Teak Oil Vs Tung Oil: Which Is Better For Wood Finish?

During the Song Dynasty, many people applied Tung oil to waterproof ships. Moreover, it is now one of the popular types to use in the woodworking field regarding wood finishing. Meanwhile, teak oil also includes tung oil as an agent, which is difficult for many beginners. 

If you are confused about this issue, you come to the right place because our post offers you a transparent comparison between teak oil vs tung oil. With this detailed information, you will select the most appropriate oil for your first-hand wood finishing projects.


Overview Of Teak Oil And Tung Oil

What is teak oil?

Many people may misunderstand that teak oil originates from teak wood and teak trees. However, it isn’t so because teak oil is the marketing name. The principal ingredients of this oil come from tung oil and refined drying oils.

With these substances, teak oil will help you extend the wood look and protect the wood layer. This oil is used mainly on teak furniture and non-teak wood items, suitable for outdoors and indoors. 


What is Tung oil?

Tung oil, also named China wood oil, is a drying oil made from the tung tree by squeezing the oil-rich seed from its nut. It solidifies upon exposure to air, which leads to a clear and slightly wet look. The assortment carried in various shops is Watco Tung oil.

Moreover, it is perfect to use over bare wood after the careful wood sanding process. However, it is a time-consuming procedure that creates a smooth finish with a natural shine on materials.

In China, this oil is usually applied for handling wooden boats. Nowadays, there are 2 kinds of Tung oil in the showcase: modified and polymerized. Noticeably, the item is a non-toxic finish, so it is an excellent alternative to apply on casual surfaces such as dining tables and kitchen tables.

Both teak oil and Tung oil belong to a group of wood finishes named penetrating oil. They percolate into the material’s pores, filling the accessible space and creating an impenetrable barrier. 


Teak Oil Vs Tung Oil: 7 Main Differences

Although teak oil and Tung oil can bring out the character and gloss of the wood, each type possesses different usage requirements. Therefore, let’s examine some primary differences between teak oil vs tung oil

Environmental safety

The first main contrast to consider before choosing suitable items is environmental safeness. Teak oil comes from polymers and different additives. The ingredients to produce teak oil change from various manufacturers due to no typical description for what makes up teak oil. 

The proportion of the ingredients varies depending on the kind of wood you tend to oil. Thus, every teak oil item is accessed separately for environmental hazards. 

Meanwhile, 100% Tung oil product originates from totally natural ingredients that are non-toxic. Therefore, it is an excellent choice for all kinds of furniture, which brings the most outstanding environmental and personal safety.

UV resistance

UV resistance in a wood coating is accomplished in one of two methods: a UV absorber and the addition of pigment. The best case of a UV absorber is deck stain. However, due to different additives, mainly coloring, some teak oil items resemble the deck stain. 

Additionally, teak oil color materials can protect your furniture from external factors like rain or harmful sun rays. Meanwhile, Tung oil products don’t consist of additives, which high exposure to light may harm them easily. 


Teak oil refills lost oils due to weathering, bringing a delicate and honey-yellow shine to wood. Moreover, many woodworkers polish this oil to a satin finish, which helps you clean your furniture easier. 

On the other hand, Tung oil possesses a less glossy matte finish, giving wood a barely darkened appearance. However, it can protect your furniture from different substances, including dust, alcohol, fruit acids, and acetone. 

Moreover, Tung oil brings out the natural surface and grain of the wood, which creates a more authentic appearance than other finishing choices. A frequently applied coat of this oil also gives a thick finish layer to prevent water stains effectively. Thus, Tung oil will prolong your furniture lifespans with ease.


Dry time

Tung oil requires more time to dry than teak oil. Depending on the producer, it can take 2 to 3 days to dry, while teak oil dries from 3 to 7 hours. Generally, it is advisable to let every coat dry at least 1 day before the following coating. 

Besides, teak oil is easy to penetrate different kinds of wood with fast drying features. Therefore, it will be the better option for individuals in haste. 



Due to no standard formation of teak oil and variation from manufacturers, its price often costs higher than Tung oil. However, 100% pure Tung oil may have a high price tag because of its natural ingredients. 


Teak oil is perfect to use inside and outside wooden surfaces thanks to its quick-drying features. In addition, thanks to its ease of piercing wood, teak oil is an excellent choice to apply with rare and dense woods, including mahogany, teak, rosewood, and snakewood. 

Besides, it is advisable to apply teak into grain by using a delicate dry cloth, sanding softly between coats of teak, and wiping off overabundances. Then, let the primary skin dry for at least 1 day and apply the following layer carefully.

Meanwhile, Tung oil is more versatile with different materials, effectively handling food such as dining tables, cutting sheets, and vegetable bowls. It also saves your energy because it doesn’t need to be sanded between coats of material.


Advantages and disadvantages

Teak oil can protect your furniture from the interior, which reduces the high risk of peeling, cracking, and chipping. It also offers resistance to dirt and water, decreasing maintenance time. In addition, this oil consists of UV filters to prevent the chance of fading. 

Because teak oil is a unique mix of various oils, it is frequently custom outlined for a particular kind of wood and aims like boats. In addition, it has a fast dry time and is quick to penetrate to wood, simplifying the woodworking process effectively. 

Nevertheless, when you apply the teak oil to a bit of wood, that piece becomes troublesome to glue with other things due to the stern and thick layer. Another downside is that teak oil may impact the original color of the wood. 

Meanwhile, Tung oil gives the most incredible waterproof features, making it the best choice to treat wooden boats. It also creates a significantly shiny sheen with a brilliant tint. 

However, pure Tung oil is challenging to store and difficult to penetrate to wood. The drying time is also longer than teak oil, which is not ideal for those who don’t have much time.

Teak Oil Vs Tung Oil For Wood Finish: Which Is Better?

Although there are some differences between teak oil vs tung oil, each item offers you outstanding features. To sum up, Tung oil is the winner thanks to its non-toxic ingredients, which maximizes environmental and food safety. 

Besides, it can protect your items from various substances such as alcohol, dust, and acetone. With excellent water-resistant features, it will expand your furniture lifespan and retain the natural color of the wood.

Learn how to use pure Tung oil properly here to obtain the best outcome.


We hope you select the most suitable type for your wooding finish procedure with this detailed teak oil vs tung oil comparison. Before choosing any items, it pays to check information from manufacturers relevant to safety, application, and effect of wood color.

For individuals concerned about environmental and food safety, Tung oil is the best option, thanks to its completely natural substances. Moreover, it is simple to apply without any burdensome application. Reapplying this oil when the primary layer is worn out is essential to protect your furniture longer.