View Full Version : Refinish '60's Kingston Baritone Ukulele question

05-17-2017, 01:56 PM
Hi all,

I was given a Kingston Baritone Uke probably from the late 1960's. I stripped the neck and started to refinish it with pure Tung Oil. I'm not happy with the finish and want to use wipe on varnish.

Should I strip and sand the Tung Oil off the neck before I switch to a varnish or other finish? Is it possible that the current 3 coats will cure and I can then apply a varnish finish over the Tung Oil?

At least I didn't refinish the body yet.



05-17-2017, 06:59 PM
The way I understand it, it really isn't possible to strip and sand off an oil finish like tung oil because it soaks into the wood. It is an oil... When you say varnish it is not clear what you mean by varnish. There are lots of varnishes. A meaningless word ... It is probable that the original 60's finish was not oil based. ... It helps if you send pictures by the way.

05-17-2017, 08:12 PM
The question simplified is: once the Tung Oil completely dries or catalyzes, can I apply Minwax wipe on polyurethane? I'll take some pics.

05-18-2017, 08:20 AM
Can't answer your question about polyurethane over tung oil - oil + poly aren't usually compatible (try it on a piece of scrap wood), but here's suggestion - wipe the excess tung oil off with something like naptha or mineral spirits, let it dry, clean with 0000 steel wool, then try some Tru-oil. It wipes on easily, dries overnite and won't react with the tung oil (or other old finish residue). Lot's of youtube vid's on application.

05-18-2017, 03:21 PM
Sequoia, mketom,

thank you for replying.

I kept researching finishing and refinishing of wood in general, and musical instruments specifically. It's a lot to absorb, no pun intended. Too many options, French polish, lacquer, nitrocellulose, wipe on varnish, etc.

I decided that for this project I'm going to go with Waterlox Original Tung Oil wipe on finish. I'm just stripping the old finish, which the previous owner applied some finish over the factory finish. I'll post pics when it is done.