Home » Music » Tru Oil vs Tung Oil – What’s BEST For Your Guitar? [A Practical Guide]

Tru Oil vs Tung Oil – What’s BEST For Your Guitar? [A Practical Guide]

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Still debating which natural polish is the best for your guitar? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Tru oil

Tru oil is made from linseed that contains additional oils, mineral spirits, and urethane varnish. The removal of the non-drying components from the mixture ensures that the finish will dry completely. 

It offers a very robust finish that is quite simple to fix if damaged. Tru-Oil is regarded by certain luthiers, gunsmiths, and woodworkers as the best wood finish on the market.

Tru-Oil offers the best of both worlds since it combines oil and varnish. It soaks into the wood to improve the grain and guard it against excessive drying while also applying a thin layer of varnish to the surface to give abrasion resistance. 

It is simpler to sand off the thin varnish covering and reapply Tru-Oil to the wood when repairs are required idea is to sand off a genuine varnish finish, strip the wood down to its bare wood, and then refinish it.

Tung oil

The tung tree, indigenous to China and a few other Asian nations, produces pure Tung oil, a drying oil derived from the tree’s seed.

For millennia, oil has been used to treat stone as well as give boats and other wooden things a water-resistant gloss. Other drying oils, including walnut, linseed, and soy, are great alternatives to pure tung oil.

The versatility, toughness, food safety, and protective waterproof finish of tung oil are just a few of the many reasons why people enjoy it for their projects. 

It also doesn’t mildew, darken, or grow rancid. Practically speaking, tung oil may be applied more quickly and easily than other oils because of how quickly it dries. 

In terms of aesthetics, tung oil also cures a lovely matte finish that enhances the depth of the woodgrain and gives any surface an antique-style feel.

Tru oil vs. Tung oil vs. Danish oil

For the final coats of finish on your DIY guitar kit, you’ll need 240mL (8oz) of tru-oil. This has a really excellent wood-like finish and is quite simple to use.

To achieve the desired results, use it with all of our products, including dye and color lacquer. 

Using dyes or opting for a natural finish will draw attention to the prior coat or the wood’s natural grain. Despite being a flammable product, it can be used without protection in your homes, garages, and storage rooms.

Tung oil, also known as China wood oil, is made by pressing the seed from the tung tree’s nut (Vernicia fordii). 

The usage of oil and references to it are said to have come from ancient China and can be seen in Confucius’ writings from around 400 BC.

When tung oil is exposed to air, it hardens (via polymerization), creating a transparent layer with an almost wet appearance. 

After several coats, the finish, which is primarily used to polish and protect the wood, may almost resemble plastic. Linseed, safflower, poppy, and soybean oils are related drying oils.

Danish oil

Popular wood finishes include Danish oil, which is essentially a blend of oil, a varnish, and a thinner. These components work together to enhance the wood’s natural beauty while offering more surface protection than simple oil finishes.

All you need to make a basic mixture is equal portions of poly, boiling linseed oil, and mineral spirits (each a third). Avoid using normal linseed oil because it won’t dry properly and will make the finish more challenging.

Each component should be added to a glass jar and thoroughly mixed. It is then prepared for usage.

Use tung oil instead of boiling linseed oil and aquatic varnish in place of poly if you want superior moisture protection. Just remember that tung oil dries.

Tru-oil vs. Linseed oil

An oil made from plants called tung oil is used to finish wood. It enhances and safeguards the wood by penetrating the grain and drying quickly.

It comes from the seeds of the tun g tree in Eastern Asia and is among the world’s oldest and most widely used wood finishes. 

Tung oil has become a standard among artisans who make excellent furniture in the United States and other countries. It is safe for food, non-toxic, and for the environment.

It is challenging to obtain furniture that is constructed with raw or 100% pure tung oil instead of linseed oil.

It’s typical for manufacturers to mislabel things as tung oil when they’re not, and many artisans will utilize polymerized or boiled tung oil. 

If you’re interested in tung oil finishes, it’s worthwhile to do some research to learn more about the specific finishes being utilized and their components. A craftsman may use tung oil to polish wood furniture for a variety of reasons.

It doesn’t age as quickly as conventional finishes like linseed oil, nitrocellulose lacquer, or varnishes like polyurethane because it is entirely natural, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.


In their pure forms, linseed and tung oil are non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and food-safe. Both of these finishes are made of plant-based oils that soak into and saturate the wood grain.

Here are some significant variations between tung oil and linseed oil:

  • While tung oil dries to a clear surface, linseed oil has a faint yellow hue.
  • Tung oil produces a tougher, more resilient finish than linseed oil.
  • Compared to linseed oil, tung oil is more resistant to water.
  • Compared to pure tung oil, raw linseed oil cures far more slowly.
  • Tung oil typically costs more than linseed oil.

Is Tung Oil The Best?

Because it doesn’t contain any solvents, pure tung oil is simple to recognize. Although implementing it is a meticulous, time-consuming process, decreasing your exposure to VOCs may be beneficial.

Each coat needs to harden for at least two to three days. A protective film requires five to seven coatings. Rushing the process or using a too thick coat results in wrinkles that must be removed with sanding.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Tung Oil?

The wood takes a very long time to absorb tung oil. Tung oil requires at least six or more coats to completely penetrate the wood and create a flawless Tung oil layer surface, unlike many other oil finishes. This takes a long time and a lot of work to complete so many coatings.

Tung oil is relatively pricier than several other similar oils such as Linseed oil. If you want to use Tung oil for significant woodworking tasks, it will be more cost effective to purchase a larger quantity.

Never leave a tung oil container out in the sun. Heat and light cause tung oil to react, ruining the product.

Tung oil is, therefore, difficult to keep. Hence, always choose a dark place that is at room temperature for storage. Keep it away from sources of intense heat and light.

The wood grain cannot be buffed out using tung oil. To achieve a smooth wood grain, the surface should be wet sanded following the application of each layer of Tung oil.

After the surface has been adequately wet sanded, the brush markings will likewise disappear.

Unlike many other finishing oils, Tung oil takes about 30 days to cure properly. Never expose Tung-oiled furniture or woodwork to direct sunshine before it has totally dried off.

Does Tru oil protect wood?

The wood can be stained before the Tru-oil is applied, just like with any other wood treatment. Simply give the wood enough time to dry so that the finish can absorb into the wood.

The project can optionally be covered in wax or varnish after receiving enough coatings of Tru-oil. 

Even though varnishing results in a tougher, more resilient surface, the finish will be more difficult to restore if that becomes necessary.

Although wax is simple to repair and can be used alone or over varnish, varnish over wax doesn’t work out well.

Does Tru Oil Darken Wood?

Pure Tung oil has an amber tinge, so it won’t darken wood (honey-colored). This shade frequently highlights the wood grain with a warm amber gloss. Dark Tung oil, however, will make the wood darker.

This is due to, depending on the type of wood, it has been changed with pigment and hydrocarbon, giving the wood a chocolate brown or darker tint.

Natural drying oil, known as tung oil, is obtained from the nuts of the Chinese-native tung tree. This all-natural wood oil has proven to be quite effective at sealing the wood and protecting it from rot, mold, and water damage.

Frequently Asked Question

What is tung oil used for?

Tung oil is applied to woodwork as a coating to aid in protection. Furniture makers use it to provide a hand-rubbed surface. It is applied to unpainted timber, yacht platforms, furniture made of wood, and flooring.

How many coats of tru oil should you apply?

Avoid the temptation to paint more than 3 to 5 coats until you check the result closely.

Which oil are you going to use to finish your woodworking project, then? The answer to this query is solely influenced by the various applications of these two oils. 

In this comparison of boiling linseed oil (BLO) and tung oil, we have gone to great lengths to highlight the many features of each oil.

As a result, you must choose where to apply any of these two oils. In order to become a proficient woodworker.