Teak Oil vs. Tung Oil: What Is The Difference?

This article will help you to have a better insight into the teak oil vs. tung oil topic. In the paragraphs below you will get familiar with the features of both types of oils and you’ll be aware of the cons and pros of the products.

After reading this article you’ll be able to determine which type of oil is perfect for your needs. You’ll find out that it all depends on the type of wood you’re trying to protect and of course on your expectations.

You’ll find out which features are the most important and how you’ll benefit from one and the other type of all. Soon you’ll have a clear picture of teak oil vs. tung oil opposition.

Teak oil vs. tung oil comparison

Teak oil vs. tung oil – What is there to know

Considering protecting your wooden furniture and you don’t want to spend a lot of money hiring professionals?

I know that feeling, but there’s a solution for you: teak oil or tung oil – whichever you choose, it will extend your wooden furniture’s lifespan.

If you have a dilemma: teak oil vs. tung oil, here are a few basic facts about these two types of oil:

  • Tung oil is made of natural oils and it’s 100% risk-free and safe for use.
  • Teak oil is a combination of natural oils and synthetic polymers. Though it contains synthetic ingredients, it’s 100% risk-free as well.
  • Due to synthetic polymers, teak oil provides better protection and lasts longer.
  • Both types of oil are easy to apply and it will be like child’s play even if you’re a beginner.

Is teak oil the same as tung oil?

Even though you can use them to protect a similar type of wood, the answer to the question is teak oil the same as tung oil, is no.

They have different properties. Tung oil is a natural and non-toxic product completely risk-free for use.

Teak oil is also safe for use, but it’s a mixture of synthetic and natural ingredients.

Whats the difference between teak oil and tung oil

What is the difference between tung oil and teak oil?

Before making a definite decision on which type of oil you’ll use for your purposes you should be able to tell what is the difference between tung oil and teak oil.

You’re probably assuming that different types of woods need different types of care.

Both types of oil have their good and bad sides, you just need to determine which suits your cause better.

Below you’ll be able to find eight important differences between tung and teak oil.

1. Natural vs Synthetic oil

Tung oil is 100% natural. It’s made by pressing seeds from the nuts of a tung tree. No additive is added to this wood protector.

After it is applied to the wood surface it gives a nice almost plastic look alike.

Teak oil contains many components like linseed, soy, and tung oil. Besides oils it contains polymers.

Even though mentioned substances make a base of teak oil, there is no standardized blend and every manufacturer has a unique mix.

2. Toxicity

When it comes to safety it’s safe to say that tung oil is a better solution if we have in mind that it’s completely natural.

Since it is non-toxic and food safe you can even use it for countertops or cutting boards in your kitchen.

Teak oils are usually toxic because of some ingredients that manufacturers are putting in them for better goals.

Of course, on the market, there are present 100% non-toxic teak oils you can use. The only downside for these is they are usually too expensive.

3. UV Protection

If you need to maintain outdoor wood surfaces a better solution for you would be teak oil since it contains additives and filters which are giving proper UV protection.

Tung oil also provides good protection, but if the furniture will be exposed directly to the sun, it won’t be enough – so, choose, teak.

Outdoor wood furniture usually fades fast under the sun if it’s not protected properly. It’s especially true if it gets in touch with water.

So, if you have an outdoor pool and wooden furniture around it, don’t risk it, choose teak oil.

4. Application

If you don’t have the luxury to spend too much time on oil application on your outdoor wooden surfaces, teak oil could be the perfect solution for you. It’s a fast, non-time-consuming procedure.

On the other hand, tung oil is a better fit for indoor surfaces (but you’re allowed to use it outdoors if you wish as well). It’s waterproof and it gives a perfectly natural look to any wooden surface.

5. Drying time

Since teak oil is made of synthetic polymers, it has a shorter drying time. On average, teak oil drying time is between 2 and 8 hours per coat.

It could be a great advantage if you don’t have a lot of time for coating.

On the other hand, tung oil is made of natural oils which require a longer drying time. Usually, tung oil dries up to 24 hours, or even more.

Thus, if you’re coating furniture indoors, I would suggest leaving the windows open and letting the air circulate.

6. Water resistance

Both the tung and the teak oils are water-resistant and provide protection.

Due to its characteristics, tung oil is applied in thicker coats and provides better protection from water.

On top of that, tung oil provides protection from alcohol, acids, and other chemicals, which makes it perfect for the kitchen or bathroom.

Teak oil creates a thinner layer, which also provides water protection, but it’s not as effective as tung oil.

Therefore, if you apply teak oil, make sure that you have drainage and proper ventilation for your furniture.

7. Finishing

Teak oil creates a hard layer that will last longer and provide great protection in general.

Yet, teak oil may change the color of your wooden furniture.

But don’t worry, we’re talking about minimal, slight color changes

Tung oil, on the other hand, provides a natural look and creates the perfect, natural environment.

So, if you’re seeking a natural look, tung oil is a better option for you.

8. Flexibility and storage

Since it creates a thick layer, tung oil provides a flexible, plastic-like coat, which can be a great advantage if you’re applying it on furniture that expands and contracts.

Additionally, a thick tung oil coat sticks better to the glue and prevents gluing problems that may appear with teak oil.

On the other hand, tung oil is made of natural oil which makes it hard to store.

Thus, choosing tung oil will require some calculating, because if you don’t use it all at once, it will probably gumify and you’ll have to throw it away.

Teak oil contains polymers that prevent solidification and you can use it multiple times.

Teak oil vs. tung oil comparison table

To provide you with a better understanding of the difference between teak oil and tung oil, I made a teak oil vs. tung oil comparison table:

Contains synthetic polymers
Can be toxic
Provides UV protection
Easy to apply
Short drying time (2-8 hours per coat)
Highly water-resistant
Easy to store
Creates hard coat
May affect furniture color
100% natural oil
Doesn’t provide UV protection
Requires thinning and sanding
Long drying time (up to 24 hours)
Highly water-resistant
Difficult to store
Creates flexible coat
Provides natural wood color

What is teak oil made from?

Here you’ll find what is teak oil made from. The teak oil is made to protect your wood not only from UV lights and fading but also from molding.

This type of oil is made of a blend of pure tung oil and linseed oil. It doesn’t contain varnishes and artificial resins.

Check this article, if you need help choosing the best teak oil.

What is tung oil made from?

Tung oil is also called China wood oil since it originated in ancient China.

Oil is obtained by the pressing seed from the nut of the tung tree. Fatty acids are the main components of tung oil.

The fatty acid has a chain of 18 linked carbon atoms or methylene units containing three conjugated double bonds.

Tung oil contains 82% of alpha-eleostearic acid, 8.5% linoleic acid, 5.5% palmitic acid, and 4% oleic acid.

That’s all you need to know to answer the question of what is tung oil made from.

Their components make this oil perfect for wood maintenance because it’s a naturally derived substance and it penetrates deeply into the wood to keep it perfectly protected.

Is teak oil waterproof?

Even though teak oil is resistant to water damage it’s not completely waterproof.

People who are using teak oil in humid climates should be careful with the usage since it can feed mold growth.

Also, teak oil is not 100% food safe. Basically, the answer to the question is teak oil waterproof is no, it’s not.

Have that in mind when you’re thinking about teak oil usage.

Is tung oil waterproof?

The answer to the question is tung oil waterproof is affirmative. Not only is tung oil waterproof it’s also one of the most water-resistant oils.

Traditionally it has a long history as a No 1 oil used for a final finish.

Next time you ask yourself if tung oil protects your wood properly, keep in mind that this oil finish prevents ships from sinking. So, it perfectly suits your exterior woods.

The downside of using tung oil is that it doesn’t match modern varnish when it comes to durability.

If you want to avoid re-applying all the time I would recommend you a tougher top coat.

Tung oil or teak oil for outdoor furniture?

One of the most known dilemmas related to this topic is choosing tung oil or teak oil for outdoor furniture.

As it’s the case with all things, both types of oils have pros and cons.

If you want to maintain dense wood like mahogany, teak, or rosewood that you keep outdoors you may consider protecting it with teak oil.

The only downside with it is that it may change the color of the wood a little bit.

In case you’re interested in covering your outdoor wood with waterproof oil you may choose tung oils.

Keep in mind that you should use a thicker layer to avoid constantly re-applying.

Can you use tung oil on teak wood?

Yes, you can use tung oil on teak wood. Tung oil is known for its excellent water resistance and ability to penetrate deep into teak wood fibers.

It provides a rich, warm finish that highlights the natural grain patterns of teak. And in case you’re looking for non-toxic, food-safe oil for teak, tung oil will suit your needs perfectly.

While tung oil can be used on teak wood, it’s important to note that teak oil is specifically designed for teak and may provide better results in terms of color and durability.

Can you put tung oil over teak oil?

Yes, you can put tung oil over teak oil. This combination yields a distinct tactile experience, providing a more rubber-like feel when touched. While it has been a traditional practice to use a single type of oil on a particular wood surface, the possibility of mixing tung oil and teak oil exists.

However, it is advisable to adhere to the initial choice of oil to avoid any potential changes in the wood’s natural coloration. Maintaining consistency in oil application ensures the preservation of the wood’s aesthetic appeal over time.

When considering the possibility of applying tung oil over teak oil, it’s important to understand the potential outcome. The combination of these oils can result in a unique tactile sensation, giving the wood a more rubber-like feel when touched. This can be an appealing attribute for certain applications and preferences.

However, it is crucial to note that sticking to one type of oil on a specific wood surface has been a common practice. Switching between different oils may lead to a noticeable change in the wood’s color.

Each oil has its distinct characteristics and can interact differently with the wood, potentially altering its appearance. To maintain the desired aesthetic outcome, it is recommended to remain consistent with the initially chosen oil throughout the lifespan of the wood.

By understanding the differences between tung oil and teak oil and their compatibility, you can make informed decisions when it comes to finishing and preserving your wooden surfaces.

Whether you opt for tung oil, teak oil, or a combination of the two, remember to prioritize consistency to achieve the desired results while ensuring the long-term beauty and protection of your wood.

Tung oil or teak oil?

If there is a dilemma, tung oil or teak oil, have in mind there is no wrong choice. You’ll not make a big mistake choosing either one of the oils.

One type of oil can slightly better suit your needs and your budget over another. When making a final decision you should think about three things:

1. How much time do you want to spend

If you want to be quick, you should choose teak oil as a faster solution

2. What wood look do you want to achieve

In case you want to keep a natural wood look you may consider tung oil as your final choice.

3. Intended use

Do you want non-toxic, food-safe oil? Choose tung oil. Do you want a perfect finish for furniture? Use teak oil.

If you learned something valuable from this article, leave us a comment and let us know.

Oliver is a talented cabinet maker who defies limitations with a disability. Passionate about woodworking, his craftsmanship shines through creations made from the finest teak wood. With a unique perspective and unwavering determination, he's trying to improve bathroom safety for everyone.

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