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I bought IKEA GERTON Beech Wood Tabletop. The instructions say to use STOCKARYD wood treatment oil. It seems to be quite simple. They said in IKEA to use K 400 or K 500 sandpaper, when I asked them.

It looks like this STOCKARYD is Linseed oil + tung oil.
I consider using Pure Tung Oil instead, because I found this info:

A pure tung oil finish has a honey-like color, and while linseed oil starts out with similar yellowing it fades to a darker orangey finish over time.

The problem is that standard “boiled” linseed oil sold as a wood finish contains heavy metal additives to aid drying: lead acetate and cobalt-manganese. These compounds are neither safe for you nor safe for the environment.

And Tung oil is said to be food-safe.

- How much harder is applying Tung Oil compared to this STOCKARYD from IKEA for a complete beginner like me?
- Will STOCKARYD oil really turn orange over time?
- Is Tung Oil worth the additional effort?

Here's how I understand I should apply STOCKARYD:

  1. Sand the table top’s surface along the wood grain with K 500 fine sanding paper. (it's very smooth already)
  2. Apply a thin layer of STOCKARYD with a soft cloth.
  3. Wipe off any unabsorbed oil with a cloth 20 minutes later.
  4. Let the surface dry for 12 hours.
  5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 one or two times.

Can I just apply Tung Oil the same way?

Additional information about STOCKARYD:

On the Ikea website, they list such ingredients for STOCKARYD oil:

Wood treatment oil, Linseed oil, Drying agent

And they advertise it this way:

It offers combined benefits of linseed oil and tung tree oil.

However on the STOCKARYD oil can it says:

Contents: Linseed oil and tung oil.

Here are the instructions from the GERTON Tabletop box:

How to care for your new table top. Lightly sand the table top’s surface with fine sanding paper, then remove all sanding dust. Apply STOCKARYD wood treatment oil onto a soft cloth and then wipe over the surface to create a thin, even film. Leave to penetrate the surface for approx. 20 minutes. Wipe off any unabsorbed oil with a cloth. Let the surface dry and repeat the oil treatment 1-2 times if required, depending on the absorbency of the wood. Soak any used cloth impregnated with this wood treatment oil in water immediately after use, or store in an airtight glass or metal container to prevent the risk of self-ignition. Scratches and small impact marks can be removed by sanding with fine sandpaper on a sanding block. Always sand along the wood grain. Repeat the above process 1-2 times: apply wood treatment oil, leave to penetrate and then wipe off unabsorbed oil.For daily cleaning, use common soap and water – never any form of chemical.

And here are the instructions from the STOCKARYD Oil can:

Instructions: Lightly sand worktop surface with fine sanding paper, then remove all sanding dust. Apply STOCKARYD onto a soft cloth then wipe over the surface to create a thin, even film. Leave to penetrate the surface for approx. 20 minutes. Wipe-off any unabsorbed oil with the cloth. Let the surface dry and repeat the oil treatment 1-2 times if required, depending on the absorbency of the wood. Drying time: Touch-dry and water repellent after 4-6hrs. Re-coatable after 10-12 hours (20 ± 5°C, rel. humidity 45-70%). Coverage: 14-18 m2/500 ml for one treatment ‒ depending on the absorbency of the wood. Storage life: 36 months in unopened factory- sealed container. Storage life of opened container is 12 months, when the container is closed properly. To easily re-open the container again, clean oil out of the sealing rim and sides of the container until it is dry.

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  • Hi, welcome to StackExchange. We already have a few Questions here that touch on the food-safety thing (this is a non-issue you don't need to concern yourself with as far as the finished surface is concerned), talk about tung oil versus BLO and about how you can/should apply tung oil (there isn't just one method). So I think most of what you ask about is well covered by information already available here. After you've looked at the previous Q&As that are relevant if you still have a query feel free to ask this as a new Question.
    – Graphus
    Jul 10, 2022 at 21:37
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    BTW this information you found: "The problem is that standard “boiled” linseed oil sold as a wood finish contains heavy metal additives to aid drying: lead acetate and cobalt-manganese. These compounds are neither safe for you nor safe for the environment." Is both wrong and hopelessly out of date! Lead acetate hasn't been used commercially as a drier in decades.
    – Graphus
    Jul 10, 2022 at 21:42
  • You're concerned about the drying agents in Tung Oil, yet the Stockyard oil contains "Drying agent" per your quote. (Yes, I know I spelled the oil name wrong. Sorry, that's all I can see every time I see it.)
    – FreeMan
    Jul 12, 2022 at 17:23

1 Answer 1

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Yes sure, you can use just the Tung oil. 100% Tung oil is food safe once it is dry. It’s what I would choose. You still don’t want to breathe the fumes while it’s drying though, so you should make sure you apply the oil in a well-ventilated space.

You can lightly hand sand between dried applications. Don’t fuss too much over grit, you just want a gentle roughing of the surface. 2-3 applications is sufficient. You can add more coats in the future depending on how much abuse the table takes.

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    What fumes? The only reason to apply tung oil (or any other drying oil) in a well-ventilated space is because they need oxygen to cure. Of course some users might not like the smell of any given oil, but it's just that: a smell. It's not fumes as the word would generally be used.
    – Graphus
    Jul 10, 2022 at 21:40
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    @Graphus some Tung oils have additives (or recommend mixing with mineral spirits) to aid in drying. If the OP isn’t using the wood for a cutting board, they definitely don’t want to be breathing in the hydro-carbon based solvent as it evaporates. Jul 10, 2022 at 22:15
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    "some Tung oils have additives" not any of the type the OP specifically is asking about and to which you refer. Whether some application recommendations for pure tung oil say to thin the first coat is a detail you should refer to in the Answer if you feel it must mention a danger of fumes. [BTW, thinning the first coat is a tip that's widely repeated, including for both main types of linseed oil, but it isn't universal advice for a reason. I've done comparison tests numerous times and if the goal is to build a full finish of the oil there's normally no reason to do it. [contd]
    – Graphus
    Jul 11, 2022 at 16:06
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    One of the reasons for it that's mentioned most often is it aids penetration of the first coat, but oils have no problem whatever in penetrating by themselves, especially one that 'dries' as slowly as tung oil!
    – Graphus
    Jul 11, 2022 at 16:07
  • Thank you for replies! So I don't even really need to use any thinner, great. What sandpaper would you recommend to use, would P500 or P600 be ok? I don’t want to make the surface too rough. It’s already smooth. How many coats should I apply? Should I sand only before the first coat between the coats as well? Should I polish after all the coats with P1000 sandpaper? Jul 12, 2022 at 13:00

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