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How to Apply Tung Oil on Concrete Countertops

By Gail Delaney ; Updated September 21, 2017
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Pure tung oil provides a surface that is tough, flexible and water-resistant. The oil comes from the seeds of the tung tree. At one time, these trees grew only in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Now they grow in the southern portion of the United States. Tung oil is amber in color. It cures by oxidation and does not evaporate into the air. By applying tung oil onto your concrete countertops, you will be sealing and protecting the porous top.

Step 1

Clean the surface of your concrete countertop. In a bucket, mix hot water and trisodium phosphate. Wash the countertop to remove the dirt, grease and grime buildup. Dry the countertop thoroughly.

Step 2

Apply a liberal amount of tung oil to the surface of the concrete countertop. Rub this in with your hand or a clean, soft rag.

Step 3

Allow this application to set for 20 minutes so the oil soaks in. Remove the excess with clean soft rags. After 30 minutes, check the surface for any excess oil that may have accumulated on top. Wipe this off.

Step 4

Leave the countertop to finish drying for 24 hours. If any oil pools on the surface, simply wipe it off with a dry towel.

Step 5

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for a total of up to six applications. When the surface will no longer absorb any more oil, that lets you know you have enough coats.

Step 6

Once a year, or more often if needed, apply another application of tung oil with a cheesecloth or a lint-free rag. This will cause water to bead on the surface.


Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Hot water
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Tung oil
  • Soft rag


  • For greater penetration of the oil, add a thinner such as citrus solvent. This will also accelerate the drying time.
  • Dark tung oil is recommended for concrete. If it is too dark for you liking, dilute with pure tung oil.
  • Each application of dark tung oil may make the surface darker. When you have achieved the right color for your concrete countertop, use pure tung oil.
  • Store the tung oil container tightly closed, away from open flames, in an area where the temperature remains constant.

About the Author


Gail Delaney is a writer in South Dakota and has articles published online at various websites. She is the garden editor for BellaOnline, with years of gardening experience. Being the caretaker of her parents led her in the direction of medical issues, especially natural remedies.