So what IS that problem?  It's that it starts aging as soon as it is bottled because of the air that is at the top of the bottle. Tru Oil company refuses to use an inert gas if fill that space. As a result  it's shelf life , even for an unopened bottle, is just two years. To compound this problem, Tru Oil refuses to put a date on when it was bottled. This means that  there are thousands of bottles all over the world, that have been sitting on store shelves for years and years, and will never work.. Here is a solution... 

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 This is a Universal Facebook link, and should work for everyone here...ttps://

Elegant, Kerry!  I know some Tru-Oilers who will enjoy this one.

Thanks for sharing.

Cool, Kerry.

 Do you think this would work for shellac? I make up small batches but I just don't do enough to use them up most of the time.

BTW, I've never tried Tru-Oil. I know some gun people that love it as a finish but hate the shelf life. It's one of the reasons that I've never tried it on an instrument.  Maybe it's time to experiment with it too. 

Thanks for the tip.

I've used marbles to fill up the space in a partial bottle of TruOil.

I kind of like the idea of marbles except that it makes it harder to tell how much finish material I actually have in the container and, as I stated earlier, I usually only make up small batches.

Good post Kerry. But what about boiled linseed oil? There's no True Oil here, so raw or boiled linseed oil is what i normally use. Thanks for sharing!

 Ah! There you are Mario! Good to see your Friend Request on my Facebook wall!  Even up here in Northern British Columbia, in this town of 80 thousand, there is only a single store that sells it. Sometimes they are out for years at a time. The Marbles idea is an excellent one...  

 Ned, this would work for any shellack or some such. Because it is heavier than air, when sprayed into the container, if pushes the air out at the top, and blankets the liquid. 

Hey! thanks for accepting the request Kerry! 

Homemade tru part each of oil varnish,  boiled linseed oil, and thinner.    make sure to use  BOILED linseed oil. Raw linseed oil is very slow drying. People mess with the 1/3 ratio, but i have good luck with 1/3rd of each.

I have used the marbles method, and even washed off smooth gravel for gallon size cans.  Problem is that much of the finish gets locked into the can by sticking to all that surface area.  Anybody try this??

Also, Watco Oil is the same 1/3-1/3-1/3 mixture.  It all depends on what you use for the "varnish" part of the mix.  Could be varnish, could be spar varnish, could be urethane varnish, could be any number of things.


 Usually, the "Preserve" inert gas is as close as your nearest  Wine store Ed. And I had no idea that folks actually hand made this stuff.

It seems to me after what I have read here ( and my disgust with what this stuff becomes after two years) is that it is the Varnish ingredient that goes bad in the Tru-Oil. 

It's been a while, but my last 3oz bottle of Truoil was ~$7.00. After each finishing session on multiple projects I squished the open bottle until the liquid was up to the top of the spout and screwed on the lid.  This was over the span of 2 months and the last of the bottle performed as well as the first.   

My solution to Try Oil's biggest problem is to only buy finishes (Tru-Oil or any other oil or water based finish) in the smallest quantity to get the project at hand completed and toss what is left.  The great thing about Tru Oil is it comes in 3oz bottles which is more than enough for a guitar and in my case a pair of Ukes too..  


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