Introduction: DIY Oil-Based Varnish
I'm going to show you how to prepare a very useful oil-based varnish for all kinds of wood and wood by-products, outdoors and indoors. I'm going to prepare two compounds. The first one, which we'll use as base, will have a liquid consistency, whereas the second one, which we'll use as a finish, will contain a little carnauba wax making it thicker.
Step 1: Tung Oil
I will use a blend of oils and essences to prepare it. The first ingredient is tung oil. This oil is obtained from the seeds of the Chinese tree it's named after. When applied on wood, it not only protects the wood, it also hardens when it's absorbed creating a waterproof layer.
These products must be mixed at about 45 degrees Celsius to obtain a homogeneous mixture. Once the temperature has been reached, we pour it into the cans according to the ratios on the mixture chart.
Our mixture should be made with only pure, natural products, not the chemically processed ones that you will find in drug stores, mixed with metals and other substances. Check this link of where you can find them online.
Step 2: Linseed Oil
Next up is linseed oil. This oil, obtained from the seeds of the flax plant, protects wood against humidity, insects, fungi, and UV light. The resulting mixture of these two oils will be the base of our varnish making up 50% of the compound. At this point, I will label the cans to distinguish them.
Step 3: Orange Essence, Camellia Oil and Turpentine Essence
The next ingredients are orange essence, which makes it easier for the blend to penetrate wood; camellia oil, known for its magnificent antioxidant and aromatizing properties; and turpentine essence, which will be used as thinner. I'm going to heat up these three components together to 45 degrees Celsius using a water-bath, since these substances are quite volatile. We must be careful not to exceed this temperature or the mixture could dry.
Step 4: Mixing
Once the temperature has been reached, we will fill up the cans according to the ratios on the mixture chart. We won't fill the can with the thick mixture all the way up to leave room for the wax. We stir the liquid mixture vigorously and then we can store it, because we're done with it.
Step 5: Carnauba Wax
We'll finish the other compound with carnauba wax. This product, obtained from the leaves of a palm tree that grows northeastern Brazil, is known for its gloss and wear resistence, much higher than that of beeswax. Its melting point is 78 to 85 degrees Celsius. Using this flame dissolving the wax takes about 8 minutes. We add it to the compound and stir the mixture vigorously. If lumps appear, we can microwave the can for about 5 minutes and stir again.
Our mixture should be made with only pure, natural products, not the chemically processed ones that you will find in drug stores, mixed with metals and other substances. Check this post on my website of where you can find them online.