Tongue Oil Question: When can I paint?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    53

    Default Tongue Oil Question: When can I paint?

    I happily applied tongue oil to 20 of my deep hive boxes only then to read that is says, "reapply annually." I now have 44 hives and will certainly not be rubbing tongue oil into each deep every year. My question is: how long after a tongue oil application should you wait to paint the boxes? Its been 2 years and we are in dry Arizona so I'm thinking I can go ahead and paint them but don't want the paint to be rejected if the oil is still in the wood.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,142

    Default Re: Tongue Oil Question: When can I paint?

    Tung oil oxidizes and forms a hard finish. Lightly sand, paint with an oil base primer, and then topcoat with the paint of your choosing.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Tongue Oil Question: When can I paint?

    Alright got it, will do. Thanks for the information.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    George County, MS
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Tongue Oil Question: When can I paint?

    Tung oil is polymerizing oil. That means as it oxidizes (it doesn't dry; it cures) it forms inter-molecular links that harden it. In chemical terms, it becomes a natural plastic.

    If you thin the tung oil before you apply it, it can soak into the wood fibers and harden them. The standard recommendation is 50/50 tung oil/citrus solvent for the first coat. (Pine oil and mineral spirits can also be used as solvent for outdoor applications). Second coat is 75/25 dilution. Last coat, very light coat is pure tung.

    With indoor uses (i.e. tables, bowls, cutting boards, etc.) surface rubbing is expected so an annual reapplication is recommended. However, I have a set of kitchen knives that I use daily, that have a 10 year old coat of tung oil on the wood handles that looks as good as the day it was applied. I think that recommendation is to sell more product. (A legend about tung oil is that the stones of the Great Wall of China were boiled in tung oil before they were mortared into place 3000 years ago.)

    Outdoors it becomes a barrier to water, rot, and termites. As the surface weathers and degrades due to UV, it forms a protective barrier over the interior material. It can be painted ... but why?

    I get my tung oil at www.realmilkpaint.com

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