Thursday, November 13, 2008

Documenting Strawbale 9: Hemp Oil Wood Finish

We ended up ordering hemp oil wood finish from Homestead House in Toronto. This is actually just a food grade hemp oil, made from "100 mile" hemp grown near Barrie at Hempola Farm. We could have ordered it directly from Hempola, but needed to get it here quickly and shipping from the Toronto store was faster. We are very happy with the results - the hemp oil really brings out the grain of the wood, dries quickly (minimum 12 hours), and is not messy to work with. It's nice to know that it's an all natural product (as opposed to other stains or wood sealants) so if it gets on hands or clothes it's not a concern. I used a cloth to rub the oil into the wood, and put on two coats. They recommend at least two coats for a good sealant, and even upto four coats if it's a high traffic area. Floors or furniture should be reoiled every year or so, but as these are ceiling boards this will be it. The boards will be installed over the next few days.

We finished up all the outdoor work on the house, including sealing up the last parts of the soffit, putting on the final board & baton walls, and cleaning up tools. We just need to use the commercial mixer for prepping earthen floor (a few days of work), but otherwise we are pretty much ready for winter weather now, as the house is cozy and basically all work left is interior. Quite satisfying to be at this stage - it is November.


  1. I know this post is a couple of years old now, but I am wondering how the hemp seed oil finish has held up.

    I am considering getting some from Homestead to use on some furniture i am building ... a bench, some shelves and a table ... but it's difficult to find much information on how hemp seed oil performs.

    One concern was that it might go rancid over time like other vegetable based oils (which is one reason why don't want to finish a table or counter with olive oil).

    Any insights on how the wood has aged, how much protection the hemp seed oil offers, and how happy you've been with the results would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Yes it can go rancid like other vegetable oils. I used some Badger Gunnel oil which is 100% pure hemp oil which they said was food safe as they use it on their paddles, on my cutting board this summer & I had to throw the hardwood board away because it went rancid. Made me angry as we had only used the cutting board twice to cut vegetables for a salad, twice at the cottage.
    I'd stick to an oil that Lee Valley sells, which is for this purpose. It was a hard lesson learned.