Tung Oil over Acrylic Paint – Any Considerations?

When most people think of acrylic paints, they imagine canvas art. Can acrylic paint, however, be used on wood? Yes, it can! Acrylic paints can be applied to a variety of materials, such as metal, textiles, paper, leather, and any other material that does not have a glossy or greasy finish.

Acrylic paint on wooden surfaces is one of the best methods for painting wood. This kind of paint is simple to use and inexpensive. To get the greatest results with acrylic paint, there are a few steps you should follow to maximize the endurance of your painted wood creation.

Sometimes, you might want to add a protective layer to the finished acrylic paintwork or maybe give it a classic aesthetic. Why not use Tung Oil? The following guide will answer this question.

Below are the key points that will be discussed:

  • Can you use Tung Oil over acrylic paint
  • Considerations when applying Tung Oil on acrylic
  • Why Tung Oil as an acrylic paint finish?
  • Acrylic paint application
  • Applying the Tung Oil finish over acrylic paint

Can You Use Tung Oil Over Acrylic Paint?

Tung Oil can be used over acrylic paint; however, it will slightly darken the paint. Tung Oil is a popular natural oil obtained from the Tung tree’s seeds. It is a hard-drying type of oil that is commonly used as a wood finish.

The benefit of compatible finishes for acrylic paint is that a top coat can be added when the base coat is only dry and not entirely cured. However, when applying Tung Oil over a non-compatible coating, the initial layer (acrylic) must be not only dry but also completely cured.

Considerations When Using Tung Oil over Acrylic Paint

It is vital to keep in mind that while acrylics can be covered over by oil finishes, the reverse is not true. There are a few more things to think about in addition to these when choosing oils on acrylics. First of all, you should apply a minimum of three applications of acrylic medium or two coats of acrylic gesso to shield the underlying surface from oil penetration.

Acrylic paint that has dried completely can be easily covered with an oil-based finish. However, oil-based finishes can develop a natural amber color with time and frequently get more yellow; the colors you paint on the object may get altered to an extent as a result.

Remember that acrylic paint dries very quickly when painting on a surface. Whether you apply them heavily or thinly will affect the sort of coverage you have from one coat to the next. Ensure your paints are thoroughly mixed and appropriately diluted before usage for a simple painting on the surface.

Once again, before applying the Tung Oil, the acrylic coating should be dry and completely cured. Because raw Tung Oil tends to crease as it dries, you would want to make sure that it is heat-treated oil. Additionally, you want to ensure that it is 100% Tung Oil since many items marketed as containing Tung Oil finish actually do not.

Why Tung Oil is used as an Acrylic Paint Finish

The versatility, toughness, safety, and waterproof protection that Tung Oil provides are among the reasons why people prefer it for their projects. It also does not mold, discolor, or grow rancid.

Practically speaking, Tung Oil may be applied more quickly and easily than other oils because of how quickly it dries. In terms of aesthetics, Tung Oil typically cures to a lovely matte finish that enhances the depth and gives any surface an antique-style feel.

Applying Acrylic Paint

Depending on the surface, the following are the key steps to follow when applying acrylic paint:

1) Prepare the Surface

You must first prepare the surface unless you want the final look to seem textured. A uniform, smooth surface is needed in the end. Sand the surface with medium or fine-grit sandpaper – 140- and 180-grit paper will do just fine. Make an effort to fill in every nook and cranny you intend to paint.

The surface should seem smooth after sanding. Use a moist towel to wipe away any dirt particles or debris. Take out all dirt and debris, and be careful not to use too much water.

Let the surface dry out.

2) Prime the Surface

The Benefits of primer apply to painting work on any kind of surface. It is ideal for giving the paint a surface to adhere to better, extending the lifespan, and improving the appearance of your project.

Before painting a surface like wood, priming fills the pores on the outside, absorbing moisture and reducing warping. Some primers are available as sprays that you can use to coat the surface. The majority of selections are fluid paints that you use a paintbrush to apply.

The primer should be applied twice, and each coat should be allowed to dry completely before continuing. Apply it evenly throughout the entire surface. Smooth finishing is made possible using a roller brush.

You can employ a universal primer like gesso or a primer from your neighborhood craft store. Acrylic paint works incredibly well with gesso as a primer on different surfaces. Add a second primer layer until the wood surface is totally covered if the initial layer does not cover the entire surface. For optimal results, let it sit overnight.

3) Apply the Acrylic Paint

Start by painting the prepared surface with a small portion of paint squeezed onto the area. For spill cleanup, have a container of water and a clean towel close by. When changing or blending colors, you should wash your paintbrush by dabbing it in water.

To spread the paint over a wider area, you might utilize a sponge brush. Based on your design, layer the paint using a selection of brushes or brush sizes. Give it time to dry in between colors. Use little quantities of paint as you go because acrylics dry fast. Do not let the paint on your brush dry; otherwise, the brush can be ruined.

If you apply too much paint, the surface may distort, or the brush may get damaged. Applying the paint evenly is made harder by both effects.

4) Allow the Paint to Dry

Once the design is complete, put the painted surface in a secure location to dry. Wait until the paint has dried before replacing any handles or drawers. Some acrylics can require up to 24 hours to dry fully. Smaller crafts might just need two hours to dry.

Applying the Tung Oil to the Acrylic Paint Work

Before applying the Tung Oil, it is crucial to make sure the paint has thoroughly dried. The Tung Oil may not adhere correctly and could result in the paint peeling if the acrylic paint is not fully cured.

Clean the surface by wiping off any dust particles before applying the Tung Oil finish. In some cases, you may need to lightly sand away blemishes or small bumps. The aim is not to sand the paint down completely. Remember, Tung Oil seeps into the wood, so this is what you should avoid.

Soak up a small quantity of Tung Oil with a clean, lint-free cloth. To do this without causing a mess, simply place the folded towel over the bottle’s mouth and flip it upside down. The escaping oil will form a nice, spherical area while keeping your hands clean.

You will have far more flexibility over where the finish ends up if you apply the oil to a rag rather than spreading it directly onto the surface. Tung Oil can also be applied with a wide-tipped bristle brush.

Never apply too much product in one application to the surface. Applying more coatings will yield better results. Between applications, allow the area to dry for 3 to 7 days since Tung Oil heals gradually.

For the greatest results, plan to wait close to a week between applications to guarantee that the subsequent layer firmly adheres to the first. It will get time to harden separately if done that way. The majority of tasks will require several separate coats. The finish gets darker and glossier the more applications you apply.

Final words

In summary, Tung Oil can indeed be put over an acrylic paint project, although it seems like a rare occurrence. The main reason is that Tung Oil generally dries to a clear and hard finish, further protecting the work from any environmental damage.

The main thing to consider is that the painted surface must be completely dry and cured because Tung Oil will penetrate the wooden surface damaging the paint job. There are other considerations concerning acrylic paintwork; they dry very rapidly, affecting the paint’s thickness and coverage.

The quality of the acrylic paint job will definitely affect the final product; the surface needs to be properly primed and cleaned before painting to allow for a smooth finish. Once you have finished applying the paint, apply the Tung Oil on the cured surface.