There is a wide range of finishing alternatives available for the purpose of refinishing and/or sanding. Two of the most popular finishes are tung oil and polyurethane. It can be difficult to ascertain which one is better than the other – this, actually, is a subjective decision.
This is due to the fact that such a choice is made on the basis of the properties and advantages of the material which is adequate for the client’s current and immediate needs of beginner woodworking projects.
Tung Oil versus Polyurethane: The Difference
Penetrating into the layers of the wood surface, tung oil can take up to two days to dry completely. To top it, around seven coats of tung oil are needed to make it water resistant. Lastly, surfaces finished with tung oil need additional touch ups all year round to retain its original quality.
Unlike tung oil, polyurethane rests on the top layer of the wooden surface. It takes around half a day’s application. Additionally, it requires only two coatings of polyurethane to make the wood surface waterproof.
Tung oil can be applied to the wood surface using a normal piece of cloth whereas polyurethane has to be applied using a sponge or paint brush.A granular and rich look is obtained through the use of tung oil as a finish. This is due to the fact that its coating technique is not like that of polyurethane.
Polyurethane finish is believed to be the best alternative for mainly excessive traffic exteriors. This includes surfaces like wooden floorings among other things.
At the same time, however, a polyurethane finish is not the most suited option for more detailed woodwork – such as furnishings among other things – due to the prominent glaze, it leaves on the top of the concerned material.
Tung oil is a much better choice for such detailed items due to its trait of pervading through the layers of wood, instead of merely coating it like a polyurethane finish would.In terms of comparison, one of the most glaring cons of using polyurethane over tung oil for finishing would be the tricky method of its usage.
A surface at least relatively devoid of dust is necessary as the smoothness of the finish depends on the smoothness of the surface. This is mainly due to the fact that any overlooked dirt particulate if it remains on the wood whilst application, will be trapped there forever.
Also, there is also an equal need to be cautious about the quality of brush used for application as any stray brush bristle can also get caught within the finishing layer.