I must preface this message by saying that I have never worked with wood before, just trying to learn as I go.
So, I just bought an old pine antique box. I had sanded it down and wanted to finish it in such a way that the wood would still have that beautiful light-straw colour to it. I just finished another wood project and realized that when I applied the finish it darkened the wood significantly. I did not want the beautiful light-coloured pine to darken, so I was recommended tung oil, followed by a wax to finish it (I've bought "Circa 1850" brand tung oil and "Circa 1850" brand "Antique paste finishing wax").
I just applied the first coat of tung oil today and it looks horrible! It has absorbed in a splotchy pattern, and to my dismay it has significantly darkened the wood. I just read that pine is very spongy so it can absorb things differently in different areas, and so using a sealer is recommended before staining or finishing.
My questions are:
Is there a way to reverse the splotchy damage I've done?
Will applying further coats of tung oil fill in the splotches?
If I used a sealer now will it do any good?
Also, if I wanted to use a stain (to try to salvage the darkened colour) is it impossible now that I have applied one coat of tung oil?
Always test your finish out on scraps. You should have cut some pine boards of the same species into small test pieces. Now that you have gone ahead and put the tung oil down, go make some samples and try laying out a couple of coats to see what it will be like if you keep going in the same direction with more coats. Waterbased poly or cab acrylic lacquer would have been the way to go if you wanted to keep it light and natural. You make be able to remove most of the tung oil by wiping it down with mineral spirits if it hasn't dried too long. Do some tests, maybe a hotter solvent? Normally the tung oils even out after the second coat, but I've never used it on pine. I don't think you would want to use a sealer because tung oil soaks into the wood, that is how it protects and I don't think you want to inhibit that. I don't see anything in the manufacturer's instructions that say you need a sealer either.