Refinishing wood with wax and hemp oil – a comparison with project samples

Refinishing wood with waxes and hemp oil - a side by side comparison of products, complete with project samples, by
Happy Monday to you! And boy did I need a day of rest on Sunday.

I’ve been steady on purging my downstairs area, and it’s really kicking me. It’s truly one of the most demanding DIYs you can do. But it’s also the one that gives back the most, so it’s still an investment of time and energy worth taking. 

Farm table before /

Part of the purge is refining details in my photo studio, and I’m wishing to finish the top of an old wooden farm table for enhanced protection.

So I brought out all my wood waxes and oil, and started to experiment a little on the table edge (I couldn’t help myself) but knew I’d better test all the products right on a sample board first.

Refinishing wood with wax and hemp oil - a comparison with project samples on

Refinishing wood with wax and hemp oil – a comparison with project samples

The products

1. Miss Mustard Seed Hemp Oil
2. Fusion Mineral Paint Beeswax Finish
3. Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Wax
4. Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax
5. Miss Mustard Seed White Wax.

(in proper order shown below)

Disclosure / All these products were sent to me some time ago by either Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint or Fusion Mineral Paint. They are all products created by Homestead House, in Toronto, Canada. All opinions and post ideas are of my own doing and are not sponsored.

I started off with a cedar plank. The colour tone of the wood is a warm cinnamon, not yellow nor orange.

Refinishing wood with wax and hemp oil - a comparison with project samples on
Finishes wet (left to right)

1. Miss Mustard Seed Hemp Oil
2. Fusion Mineral Paint Beeswax Finish
3. Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Wax
4. Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax
5. Miss Mustard Seed White Wax.

The hemp oil (far left) drew out deepest tones in the wood.

For the two on the far right, the antiquing wax is a deeper chocolate tone, and the white wax resembles a thick white wash.

I didn’t sand the wood prior, and applied each finish with one coat, using a rag.

Refinishing wood with wax and hemp oil - a comparison with project samples on
Finishes Dry (left to right)

1. Miss Mustard Seed Hemp Oil
2. Fusion Mineral Paint Beeswax Finish
3. Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Wax
4. Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax
5. Miss Mustard Seed White Wax.

After 24 hours, the above is the result. Click picture to view larger image.

And below are my thoughts on each, with project samples.

Reclaimed wood and stencilled arrow sign with hemp oil /
Arrow sign / hemp oil on wood and metal

The outcome

1. Miss Mustard Seed Hemp Oil 

Tone / Deepens the tone of the wood and holds the dark tone.

Texture / You can feel that there’s something on the wood, as in a little more drag to it when you run your hand across it. Very smooth after a light sanding.

Outcome / Use this one if you wish for LOTS of depth.

Old crate stairway design /
I am currently using bees wax on my crate stairs. Will show results once completed.

2. Fusion Mineral Paint BeesWax Finish

Tone / Creates a medium deep tone to the wood.

Texture / feels nearly the same as the oil, but a little smoother due to the wax. Very smooth after a light sanding.

Outcome / A nice combination if you desire a quality oil based finish, but with a wax feel, and you wish to deepen the tone of the wood. 

The oil base of both products above definitely have a heavier feel than the following below…

Coffee station before with raw wood /
Coffee station after with Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Wax /
Beverage station / MMS furniture wax, with a touch of bees wax for added depth.

3. Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Wax 

Tone / Cures back to the natural shade of the wood. 

Texture / Very light, clean and smooth to the touch. May require additional coats for beefed up protection.

Outcome /I like that there’s an option for protection without darkening the wood tone. It offers a Restoration Hardware wood toned finish. The wood may have a slightly dusty appearance, so going over lightly with a product that deepens the tone of the wood is a good option.

Sleigh shelf waxed with  with Miss Mustard Seed Antique Wax /
Sled shelf / just the shelves were antique waxed, ending up as an exact match to the older sleigh wood.

Tool tote caddy before /
Tool tote caddy with Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax /
Tool tote for paint and paper / a light wash of curio paint followed by antiquing wax

4. Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax

Tone / A chocolate but more transparent undertone. Nice if you wish to be further away from orange.

Texture / Very light, clean and smooth to the touch. May require more coats for beefed up protection. Very smooth once lightly sanded.

Outcome / It was lighter in tone than I anticipated, which was a nice surprise. I’d use this if you wished to remove the orange undertones of wood moreso. But will likely darken the wood with repeated coats.

Red market tray with  Miss Mustard Seed White and Antiquing Wax /
Reclaimed red market tray / white wax on white wood, antiquing wax on red

5. Miss Mustard Seed White Wax

Tone / After curing, the white wash toned down a little. The white pigment is strong, so you get quite good coverage, much like a white wash paint. For a drift wood effect, I can see mixing in a little furniture wax working.

Texture / Very light, clean and smooth to the touch. May require additional coats for beefed up protection.

Outcome / If you love a white washed finish on wood, you can absolutely achieve that with this wax, with no paint in sight, vs white washing in paint, then following with a clear furniture wax. This does it all in one shot.

Overall Summary:


Being a DIYer with different needs for different applications, it’s nice having them all in stock. They all do something very different from one another. So much like having a selection of paint, a selection of wood finishes is super helpful.

I think it’s impossible to stock too much of any of these. I’d suggest to get the larger containers where available. Wax goes fast, and you’ll wish you had more after working on a larger piece.

Ease of application

The hemp oil is easiest to apply, 2nd are the Miss Mustard Seed products that are a thick lotion like texture, and 3rd, the Fusion Bees Wax, which is a harder compound, similar to hard floor wax. The bees wax requires more effort to apply for that reason, but you also may get the most coverage out of it due to that too.

Protection factors

The oil finishes (hemp oil and Bees Wax) were heavier, which could translate to heftier protection. This offered less control in the end result tone wise. They both greatly deepen the wood tones.

The furniture wax is a great option if you prefer a lighter touch, with more control over the finished result. You may desire more than one application to build additional protection.

Please know, I’m not an expert in any of these products. I had them on hand and decided to show you to the best of my (uneducated) ability how they looked and felt. If you wish for more info, please contact Homestead House.

Now, wish me luck as I attempt to sand my ‘sample board off’, and start over with just one finish! I couldn’t help myself… 🙂

Another like minded post below:

How to condition metal on
Learn options on conditioning rusty metal HERE.

Disclosure / this post contains affiliate links.

Did you find this info helpful? Which products do you like to use on wood?

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Categories: Reclaimed wood projects, What To Get
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  1. Good Monday morning to you. I have been wanting to try the hemp oil but it is quite pricey. This great post with valuable info is just what I needed to give the hemp a go. Thank ya and have a fantabulous week!

  2. Great post!! I love seeing all the comparisons! Thanks for sharing and doing all this before work for us. 🙂

  3. I have an old oak dining room table that needs refinished because the original varnish(?) is peeling off. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Pam! I’m not an expert on the topic, so it’s hard for me to say without seeing the finish. But I’d think removing the old varnish may be in order if you wish for a wood tone to remain. Otherwise, repainting may be your best bet.

      You could also attempt to sand the old varnish off, but please do a trial in an area that isn’t important.

      Proceed at your own risk, or seek expert advice when redoing a piece if it’s valuable.

  4. Thank you SO much for that lesson. I really appreciate (as always) your detailed explanations and photos. Great way to start the week. 🙂

  5. Near the end, under “Protection Factors” you said that furniture wax is water-based. I always thought that wax and water don’t mix, so I don’t get this. Also, one time I asked Miss Mustard Seed herself why one would want to use hemp oil and another kind of wax together, which is something she did. I never got an answer, so I’m still wondering. Do hemp oil and wax offer different kinds of protection? Nourishing and darkening the wood vs. repelling liquids and being a shell of protection. So, beyond coloring the wood differently, why would I want to use one product over another? I am really confused about oils and waxes, and I think I will remain confused. I just don’t seem to get it. I’ll keep asking questions, though! Thank you for the demonstration.

    • Hi Fonda,

      Please know, I’m no expert. I had these contents on hand and decided to do a comparison on them. For expert advice, you may wish to contact Homestead House.

      Why would one use one over the other? They do different things. They feel different. They wear different. They look different. It’s like asking why one would paint a room one shade of blue while someone else may paint it another shade.

      Some of it’s personal preference, but some things do a better job at certain things than others. It’s really all about trial and error and what you prefer yourself.

      You may wish to google how oils vs waxes protect and penetrate. I haven’t gone that far myself yet. 🙂

      I’m also going to remove my water based comment, because I’m now not sure that is accurate. The fine print on the containers is VERY small and I missed that the waxes contain beeswax and carnauba wax. Sorry about that!

  6. Hi Donna,
    I’m repurposing an old kitchen base cabinet for my mitre saw counter. It’s been outside, been rained on, had peeling veneer that I scraped off, rough plywood. . . you know the type. I sanded it all down. It never occurred to me to use oils or waxes on the wood, instead of poly, though, and then I read this post. Do you ever use poly on your projects? I’d prefer to use more natural products if I can. Thanks for any tips!

  7. This is why your newsletter comes in handy because I missed this post somehow on the first go-around. I’m so glad the newsletter brought this post to my attention as it’s very timely advice for me. I have an old coffee table that someone gifted me with which is really quite lovely and I’d like to keep the wood tones instead of painting. So, it’s off to Homestead House I go! Thank you, Donna!

  8. Hi Donna,

    I’m way behind the times on this, but found it interesting as I’m currently refinishing a table and chairs for my son. They belonged to my parents and are very high quality wood, (maple I think?) but the finish was battered and not nice anymore. I sanded down the table top and chair seats, which were heavily varnished, and used minwax walnut gel stain, as my DIL wants them dark. I’m using minwax clear wax to protect them. I love the feel of them, but am not sure about the durability. I also used ivory chalk paint and clear wax on the legs and backs. She doesn’t want a distressed finish (imagine!) so I want to make sure the finish is hard. Do you think the wax will be enough?


    • Hi Jan! It’s hard to say. Wax may need additional treatments with time. If you want a one shot deal that will take a lot of wear, you may have to go to something stronger. I’d suggest to talk to a paint store and visit your options.