Tools are often viewed as utilitarian items, prized for what they can do for you rather than how they look. It’s true that the condition of your rake or spade matters more in a practical sense than it does aesthetically, but you may be surprised at how an unsightly nick or a smattering of rust can eventually affect the lifespan of your favorite shovel.

Using products from The Real Milk Paint Co., you can restore hand-me-down tools and flea-market finds to increase durability while also making them a lot more pleasant to look at.

A One-Two Product Punch

To kick off your tool maintenance project, you’ll need two products: our Soapstone Sealer & Wood Wax (SSW) and our Hemp Oil (HO). The Soapstone Sealer & Wood Wax is a miracle worker with metal, stopping oxidation in its tracks and preventing continued rusting. Hemp Oil, on the other hand, seals and strengthens wood while also keeping it from drying and splintering.

There are other benefits too:

  • Natural, organic ingredients are better for the planet and for your family.
  • You can work outside without worrying about soil contamination.
  • Both are safe for food contact, just in case you plan on refreshing tools that may find their way into your kitchen.

Far from one-trick ponies, our hemp oil and soapstone sealer can be used for a ton of other projects, making your purchases sound investments.

The Restoration Processbefore and after tool photos using Real Milk Paint

This simple five-step process requires a bit of elbow grease, but everything you need can be found on our site or in your own home. Set aside part of your Saturday morning and get to work:

  1. Clean the tool, carefully removing any debris or caked-on dirt. We used a wire brush on our shovel project, but you can use something less aggressive (steel wool, for example) depending on the size and condition of the item.
  2. Using a rag, wipe down the tool so it’s free from any post-scrubbing debris. Keep wiping until the rag stays clean.
  3. Now that you have a blank canvas, begin applying the SSW to all the tool’s metal bits using a soft cloth (old T-shirts work nicely). A gentle but firm buffing motion takes care of application and excess product removal in one easy step.
  4. Apply HO to the wooden parts of the tool using a similar (but separate) soft cloth and the same type of buffing motion.
  5. Let the tool cure for 5-7 days to ensure optimal protection/effect before using.

Whether you’re a frugal DIY enthusiast eager to prolong the life of your favorite tools or a collector hoping to breathe new life into an antique find, Real Milk Paint products help you safely and easily rehabilitate and preserve your favorite tools.