PLEASE: IF responding to this post, do NOT tell me why Tung Oil is bad, and other finished are better, or to sand everything off and use Poly or Varnish instead. I have used Tung Oil MANY times with great success, and this is my first problem. I am mid-way through this project, and am only interested in replies from those with experience with Tung Oil that address what I should do NOW to fix it.
I'm finishing a table with Acacia/Rubberwood butcher block type top and it seems that the large pores of the Acacia are giving me trouble.
I followed the usual steps I always do: flooding with 50/50 Tung/Citrus Solvent for the first application, 75/25 for the 2nd, and about 85/15 or 90/10 for the third.
The second and third coats I also wet-sanded the oil in using 0000 Steel Wool and then wiped the sludge away thoroughly.
Between each coat, I wiped all excess oil off and waited for at least 4 days in between each. It took much longer to dry than I've ever experienced. But I know each coat was DRY (not of course CURED) -- because between each, I sanded lightly with either 220 sandpaper or the Steel Wool, and the dust was a fine white powder - no gummy residue, indicating it was dry enough to add another coat.
(I live in FL, but I have the table inside where it is normally air-conditioned to 76 degrees, so the humidity is NOT high. To aid in the drying I turned the AC down to 72 so the air would be even drier.)
After each coat, I noticed that the oil was continually seeping out of the pores, so I was wiping it off about every 15-20 minutes for the first 8-12 hours, and then several times a day for the next 2-3 days. Again, I've never experienced this before, and I'm sure it has to do with the large pores of the Acacia.
Still, the first 2 coats went on fine and were completely dry before applying the next coat.
On the third application, I kept wiping and buffing as usual, and all was fine until the third morning when I checked it, oil had seeped out overnight and DRIED, so now there are dozens of tiny spots that are glossier than the rest of the table. They're not white -- just glossier than the rest of the table -- and you can only see them if you look at the table close to eye level in certain light, but the table is not as smooth where the dried oil is.
In an attempt to fix, I tried sanding with 0000 Steel Wool and then wiping down with pure Citrus Solvent - and then it was like a dam broke, and oil was seeping out of the pores all over! I was able to wipe that away, but the previously dried spots are still there - the steel wool and Citrus Solvent didn't touch them. Also, the Citrus Solvent seemed to dry out the rest of the table and make it duller.
On a small section of the table, I tried using a 3M white Final Finishing Pad (which is like a Scotchbrite "scrubby") and a bit of Tung to see if that would break up the dried spots, but that did nothing.
My plan was to do 1-2 more final coats, this time of 100% pure Tung - no Citrus Solvent. However, I don't want to do that until I know the best way to proceed.
Should I wait for several weeks to make sure the oil IN the pores is fully cured, and then sand and do a coat of pure Tung Oil, wet-sanding in various steps from medium to fine, to try to get rid of the spots?
Or, if I wait for it to thoroughly dry, and sand, and then just apply the pure Tung, will the Tung eventually build up so the rest of the table is as glossy as the spots, so it won't be noticed?
Or, if I wait for several weeks and apply Polymerized Tung -- which has a glossier finish - will that bring the rest of the table to the level of gloss of the pores, making it uniform? I've never used Polymerized Tung before.
I really do not want to sand everything off and start over.
Any advice would be appreciated!