What's the best oil to accentuate figure?
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
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.