I decided to try MMS Hemp Oil as a finish on a chalk painted dresser. I have used the oil on wood that needed reviving such as inside drawers but I have never actually put it over paint. Hemp oil is an all natural product that has no VOCs and has a mild, nutty odour. Read Miss Mustard Seed’s explanation about the oil here. Having used oils such as Tung, Danish and wipe-on poly on wood that I re-finished, I knew that Hemp oil would be easy to apply but I wasn’t sure about durability. This, after all, is a food-grade oil. Apparently, it sinks into a porous surface like milk or chalk paint and binds the paint. That’s essentially what wax was does to chalk paint and like wax, hemp oil has a 30 day cure period. You can add an extra coat of hemp oil to the surface if you want more protection or you can put on a coat of wax.
So, what are the pluses to using it? Number 1 has to be the ease of use. You rub it in with a cloth or a natural bristle brush and wipe off the excess. That’s it. The second bonus is the the appearance-it leaves a flat even surface. Anyone who has used wax knows the frustration of uneven waxing. I’m pretty sure that waxing is the number 1 topic of discussion among chalk painters. Finally, if you are at all sensitive to solvents like those in wax, then you won’t be breathing in chemicals with Hemp oil. The downsides? Well, it doesn’t feel as nice as wax since wax gives a slippery touch to a piece. It also feels a bit oily until it cures.
Neither wax nor hemp oil are totally water-resistant, so in that regard they are similar. I painted this small dresser in AS French Linen with a bit of pure white and some gilding paste. I love the way the Hemp oil looks on the piece. After 24 hours, it didn’t mark when I put something on the top and the paint did not rub off anywhere when I tried to scratch it.
If you want to read more about Hemp oil, here is a link to Homestead House paints who manufacture it. They explain how natural oils like Tung and Hemp work.
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