How to Use Hemp Oil for Wood FinishingThe choice of finishing oil you use on your raw wood projects sets the tone for their aesthetic and function — not to mention their longevity. The essential importance of the finish lies in how it enhances the natural wood surfaces while aligning with your eco-friendly lifestyle. In both regards, an all-natural hemp oil wood finish ticks all the boxes with a formulation that’s safe for food contact, providing a worry-free choice in your kitchen and dining room. Let’s explore how to harness the power of Hemp Oil for wood finishing from the Real Milk Paint Co. when you want professional-grade results that are kinder to the planet.

What Is Hemp Oil?

Extracted from industrial hemp seeds via a cold-pressed process, hemp seed oil offers a sustainable natural option that’s ideal for creating food-safe surfaces. It penetrates deeply into the wood, nourishing it from within thanks to its fatty acids and antioxidants. This unique molecular structure also makes a hemp oil wood finish exceptionally flexible, solidifying it into a durable, water-resistant protective layer that doesn’t crack or peel with time and use. The food-safe nature of hemp seed oil also makes it the preferred choice for wood finishing, especially for items destined for use in the kitchen, such as wooden utensils, cutting boards and hand-carved bowls.

Benefits of Using Hemp Oil on Wood Surfaces

Adding a hemp oil finish to your painted or raw wood surfaces offers a variety of benefits. Although it doesn’t make a wood surface waterproof, a hemp oil finish does add water resistance for extra protection on furniture such as side tables where you sit your beverages.

Easy application makes adding natural hemp seed oil simple, even for a novice DIYer. The pleasantly earthy aroma with only naturally occurring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) lets you use it in enclosed spaces without worry. The natural look of its matte finish beautifies wood items in your home, whether you use it on wood floors or wooden cutting boards you show off on charcuterie night.

Real-Life Applications for All-Natural Hemp Oil

man applying Hemp Oil for Wood Finishing to his floorHemp oil works well on almost any surface. It protects wood, whether you’re finishing raw wood, preserving a chalk- or milk-painted surface or refreshing the look of old wood furniture. Though it doesn’t provide the same level of water resistance as our Pure Tung Oil, our Hemp Oil wood finish still works great in the kitchen, making it an excellent choice for sprucing up your favorite wood utensils and cutting boards. This food-safe oil finish also makes hemp perfect for crafts and toys for kids. Use it to add a slight sheen to your wood floors when you want a finish that protects wood. You can also easily reapply as needed.

Using Hemp Oil on your next wood creation is simple. After preparing your surface for application, apply the oil to a lint-free cloth or rag and gently wipe the Hemp Oil on the wood until it absorbs into the surface, which typically takes 40 minutes to an hour. Repeat this process until the Hemp Oil is no longer absorbed into the wooden surface, and remove excess oil with a clean cloth. Allow the piece to cure for a week to 10 days before using your newly finished item.

Comparing Hemp Seed Oil With Other Finishes

Whether you’re adding an oil wood finish or a commercial varnish, your choice of products significantly influences whether your project is environmentally friendly, simple to complete and durable enough to stand the test of time — not to mention how it looks and how well it protects wood. Here’s how a hemp oil wood finish stacks up against other options popular with woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts.

Hemp Oil Finish

Hemp Oil from Real Milk Paint Co

  • Pros: Hemp oil offers a highly sustainable option for painted or bare wood. Derived from easily grown seeds, hemp oil is completely biodegradable, making it a greener way to finish furniture and home decor. It goes on easily with no special techniques or tools, and due to its naturally thin viscosity, it doesn’t require thinning. Lastly, this food-safe oil enhances the natural color of wood grain and forms a flexible finish that repels cracking and peeling for long-term beauty.
  • Cons: A hemp oil wood finish is moderately water-resistant but not completely waterproof. Also, hemp oil isn’t as durable as some oil-based finishes, though reapplying another top coat as needed bolsters longevity when you want a wonderful finish that makes your woodworking and project space a little greener. You must also wait at least 2 weeks for complete drying. 

Tung Oil Finish

  • Pros: Derived from the nuts of the tung or Chinawood tree, environmentally friendly Pure Tung Oil from the Real Milk Paint Co. contains no additives or distillates for a highly sustainable finish. More water-resistant than our Hemp Oil, this formulation works great for outdoor furniture and furnishings. Deep penetration enhances the wood grain, adds a protective finish that resists chips and cracks, and is flexible and enduring.
  • Cons: Though formulations from the Real Milk Paint Co. are 100% safe for food contact, products from other companies may have different quality control processes and cause issues for those with sensitivities. You may have to add multiple coats to get deep penetration, cutting each one with Citrus Solvent to ensure penetration. Likewise, oil initially applied today doesn’t fully cure for at least 30 days, keeping items out of service until completely dry.

Linseed Oil Finish

  • Pros: Linseed oil wood finishes are a natural way to enhance furniture. Like hemp oil, they elevate the look of wood grain and are easy to apply.
  • Cons: A linseed oil wood finish takes a long time to dry after the initial application, and your cure time may extend even further in humid settings. While it might protect your surface from dirt and debris, this oil wood finish may turn yellow over time without regular maintenance.

Commercial Varnishes

  • Pros: Commercial varnishes offer a highly durable top coat for your wood surface and are typically highly water-resistant. Available in finishes from matte to high gloss, commercial varnishes offer the highest level of aesthetic versatility compared to an oil wood finish.
  • Cons: These finishes have the lowest degree of environmental friendliness and sustainability. Most commercial varnishes contain potentially harmful VOCs that affect human health. These finishes may also be difficult to apply properly and may crack or peel in extreme conditions.

Get Hemp Oil for Your Next Project From the Real Milk Paint Co.

A hemp oil wood finish beautifies your woodworking projects and enhances their eco-friendliness. When you’re looking for an all-natural oil to replace commercial oil-based finishes, turn to the Real Milk Paint Co. for top-notch products that help you prep, paint and finish all the surfaces in your home.