Tonkin varnish is an oil mixture which is ideal for floors, stairs, furniture and is suitable for all areas subjected to high traffic. It is an abrasion resistant, shatter-proof, durable coat that can be easily cleaned. It is also hypoallergenic. Tonkin varnish which is derived from the French term “Le Tonkinois” which simply means “suitable for wood surfaces,” and works best in places the must sustain permanent temperature changes and high humidity. The indoor climate will not be affected by the cured varnish coating. Today, even the French Navy uses Tonkin oil varnish in order to weatherproof their ships.

You can purchase Our Tonkin Oil Varnish in our Shop.

Linseed oil per se, even the boiled linseed oil remains relatively soft. If you are looking for a material that is resistant to abrasion, impact, and heightened subsequent variations in both temperature and weather conditions, then Tonkin varnish “Le Tonkinois” is recommended. Tonkin varnish consists of a mixture of refined linseed oil as well as Chinese Tung oil. Tung oil, also called Chinese wood oil ensures the durability of linseed oil. Tung oil, itself, is a vegetable oil obtained by pressing the seeds of Tung or Abrasion trees. This oil oxidation is similar to linseed oil, except that it hardens quicker, thereby forming a rather resinous, harder surface. When both linseed oil and Tung oil are combined the result is luster, or shine, as well as a resistance to high traffic contact resistance. Indoor Tonkin oil varnish is an ideal solution for all types of wood. It preserves the surface and warmth of the wood it is applied to. The application of Tonkin oil upon light-wood surfaces, one should note that the Tonkin oil enhances the wood’s natural golden-yellow inherent color significantly. “Le Tonkinois” is ultra- violet or UV-resistant, as well as non-fading and easy to use. It is free from aromatic, ethereal, and chlorinated solvents, but also includes benzene as a dilute. Paints with Tonkin oil have a shiny appearance or glow. The gloss level can be heightened, intensified or even adjusted simply by sanding it with fine- grained sandpaper. The addition of the matting agent “Gelomat” allows Tonkin oil to achieve its satin- like appearance or matt gloss.

Tonkin oil has proven itself as a wood preservative, floor and marine paint. However, Tonkin is also ideally suited as a protective coat for metals. Depending on the substrate or surface and conditions, up to 2-4 coats may be required. Tonkin oil becomes dust-dry after only about 2 hours, bonded or hardened after 8 hrs. A second coat may be applied after only 24hrs. “Le Tonkinois” lasts on average for up to 20m2 per litre.

To strengthen linseed oil paints and make them more resistant to abrasion, it is advantageous to mix them with Tonkin varnish. This so called Tonkin paint is suitable for wood in the interior, as well as paint for metal surfaces. This gives a higher gloss and durability to the paint. Tonkin paint “Le Tonkinois” is particularly well suited for high traffic surfaces.

Processing Tonkin paint:

The area to be treated should be pre-sanded with sandpaper grain 100

After that the Tonkin paint should be applied with a sturdy bristle brush on the dust and grease free surface in thin layers. You can also find the right brush in our shop. For the first layer, you can place the paint in warm water. This will make the paint spread easier and will also allow it to bond much better to the surface.

The subsequent or second layer should only be applied after the previous coat is cured or hardened. The surface can be grinded with sandpaper (grain 300-400) after the first and before the last coat. You can also wait until the 3rd has been applied and then carefully grind the surface with sandpaper.

Please avoid walking on the painted surface for at least 48 hours after application.

Exterior metal should be treated with at least four coats Tonkin oil varnish. It is not necessary to sand prior to painting the surface.

Properties Tonkin lacquer / Le Tonkinois

Tonkin oil varnish remains (also for many years), an elastic and abrasion-resistant coating.

Le Tonkinois can cover approximately 20m² per liter.

To reduce gloss and to obtain a matt surface, simply use sandpaper of very fine grain to sand down the surface. This approach is simple and sustainable. To reduce the gloss add Gelomat to the color. Gelomat is a solvent-based matting agent.

Notes for working with Tonkin oil:

Note: The oil varnish will form a skin like film on the surface while being stored.

Tip, make sure the opened tin is turned upside down after use. This way the film cannot form itself. The skin or film formation will appear at the bottom of the can, and the cumbersome removal of the skin is no longer needed.

The brush should first be cleaned with turpentine and, only after that, with linseed soap and water.

IMPORTANT: Cloths that have been soaked in linseed oil are at High risk of spontaneous combustion! Please place used cloths in a metal container or leave them immersed in water.

Using Gelomat as a matting agent:

Gelomat is added to the oil and lacquer paints. This gives it a matt or satin like glow. Mixing Gelomat into paint or oil prior to the application will make it homogenized. This way you can choose different finish levels. Important! Please be advised! Gelomat should only be used in the final coat!

To achieve Very matt lacquer film: Gelomat and paint ratio 1:1
To achieve a frosted like film / paint, semigloss: 1/3 Gelomat and 2/3 varnish.

In paints, the lack levels can be achieved with much lower amounts. In this case, use about half of the amounts specified for the satin finishes.

Since Gelomat is a flammable product, the opened can should be resealed after each use. Please keep it away from heat. Despite its gel-like consistency, Gelomat liquefies the paint or the varnish so that these products no longer need to be diluted before use. The mixing of paints or varnishes with Gelomat does not mean that fewer layers have to be applied than usual in order to achieve a satisfactory finish.