I have heard really good things about finishing pine floors with tung oil, and last Tuesday I pranced to the hardware store in search. For those of you who think of a big, reeking pot of tongues (me) or a cow licking the floors (my mom) tung oil comes from the nut of the tung tree, I guess they grow in China. So I found a shiny yellow quart labeled ‘Tung Oil Finish’ by Minwax, which I bought and promptly returned home to get started. I hate waiting.
It surprised me that the label didn’t mention anything specific about the contents or tung oil and after a quick internet search on the product, I was crushed to find that there’s so much thinner and varnish mixed in that very little, if any, tung oil is actually in there. Further research backed the quality of pure tung oil, and the more I read, the more I realized what was coming; I was going to have to order this stuff online, and I was going to have to wait.
It shouldn’t be such a deterrent. I’ve waited for plenty of far off things during the build, but this one hit me right in the middle of my flooring mojo. The reasonable, get-it-right-the-first-time part of me beat the impatient part that figures it’ll probably work out, and I bought a gallon of %100 tung oil for only a little more than two quarts of the other stuff cost.
6 painful days later, it arrived at the door and I was finally able to begin. I ran at that box so fast, can’t imagine why the FedEx guy didn’t seem to share my excitement for a gallon of floor oil :D I lightly diluted it with mineral spirits, as indicated by the label, made me up a big ole’ bucket and went on my way. It went down beautifully with a rag and brought out the grain in the most lovely colour. I had nearly planned on staining the floor before oiling, but eventually changed my mind after really looking at it during my week in limbo.
I also painted the wood around the loft triangles. I’ve wanted to make them white for a while now to emphasize light up there, and I love what it did for the space. But holy my goodness there are a lot of variations of white! I went to the store with the intention of buying plain paint and was assaulted with at least 100 different shades. Our hardware store really isn’t even that big.
I am aware, however, that when faced with decisions like this I can take several years to reach a verdict, so I limited my exposure and went with the first thing that caught my eye. It’s a rich, creamy sort of white and 2 coats on primer did the trick, sanding between each. It happens to be called ‘Finer Things’, which makes Little Yellow feel fancy :D