I applied a coat of pure tung oil, let it dry for a day, and then followed with several coats of high-quality waterbase. White patches began to appear three days later.

Advertisement
finishing.jpg

Q:

To finish a solid cherry tabletop, I applied a coat of pure tung oil, let it dry for a day, and then followed with several coats of high-quality waterbase. Three days after the final coat went on, white patches began to appear in the finish. What went wrong?
—Tom Lendway, Vadnais Heights, Minnesota

A:

Tom, your problem stems from the tung oil, which needs to cure for several days before it's ready for a topcoat. For that reason, we strongly recommend using boiled linseed oil rather than tung oil when you want to accentuate figure before applying a topcoat. After aplying boiled linseed oil, and with temperatures of at least 65°F and average indoor humidity, wait a week before topcoating with varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, or shellac. Lengthen your wait to 10 days before applying a water-based topcoat.