a natural oil, tung oil is resistant to water. Teak oil is not as resistant but it likely won’t let the wood mold. But if you live in a region with high humidity, then consider using tung oil instead of teak oil.

Teak Oil Vs Tung Oil FAQs

Teak Oil Vs Tung Oil FAQs View in gallery

Now that we’ve compared teak oil vs tung oil, it’s time to get down to some fast FAQs for those who like to get straight to the point. Let’s get started with these frequently asked questions about tung oil and teak oil.

How Long Do They Last?

Tung oil should be redone once every six months if you want to keep your wood in good condition. Teak oil should be reapplied once every six months to a year. So it can last longer but feel free to reapply sooner.

What Is The Best Oil For Teak Wood?

Teak oil was designed for hardwoods like teak. So it is the best oil for teak wood. Even if new oils come out or are invented, teak oil will be hard to beat for teak wood in particular. So stick with it for that teak.

How Many Coats Of Should I Apply?

You can reapply teak oil every few minutes and you usually don’t need more than two coats. But tung oil on the other hand will need at least five coats if you want a similar protective quality as you would with two coats of teak oil.

Is Linseed Oil Different Than Tung Oil?

Linseed oil and tung oil are very similar because they are both derived from seeds. They are wonderful plant-based oils that can do wonders for any wood surface. They are nearly interchangeable and can even be mixed.

Are Teak Oil And Tung Oil Mineral Oils?

Mineral oil is an oil that is colorless, odorless and has high alkane values. Teak oil and tung oil are not mineral oils. But what really separates mineral oils and tung oils is that mineral oils are chemicals.

Which Is Better For Cutting Boards?

It is not recommended to use teak oil on cutting boards. No chemicals should be used in the kitchen without being thoroughly rinsed afterward. But tung oil is safe to use in the kitchen, even on cutting boards.

What Happens When It Puddles On Wood?

If teak oil puddles on wood and isn’t dried up immediately, it can leave a dark spot n the wood. It can even wrinkle up and leave an ugly mark. Tung oil will take longer to leave a mark and won’t darken the wood.

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