How to Refinish With Polyurethane Over Tung Oil

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Things You'll Need

  • Gloves

  • Mask

  • Tarp

  • Chemical paint stripper

  • 3-inch flat paint scraper

  • Paint scraper for detailed scroll work

  • Dish washing soap

  • Bucket

  • Water

  • Sandpaper, fine grit

  • Tung oil

  • Fine grit scrub sponge


For a perfect finish use sandpaper between polyurethane coats. Between coats of polyurethane, examine the surface of the wood for imperfections in the finish. Sand the small bubbles and drip marks with fine grit sandpaper. Wipe away the dust and then apply the next coat of polyurethane.

Tung oil and polyurethane give a warm, natural finish.

Some homeowners prefer painted or stained furniture and others enjoy letting the natural colors of the wood shine through. Leaving the wood in its natural state, however, does not mean that you should leave it unprotected. Wood will retain its moisture and stay looking soft and beautiful only when coated with a protective layer of finish product. Tung oil and polyurethane will enhance the natural tone of the wood while keeping the wood form getting brittle and damaged.


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Step 1

Put on a mask, protective eye wear and rubber gloves. Dip an old paintbrush into paint stripper. Apply a thick coat of the paint stripper to wood. Allow the stripper to sit on the wood and soften the finish for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 2

Remove the original finish on the wood with a paint scraper. Hold the scraper away from your body and pull toward you to pull the finish off in long strips. Wipe the paint residue onto the side of a bucket.

Step 3

Mix 1 tbsp. of dish washing soap with warm water. Soak a sponge with the soapy water and wring out most of the water. Wipe the wood to remove the chemical residue. Let the wood dry.


Step 4

Attach a piece of fine grit sandpaper to a palm sander. Sand the wood with the sander to smooth the surface. Remove all remaining traces of stain and finish coat. You should be left with bare wood.

Step 5

Squirt 2 tbsp. of tung oil onto a rag. Wipe the tung oil into the bare wood. Wipe away the excess oil. Continue applying tung oil to a rag and wiping away the excess until you have covered the entire surface. Let the oil absorb into the wood until it is no longer glossy. Add two to three coats of the oil.

Step 6

Dip a fine grit scrub sponge into the polyurethane. Rub the finish into the wood until it is coated with a light layer. Let the polyurethane dry overnight. Apply two to three coats of the polyurethane allowing each a day to dry before applying the next.



Lisa East Hunter

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.