What's the big deal about Hemp Seed Oil?
If you are part of the furniture up-cycling world, you have likely heard about hemp seed oil. This miraculous product is powerful super tool that lends itself to an array of beautifying and strengthening finishes. This is definitely a product that lives up to its street credit!
What is hemp seed oil?
Hemp oil or hemp seed oil is an 100% natural oil produced from extracting oil from seeds of the hemp plant. In its natural form, it is medium amber to dark greenish brown depending on the region from which it was harvested. When unrefined, it retains more of its super powers including but not limited to; antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, wood and leather refresher and conditioning agent, Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint sealant, and more. Wise Owl hemp oil is different from many hemp oils because it is cold pressed (retaining the most antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties) unrefined, and it is also second pressed (preventing it from spoiling like first pressed and refined food grade hemp seed oils. Hemp oil is considered a drying oil because of its ability to polymerize into a solid form. What does this mean exactly? It will harden and become one with the surface (cure) and reach its strongest finish and bond once it has fully dried, lending its strengthening property to the finish of paint and wood. This can take between 2 weeks and a 30 days depending on environmental temperature and humidity. You may still use your piece finished with hemp oil in the meantime, but take care to protect it from water and heavy wear and tear until it has cured. Hemp oil is suitable for outdoor use, and may be applied in multiple coats to produce a more water resistance finish.
What can hemp oil do?
- It may be used on finished wood to clean and protect, or on unfinished wood to bring out the richness of the wood grain and protect it from water. It is also food safe, making it an excellent choice for beautifying and protecting cutting board and butcher blocks.
- It makes an excellent sealant over stained furniture! Simple allow the stain to dry for 3-4 days, then apply hemp oil onto the surface and let it absorb then wipe away any excess oil. Hemp oil may be reapplied at any time to re-freshen the surface and bring out the wood grain.
- It removes oxidation from various metals and may be used to clean corroded hardware and remove tarnish.
It provides a strong alternative to waxing chalk style paint. This strong paint finishing product will rival polyurethanes in terms of tenacity! If applied properly, it produces a finish that is not only strong, but also buttery smooth and uncharacteristic of many chalk style paint finishes. It will not add any shine, and will preserve the matte finish of Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint.
Raw walnut slab finished with hemp seed oil.
Hemp oil helped reveal serious beauty and dimension on this raw spalted maple slab.
How to apply hemp oil to seal wood:
Simply apply hemp oil straight out of the bottle, with a brush, or with a lint free cloth, and allow it to penetrate the surface. Wipe away excess oil. Repeat as necessary to renew and refresh the woods finish.
How to use Hemp oil to seal Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis painted pieces:
- Wet Sand
- Buff Well
Wet Sanding Instructions to seal Wise Owl Paint: Make sure the paint has had time to adequately cure (at least 24 hours). Working in small sections, apply hemp oil with a brush, cloth, or straight out of the squirt bottle. Sand the oil into the surface of the paint. Use fine sandpaper (300 or above) to work the oil into the surface of the paint (this is called wet sanding). Distress at this time if desired. If distressing a piece with raised wood grain or detail, a beautiful result is the illumination of the wood grain beneath (see picture below). Buff the excess hemp oil/paint dust slurry with a lint free cloth immediately after sanding and move on to the next section and repeat. The finish should feel dry to the touch when adequately buffed. Leaving too much residual hemp oil on the surface will produce a tacky or sticky finish as the hemp oil dries, so take care to buff well. If you notice any areas that look like they may not have absorbed enough hemp oil (blotchy or uneven finish) simply apply a a small amount of hemp oil with a lint free cloth and buff well to ensure the area has been saturated. Do not apply any additional full coats until the hemp oil has cured from initial application. Wet sanding is only necessary with the first application and this is generally all that is needed for most furniture. Hemp oil penetrates through the paint instead of sitting on top like wax, this strengthens the painted finish dramatically. Furniture intended for outdoor use may benefit from additional application of hemp oil. You may still wax over hemp oil if desired such as when using an antiquing or colored wax.
*Note: Due to the natural amber color of hemp oil, it may not be ideal for use over whites. It could add a slight antique/creamy color on whites but will not produce a noticeable difference on most colors once sanded and buffed well.
How to clean tarnished hardware and oxidized metal with hemp oil:
Saturate hardware or oxidizes metal with hemp oil. You may soak smaller items in a bowl of hemp oil, allow to sit on metal surface for a minute, and gentle wipe away oxidation with a cloth. This is especially helpful to bring back the life to metal straps and hardware on antique trunks! If you have an old trunk that seems dry and thirsty, it may just be calling for some hemp oil!