Tung oil vs linseed oil Comparison: What’s the core difference?

When looking for the best natural wood finish for furniture or woodworking, linseed oil or tung oil might be the first choice among the woodworkers. At the same time, wood enthusiasts also consider danish oil as a natural wood finish. But many companies use this term to ensure whether they have used tung oil or linseed oil in the finishes. 

However, many woodworkers have been using synthetic finishes for many decades, but in another part of the world, people have been using linseed or tung oil for the last couple of thousands of years. In the USA, people used artificial finishes for their day to day uses, but now linseed or tung oil is broadly used across the country and beyond. 

Therefore, these wood finishes or oils are gaining popularity for their non toxicity and super eco friendly distinctiveness. 

Nevertheless, before telling you the difference between linseed oil vs tung oil, I must say what these oils mean. 

Tung oil vs linseed oil
Tung oil vs linseed oil

Linseed Oil

Linseed oil comes from flax trees; that’s why it is also called flaxseed oil. It’s one of the best wood finishes globally for making the wood more saturated and ensuring wood safety. But, at the same time, this oil also ensures the wood isn’t getting moisture or scratches. In addition, as linseed oil is environmentally friendly, it makes your wood more colorful and increases its longevity. 

However, there are three different types of linseed oil available in the market. They’re raw linseed oil, boiled linseed oil, and polymerized linseed oil. Every oil has its characteristics and is derived from flaxseed. For example, the raw linseed oil is 100% pure, whereas boiled linseed oil is a petroleum based chemical wood finish. 

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Raw linseed oil takes a massive time to fully dry; on the other hand, boiled linseed oil takes only a few hours to dry. Comparing to these oils, boiled linseed oil is the common one that every woodworker prefers to use. But it has some downsides too. As it’s chemical based, so its some toxic and hazardous components. 

Let’s be clear about polymerized linseed oil. It’s toxic free and safe to use on the kitchen or dining table, and dry faster than standard finishes. 

Tung Oil

Sometimes it’s overwhelming when you get a 100% colorless and natural wood finish because you want to finish the wood with its color. Tung oil is one of them that comes from tung trees. It dries fast and ensures wood safety. Basically, tung oil originated from China, and they have been using it for more than thousands of years for ship or boat coating. It comes from ripe tung seed oil by pressing the seeds. However, as it’s waterproof, eco friendly, toxic less, and food safe, that’s why it’s one of the best wood finishes worldwide. 

Furthermore, tung is 100% pure and can be used in its raw form; on the other hand, raw or pure linseed can’t be used. So if you intend to use tung oil on your wood furniture, that’s great, but it’s rare to get 100% pure tung oil in the market. 

What are the advantages of using tung oil? Well, there are a lot of reasons woodworkers love to use tung oil as a wood finish. They’re, its planet based 100% natural wood finish, food grade as well as doesn’t have any color. However, there is a downside you need to know, which is that it’s expensive and sometimes difficult to get. 

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What’s the core difference between linseed vs tung oil? 

There are a few similarities when they are both in their raw form, such as food grade, environmentally friendly, and toxic free. At the same time, both oils come from trees and do the same job. 

Below check the ultimate difference between tung oil vs linseed oil: 

  • As you already know, tung oil is colorless; that’s why it creates a colorless finish. On the other hand, linseed oil is naturally yellowish to colorless.
  • Linseed oil takes a lot of time to dry, whereas tung oil dries faster and makes a significant difference on the wooden surface. 
  • Linseed oil is water susceptible, but tung oil is waterproof. 
  • Raw linseed oil takes a couple of weeks to dry thoroughly, whereas 100% pure tung oil takes a couple of hours. 
  • Linseed oil is more affordable than tung oil. 

Faqs related to linseed and tung oil

How many coats of tung oil should I use?

To get the ultimate performance of tung oil, you should use a minimum of five coats on the wooden surface. 

What are the benefits of using tung oil vs. linseed oil?

There are a lot of benefits to using tung oil and linseed oil. Such as they’re natural, pure, colorless, odorless, food safe, non toxic, etc. 

Which dries faster tung oil or linseed oil?

Tung oil dries faster than linseed oil in its 100% pure form. But on the other hand, boiled linseed oil dries faster than tung oil. 

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