Choosing the right product(s) for the job:
We have made it easy to start your project off right. All of our tung oil-based products are easy to use making application a breeze by hand using a spray gun, cotton cloth, brush, or roller. All of our products were designed to work together for superior protection and unsurpassed beauty. Let’s take a closer look.
Our interior and exterior products come in multiple sheen levels, High Gloss (100% sheen), Semi Gloss (50% sheen), Satin (25% sheen) and Matte (~5% sheen).
L.Co High Gloss sheens can produce mirror-like surfaces when buffed and polished. A polished high gloss finish will reveal imperfections such as sanding marks so surfaces must generally be prepared more thoroughly to obtain those perfect mirror-like gloss finishes. A high gloss finish is generally more resistant to damage than matte surfaces, more resistant to staining, and easier to clean.
L.Co Semi Gloss sheens are bold yet subdued. Semi Gloss sheens have a tendency to last and hold their shine longer than matte sheens. We formulate our semi-gloss sheen levels at 50% gloss.
L.Co Satin sheens have a soft glow and are easy to apply as they are more forgiving on surface imperfections. Satin sheens are also generally easier to repair than higher gloss sheens. We formulate our satin sheen levels at 25% gloss.
L.Co Matte sheens produce the most natural looking finish when compared with unfinished wood surfaces. Matte finishes are great at covering imperfections in surface and application, making it a perfect choice for any beginning project. It is also the easiest sheen to touch up and repair. We formulate our matte sheen levels at or below 5% gloss.
L.Co’s HardWax Oil & Polish can be used on all wood surfaces, cutting boards, wooden bowls and utensils, antiques, dining tables and countertops to restore used finishes while blending out minor scratches and abrasions that occur over time. HardWax Oil & Polish contains a durable and protective synthetic hard wax used in cosmetics and food products that polishes all surfaces to a soft luster. Formulated with pure tung oil and refined linseed oil which help to condition and absorb into the surface enhancing the natural beauty and depth of grain in finished and unfinished wood.
Tung Oil Finish is for interior use and is made with a high percentage of tung and linseed oils which give your project a more natural open pore look. Tung Oil Finish is perfect for dense and oily woods, cutting boards and butcher blocks and is certified safe for children’s toys and furniture and adheres to FDA regulations for a surface that is safe for food contact. Topcoat may be applied over Tung Oil Finish to add a layer of durable protection. Tung Oil Finish is uniquely formulated with pure tung oil, refined linseed oil, odorless mineral spirits, modified waxes, modified alkyd resin, and safe drying agents.
L.Co Topcoat is for interior use on projects that are subjected to a high amount of wear and traffic such as flooring, cabinets, and tabletops. Topcoat is fast drying and is best applied by spray gun and is certified safe for children’s toys and furniture and adheres to FDA regulations for a surface that is safe for food contact. Topcoat is uniquely formulated with pure tung oil, refined linseed oil, odorless mineral spirits, modified waxes, modified alkyd resin, and safe drying agents.
Exterior Oil Treatment is for exterior use and is considered a heavy oil pre-treatment applied to raw wood prior to using Exterior Varnish. Our extended accelerated weather testing proved that the use of Exterior Oil Treatment prior to applying Exterior Varnish significantly improved the longevity, durability and appearance of the finish over time. There was also less discoloration and cracking of the wood providing for a flexible yet durable finish. Exterior Oil Treatment is uniquely formulated with pure tung oil, refined linseed oil, odorless mineral spirits, modified waxes, modified alkyd resin, UV absorbers, light inhibitors and safe drying agents.
Exterior Varnish has been formulated for use on outdoor surfaces such as fencing, railings, patio furniture, siding, doors, boats and marine surfaces to withstand water and harsh weather conditions. Exterior Varnish is uniquely formulated with pure tung oil, refined linseed oil, odorless mineral spirits, modified waxes, modified alkyd resin, UV absorbers, light inhibitors and safe drying agents.
L.Co Color Oil contains raw tung oil and organic earth pigments which allow the color to penetrate deep into the wood grain for a more clear and natural look. Color Oil can be used for either interior and exterior. It is easy to apply, mix and match shades of color and is ideal for coloring unfinished wood furniture, hardwood floors, cabinets and trim. Uniquely formulated with pure tung oil, refined linseed oil, odorless mineral spirits, organic pigment, modified waxes, modified alkyd resin, safe drying agents, UV absorbers and light inhibitors.
New wood preparation:
Preparing the surface is the first and most important step in finishing. The better your piece is prepped the better the finish will be as a result. Check the surface and joints for any excess glue, wood fillers, nail holes and other imperfections which will have to be removed or filled in. Proper sanding is the key to a perfect finish. L.Co recommends sanding with up to #180 grit sandpaper which will allow for the varnish to penetrate deep into the wood pores to seal and protect from the inside out.
Preparation pro tips:
Sometimes smaller imperfections are difficult to see so L.Co recommends wiping the entire surface down with mineral spirits or turpentine. This helps with two important factors.
1. Cleans the surface free from dirt and oils.
2. Allows you to get a sense for how the piece will look when finished. With the wood being “wet” you will be able to see things that you normally wouldn’t be able to see such as nail holes, scratches, stains or glue marks and you will also be able to fix any mistakes before you begin finishing.
Here we go. Now that you have chosen your LCo product(s), prepped the piece you are going to be finishing using our handy guide and have all the tools and items necessary there is only one way forward and that is forward. We will go through each application method in detail below. Don't worry, L.Co tung oil based products were developed for (almost) foolproof application.
Drying and curing:
L.Co tung oil-based varnishes dry upon exposure to oxygen which is known as an oxidative cure. A lack of air exchange provides less free oxygen which slows the drying process. Therefore, the better the ventilation during and after all coats, the quicker that your project will be ready to use.
Is it dry or cured?
There is in fact a difference between the two. Dry-to-the-touch time is the recommended length of time between coats of varnish. This is specified on the can for each product but can vary depending on temperature and humidity as well as room ventilation. Therefore we recommend finishing and curing in a room that is 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) and 70% humidity. Cooler temperatures and high humidity levels can prolong drying and curing time. Opening a window and setting a fan at low speed can improve airflow and oxygen exchange and in turn can help with the drying and curing of your finished piece.
You may have noticed that the drying time on a raw wood surface seems shorter than with an existing finish or the final coat of varnish. This is because on a raw wood surface there are no film layers yet so the wood soaks up a lot of the oils and the surface seems to dry much faster. Keep in mind that in the wood substrate with an oil finish, the oil is still drying even though you can't see it. So if there is any doubt on whether the first coat is dry enough, give it some extra time which will speed up the process for the subsequent coats. As you add more coats keep in mind that the more layers you add, the longer the drying and curing time will be.
A typical solvent (polyurethane/lacquer) or oil based finish will have an average cure time of about 30 days based on ideal temperature and humidity. It is fine to use a piece lightly after about a week of drying but be aware that the finish will still be curing for another few weeks. You can test your surface for dryness ahead of schedule by touch and smell. If the surface is no longer tacky and there is no odor on the surface, then it is dry.
When can I stack finished pieces?
This is an important question we get asked by manufacturers that want to know when is it safe to wrap and pack a piece of newly finished furniture. Stacking time depends on a number of environmental factors, oxygen airflow, humidity, and temperature. There are no general timelines for stacking so we suggest checking the surface to ensure that it is hard enough to withstand impressions on the surface and take care when using plastics on the surface of a freshly finished piece which could have an adverse effect on the curing process and may leave undesirable marks on the surface.
Care and maintenance:
L.Co tung oil-based finishes are the easiest finishes to care for and maintain. With only simple cleaning products you can care for your beautiful finish for years to come. Maintenance on an oil-based finish is extremely easy and effortless. Let’s take a look at some cleaning options and maintenance tips.
Soap, vinegar, and water.
The best cleaners are as simple as that. A gentle soap diluted in warm water will remove dirt and buildup and keep your finish like new. Alternatively, you could use a mixture of 1 ounce of white vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water. Both cleaning options are safe for your L.Co tung-oil based finishes.
Stay away from wax and polishes.
Most furniture waxes and polishes attract dirt and create a buildup or residue over time that makes maintenance very difficult if not impossible. For this reason, L.Co recommends staying away from over the counter furniture polishes and waxes.
Don’t use heavy household cleaners.
Most household cleaners contain harsh chemicals that could damage the sheen and protection of your L.Co finish. Ammonia-based glass and floor cleaners are an example of products that contain ingredients that have an adverse effect on the protection of your finish. Oil soaps are also not recommended for cleaning as they have a tendency to create a film on the surface of the wood that are difficult to remove similar to waxes and polishes.
Strong light, oxidation, physical abuse and contact with heat, water, solvents and chemicals are the worst enemy for your finish. For interior use, be mindful of the strongest light source and place furniture away from direct sunlight. Heat accelerates oxidation, so avoid areas that get extremely hot like attics or sunrooms. If you want to increase the protection of your interior furniture it is recommended to use L.Co’s Exterior Varnish and Exterior Oil Treatment to prevent long term damage.
For interior projects that are cared for with the above recommendations, you will find that little to no maintenance will be required. On occasion, you might consider re-applying L.Co tung oil-based finishes to renew and rejuvenate a worn finish, especially on floors. It is very simple to renew your L.Co finish. Clean the surface with mineral spirits or turpentine. Lightly scuff the surface with a scotch-brite pad or lightly sand with 400 grit sandpaper and recoat according to the instructions on the can. Any light scratches will be covered and your finish will look like new.
For exterior projects that are exposed to severe elements, we recommend a yearly renewal schedule which is similar to the above instructions for interior projects. Clean, scuff or sand, and recoat. You may find in some cases when regular maintenance is not performed, that some areas of the wood maybe have become dry, damaged and are gray in color. This requires a little bit more work to get your finish looking like new again. Clean the surface as described above and take extra care to sand the gray/ dry areas well with 180 grit sandpaper to remove as much of the oxidation and damage as possible. Apply L.Co Exterior Oil Treatment directly to the dry areas and let the oils soak into the wood. Re-apply if necessary until the color of the dry areas match the surrounding finish. After fully dry, you can then scuff or sand the entire surface and recoat the piece using L.Co Exterior Varnish. The exact same process can also be applied to interior projects using L.Co Tung Oil Finish and L.Co Topcoat.
L.Co finishes limited warranty:
We stand behind the quality of each product that we make. Should there be any issues with an L.Co product, please reach out to us at any time and we can help.
Main Office: Packsimex Building, Floor 1, 52 Dong Du Street
Ward Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Phone: +84 090 1254034
L.Co finishing products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using, including compatibility with other manufacturers products. The Lucero Company will be responsible only for the cost of our products and will not be responsible for any costs such as labor, damage, replacement costs or consequential damages. If L.Co finishing products are proved to be defective within one year of purchase, The Lucero Company will replace the material or refund the purchase price. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state, from country to country.
Storage of L.Co products.
Keep containers of L.Co products closed when not in use and keep in a cool, dry place. If stored properly, an unopened can of L.Co product will have an almost indefinite shelf life. Opened and partially filled containers may gel since L.Co tung oil-based finishes dry through oxidation. When a container is opened, it is exposed to oxygen and the remaining unused portion may begin to oxidize. This leads to skinning and eventually gelling of the product.
For best results, pour the L.Co product you need to complete your job into another container and promptly reseal the original container replacing both the seal and screw top on the cans. Do not return any unused portion to the original can.
For proper storage, oxygen inside the L.Co container must be displaced by one or more of the following methods:
• Pour the product into a smaller airtight glass or metal container.
• With rectangular cans, squeeze the sides to push the liquid up and seal before the air returns into the can.
• “Float” the product with an inert gas such as carbon dioxide or argon that is heavier than air.