How to Finish Mahogany with Tung Oil

Finishing mahogany with tung oil protects the wood and keeps it from soaking up stains.
If you are going to do any food preparations on a mahogany board, use pure tung oil. Several applications of tung oil will keep your mahogany wood looking beautiful. The coating should last at least a year, providing you do not constantly scrub the board. Although tung oil isn’t the toughest type finish for wood, it is one of the simplest to maintain or repair.

Step 1

Apply tung oil with a clean, dry cloth. Or, pour it onto the wood and work it in with your hand.

Step 2

Leave the wood to dry for 10 minutes. Wipe off the excess oil with a clean dry cloth. Leave the mahogany piece to dry for an hour.

Step 3

Apply a second coat as you did the first. Wait 10 minutes and wipe off the excess oil.

Step 4

Wait three hours and apply a third coat of tung oil. Leave it on for 10 minutes before wiping the excess away.

Step 5

Apply another coat of tung oil the next day. Leave the wood to dry for 10 minutes before wiping off the excess oil with a clean dry cloth. Leave the mahogany piece to dry overnight.

Step 6

Repeat Step 5 on the third day.

Step 7

Wait one week and apply yet another coat of tung oil, wiping it off after 10 minutes.

Things You Will Need

  • Tung oil
  • Clean cloth


  • The wood is ready to use when no more oil comes off after an application.
  • Do not scrub the surface until the tung oil has been on the wood for at least a week.
  • Repeat with another coat or two of tung oil when the board begins to look dull or dry.

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.