Milly did a lot of research last year on what kind of stain to use on our logs. After much debate and agony she decided on Tung oil. It’s supposed to be less toxic than other alternatives although the Citrus Solvent (which I like sniffing out of the bottle as it smells like oranges) is supposed to cause deformities, blurry vision, extra hair growth on the end of noses and on top of ears, and bad fashion sense.
We bought in bulk last year and dozens of these bottles have been sitting around waiting for us to stop being lazy.
You can see the Tung oil looks like it’s shrinking. I’m not sure if it’s evaporating but it seems fine even after sitting for about a year.
We mix roughly 1 part Tung oil to 1 part Citrus solvent. You can do more or less but that was how we started and I haven’t deviated. Seems to work fine.
The thing with Tung oil is it takes a long time to apply and about a month to really cure. After apply a coat of oil you wait for about forty five minutes to an hour then reapply. For the floors and railing in our house we applied about five coats of oil then wiped them with old T-shirt I have accumulated from business conferences. Milly was gleeful when she pulled out all my old pink, orange, and advertising labeled wardrobe to use for this duty.
It has been about a month for our loft floors and they are finally looking like we can walk on them on a regular basis. We did the same thing to the stairs last year and found it was a month before they felt like they were cured and have found the same with the floors.
Here are some pictures of the process. One of the pictures shows the difference of before and after Tung oil really well. I ended applying the oil just after the corner of a wall and you can see the distinct line of sanded log to oiled log.
We applied oil to the cedar ceiling in one of the upstairs bedrooms and it turned out like below.
Some people like our kids like the look. Milly and I think it’s too dark so we are going to skip applying it to the ceiling in our main area. It was really good news for me so I don’t have to apply it to 1000 square feet of cedar while hanging from a scaffolding.
Here is the finished floor in the loft. We applied two inch milled, planned and shaped Douglas Fir planking in the loft. It was supposed to be dry but you can see by the gapping it wasn’t. I tell people that is the look we were going for. You know the “olden time planking look”. Really its just because we (OK, I) didn’t want to wait the required time of acclimating wood to the house.
Here’s a picture of the railing that’s done. I sanded and stained for a whole week while Milly and the kids were at a family reunion this summer. During that time I questioned my sanity about this whole house building, sacrificing now so we don’t have to go into debt lifestyle. If you ask me now if it was worth it I’d probably say no. In ten years when the house finally gets finished I’ll let you know if I change my mind.
We still need to mud and tape the walls and finish them with Clay plaster. I’m not looking forward to that job. Maybe I’ll cheat and get the folks from Dirtcraft.ca to come and help out.
Obviously Ringo has been sniffing the Citrus solvent too much as you can tell by his fashion sense.
We have kept these cuties away from any toxic fumes as you can tell.
I think Grey Beard has been sneaking a whiff of the solvent as well.
OK, the cuties did sneak in the house and look what happened to them.
Notice the glazed look on my face and the appearance of facial hair. I just shaved my head and face that morning.
Any of you bald guys should really try applying Citrus solvent. I have several bottles still to apply if any of you are interested in learning how to apply Tung oil or growing facial hair.