DIY pallet projects dominate social media due to their simplicity, but creating an attractive pallet wall requires more than tools, nails and wood. Some crafters paint their pallet wood so it matches or accents their decor, but others prefer to enhance the wood’s natural hue with oil. Hemp oil is a solid choice for projects with pallet wood because it nourishes rough pieces without destroying their durability. Learn more about the benefits of hemp oil, including how to use it on your pallet project, below.

What Is Furniture Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil is a solvent-free substance derived from hemp seeds. The hemp oil you see in the health food aisle is not the same hemp oil you use on furniture. Both oils come from the same seeds, but they’re processed differently. Edible hemp oil is processed carefully, so many of its heart-healthy nutrients are preserved. Hemp oil for furniture and home decor is generally still safe if your kids or pets accidentally consume some of it, but it’s not designed for food use.

How Does Hemp Oil Affect Wood?

When you rub hemp oil on your pallet wood wall or a similar product, it penetrates the wood, softening and smoothing it. Hemp oil highlights wood’s natural beauty as it conditions it, so you don’t need a stain or paint. This results in an attractive finish that falls somewhere in between a gloss-free matte and a shiny surface.

You can apply hemp oil on bare wood whether it’s new or old. Hemp oil brings out the different grains in untreated new wood, but it also revives the appearance of old wood. You can even use hemp oil on pieces that have already been treated with a milk stain or similar product. However, if you plan to use this oil with wax, make sure to apply the oil first and then add the wax.

How Do You Choose Wood for a Pallet Wall?

unfinished pallet sign that says home

Make sure your wood is heat-treated instead of chemically treated. Heat-treated wood typically has an HT stamp on the bottom. It’s important to look for this stamp because chemically treated wood is not ideal for indoor use and can make you and your loved ones sick if you unknowingly inhale harmful fumes.

Look for wood with different color variations. Hemp oil enhances each hue nicely, so don’t feel like you have to stick with a specific shade. Pallet projects often look better with a mixture of grains and hues, which is good because it’s hard to find matching pallet pieces anyway.

Once you’ve selected your wood, you’re ready to apply a nourishing coat of hemp oil. You can do this before or after you secure the boards to your wall, though you may find it easier to do it first. That way, you don’t have to bend at odd angles or climb ladders to rub the oil into each crevice.

How Do You Apply Hemp Oil to Wood Pallet Walls?

Before you slather on a coat of hemp oil, decide which tool(s) you want to use for the job. Depending on the size and thickness of your pallet pieces, you may find it helpful to use any of these items:

  • Felt or a similar cloth
  • Lint-free rag or towel
  • Painting sponge
  • Paintbrush
  • Old socks
  • Toothbrush

pallet sign painted with hemp oilA lint-free cloth or sponge works well for large surfaces, while a toothbrush is ideal for corners and edges. Regardless of which tool you choose,


 you can dip it directly in an undiluted bowl or cup of hemp oil. Unlike many finishes, hemp oil is ready for use straight from the bottle, but we recommend emptying the bottle into a container first.

Even though your oil is ready to go, your wood might not be ready yet. Make sure it’s clean and dry before you add the oil. Wipe away any dust, and sand the wood if desired.

Spread the oil gently over the wood, making sure to cover the top and sides. Let it dry for at least 12 hours, and then buff it with a rag until it reaches your desired sheen. The more you buff it, the shinier it will get. Keep in mind, though, that hemp oil will never look as glossy as some finishes. Hemp oil enhances the appearance of wood rather than overpowering it.

Why Choose Hemp Oil Over Another Solution?

Pure tung oil requires significant dilution, and even then, it may not penetrate pallet wood as well as hemp oil. This can result in a frosty finish rather than a soft, natural look. Hemp oil has a thin viscosity, so it absorbs easily into the wood, even if you apply it on top of another finish. Simply wipe the oil on the wood, let it absorb and enjoy the stunning hues of your pallet slabs.

Some oils don’t pair well with wax, but you can apply wax over hemp oil. In fact, doing so helps improve the resilience of your treated wood. Hemp oil is safe for nearly everyone, even kids and adults, because it’s hypoallergenic and made from food-safe materials.

This hydrating oil doesn’t smell like paint or stains, so you can use it in an enclosed area without worrying about inhaling toxic fumes. It’s not sticky, so it won’t result in a hard-to-clean mess if you accidentally knock over your container.

Hemp oil lasts a while — sometimes for a decade or longer if you live in a humid area. Otherwise, you may have to reapply it a couple times a year to get the look you want.before and after pallet painted with hemp oil

You can use hemp oil on a number of surfaces, not just pallet wood. This natural oil also works well on cutting boards, countertops, and carved utensils. You can use it alone or apply it over milk paint or chalk paint.


What Are Some Other Pallet Projects That Could Benefit From Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil improves and protects the appearance of pallet walls, but you can also use it for pallet furniture, such as coffee tables and chairs. Another option is to rub hemp oil over pallet art, such as a wooden wall hanging with a motivational quote, because since it’s safe for use over stains and paint.

Pallet pieces are often derived from different types of wood, so it can be difficult to find a product that enhances each one. Hemp oil gently conditions pallet wood, revealing its natural patterns. When you want to improve the appearance of your pallet wood wall without a lot of additional effort, reach for a container of hemp oil.  Questions about hemp oil or other Real Milk Paint products? Fill out our contact form or call 800-339-9748 for more info!