Tung Oil vs Hemp Oil

With so many top coat finishing products out there, choosing one can be difficult! Here are a few tips if you’re thinking about using Tung Oil or Hemp Oil, and can’t decide on which one to choose!


Old wood freshly coated with Hemp OIl and Tung Oil

Unlike a Varnish or Water based poly coating, Tung Oil and Hemp Oil are breathable. Now what does that mean exactly? Because these oils are from natural pressed seeds with no additives or solvents, they do not leave a plastic coating or film like conventional top coats, like a poly urethane or varnish. These oils adjust to the expansion and contraction of wood from temperature and humidity, and are able to release any moisture trapped within. Typical paints and finishes that contain synthetics do not offer this flexibility, and the surface of them will break as the moisture within the wood is trying to escape. They also do not scratch like conventional plastic coatings.

What surfaces and projects can you use these Natural Oils on?

Deck After Oil Drying

Tung OIl, and the Flower Bed in Hemp OIl.

Kitchen cabinets/islands
Doors & windows
Woodwork, walls & ceilings
Food surfaces
Exterior Surfaces

To see a video on the application of  Hemp OIl on a garden Box

How natural oils work

-Conserve initial color of wood

-Water Resistant

-Alcohol resistant

-Matte to satin matte finish

-Ideal for food surface

-Interior and exterior use

The oil saturates the wood, seals it from moisture from within. At least 2 coats is recommended, however the more coats, the more protection. You will want to re coat every few years as the wood starts to look dull and dry. Re coating is simple and easy, as you will not have to sand, or removing any peeling/flaking paint, just add oil, like a conditioner!

The wonders of Hemp Oil

Did you know that the Hemp plant can be used to manufacture over 250,000 different products? It is the strongest natural fiber, grown without the use of pesticides, and actually cleans the earth as it is growing. The hemp seeds can be used for many different products from hand creams, to food products, to our favourite wood finishing oil, Hemp Oil.

Why should you choose Hemp Oil?

Easy to use and maintain. Low carbon footprint, better for our local economy as it produced in North America and grown without the use of pesticides.

Food Grade versus non food grade?

Essentially the Hemp Oil we use for furniture is derived from the same pressed hemp seeds used for your food grade edible oils. The only difference is the level of amino acids, which affect the drying time. Our hemp oil is refined so that it dries quicker, naturally, without the use of any solvents through an accelerated oxidation process.

Cutting Boards coated in Hemp Oil. Photo from: Atelier Du Cote Bois


How to Apply Hemp Oil

You can apply hemp oil with a brush, or a rag. You do not have to worry about brush strokes, so you can apply it very liberally and wipe away the excess after 12 hours.


The wood will darken once you apply the oil. The top half here has oil, the bottom half is bare old wood. The older the wood, the darker the transformation.

Let the wood tell you if it needs more. You will typically see the oil soak in and the wood going dry, as it is drying, feel free to apply more. There is no harm in over applying Hemp Oil, just make sure you wipe away the excess after 12 hours.

What exactly is Tung Oil?

Tung Oil is a natural wood finishing oil that originates in either China, or South America. Excellent for interior and exterior wood finishing. Highly resistant to water and abrasion, Tung Oil is the most durable of all the natural oils. Tung Oil gives a matte finish which does not yellow over time. The lustre (sheen) can increase with extra coats and burnishing.

Pure or Polymerized- What’s the difference?

Pure Tung Oil contains no thinners or driers in it, making it food safe and eco-friendly. Polymerized Tung Oil which is more commonly found in your local hardware or wood working shop, has thinners or driers in it. Typically these can be quite toxic, rather than pure Tung Oil. Our Tung Oil is 100% Pure Unpolymerized. We also recommend you use our Odorless Solvent to cut your Tung Oil with if you should so choose.

Our Odorless Solvent is the safest on the market, It is 99.7% monomer free ( this is what causes the headaches).


Wood coated in Tung OIl, the wheels coated in Hemp OIl. Thank you to Rose at Studio 23 https://www.facebook.com/rose.studio23

What’s the difference between Tung Oil and Hemp Oil?
Unpolymerized Tung Oil is easy to use, not as easy as Hemp Oil, however there are pros and cons to every product that is out there. Whilst Hemp Oil is easier to apply due to its naturally thin consistency making it spread super fast, it takes longer to dry, therefore it will not go sticky or tacky if a project is left for a few hours. It is easily brushed or wiped on or off, and the drying time sensitivity of the Tung Oil, Hemp Oil is better for the beginner finisher. You can watch a video on the differences between Hemp Oil vs. Tung Oil on our You Tube Channel for more great tips!

Hemp Oil VS Tung Oil

When should you use a Tung Oil vs Hemp Oil?

When you have a finish that you want to have extra durability in water resistancy and have it last for many years (10+ years), Especially an exterior job, then go with Tung Oil, however if you don’t mind re coating every few years, then use Hemp Oil.

Here is a video on Milk Paint Deck Makeover with Tung Oil and Hemp Oil

Pure Tung Oil for non food surfaces
For non-food contact use, always thin with 50% odourless solvent for the first coat as it will help the oil penetrate more, and dry faster. Subsequent coats can be full strength, but must be wiped down after 15 minutes. Always allow ample drying time (48 hours+).

Applying Tung Oil

After the surface has been prepped by removing any debris, or unwanted previous poly coating, you may proceed to apply the Tung Oil finish. Apply the Tung oil generously with a brush, cloth. Let the wood soak in the Tung Oil for approximately five to ten minutes. Remove the excess Tung Oil before it dries on the surface with a buffing rag. If you leave the Tung Oil on for too long and it dries it may go sticky and tacky.

How many coats should I apply?

Apply three or four coats of Tung Oil for best water resistance. Let each coat dry for at least 24 hours before adding the next coat.

Maintaining a Tung oil finish

Look at the surface to determine if it is in need of re-coating, if it looks dry, add more.

If you have any further questions or would like to purchase either of these beautiful products please email us or visit a retailer near you!

Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint : http://www.missmustardseedsmilkpaint.com/retailers/

Homestead House Paint Co. :http://www.homesteadhouse.ca/retailers.html

Thank you!


President, Homestead House Paint Co.

Question of the Week- Staining with Milk Paint. Beeswax & Hemp Oil top coat.

Every week we get many great questions from our customers, here is one about using Milk Paint as a stain! Our answers are in Italics. Please send us your questions and yours may just be featured on our question of the week!

“Hello! My wife and I have been looking for a no-VOC product to stain and finish some pine bookcases we’re going to build soon, and we encountered your website last night. Your products sound amazing, but we’ve never done a project like this before, so we were hoping we could get a bit of help understanding how all of this works! If it’s all right, I have a few questions.For making indoor furniture, would it be appropriate to use a milk paint stain and then apply the beeswax finish? Is there a major difference between the beeswax and the hemp oil?”

Wood Stain and Hemp Oil

Our Natural Milk Paints can be used as a stain, are very easy to apply compared to conventional stains, and take only minutes to dry without any harsh chemical smells or toxins.

Absolutely a great combo! It depends on what your surface is. Is it bare porous wood, as that is the only way you can “stain” a piece is if the current finish is removed.

Stain with Milk Paint

The beeswax is a pure edible food grade wax that gives a matte look,can be buffed to a higher sheen or gloss. It is a paste and needs to be rubbed into the surface, has great water resistance, however a little more work than the Hemp Oil. The Hemp Oil is a natural oil that is easy to apply, really penetrates into the wood. They are both great finishes. You can combine them and use both! Hemp Oil first, then beeswax over top for extra long lasting durability.

Quick tip: If you apply a wax finish, you will have to continue with wax in the future, as oil can not be put over wax as it will not be able to penetrate and soak in.

How many coats of beeswax and of stain would we likely need to apply on bare wood?

Stain should only be 1 coat if you have mixed your stain correctly. Always test your mix on the wood surface in an inconspicuous spot to make sure you are happy. If you have applied one coat, and it isn’t quite dark or opaque enough for you, a second coat can always be applied.

We were thinking of mixing the Quebec Maple and Pacific Redwood stains together – do the stains produce predictably intermediate colours when mixed?

Yes it is very easy to mix them together You can do it in the dry powder format, or the wet liquid format. Make sure that you write down your mix in case you need to recreate it.

Since the products are no-VOC, would we be able to work with them indoors?
100% safe for using indoors. Virtually odourless and non toxic. Dries in 10-15 minutes.

Hemp OIl over stain

Cottage painted in Milk Paint!


Exterior Milk Paint Cottage

With summer finally approaching us after what seems like the longest winter ever(!), we are starting to think about painting exterior projects. Decks, porches, bird houses, sheds or plant beds, Milk Paint can be used on any size project. If you’re going to invest your time in a project for the exterior, and don’t want to have to worry about re painting it two years down the road, then Milk Paint is your new best friend!

Question: “I was wondering if milk paint has been used to paint exterior wood clapboards? I am restoring a 1860’s house and am replacing the siding. The wood is unfinished right now. Will milk paint protect the wood? How long will it last in direct sunlight? What prepwork is required to repaint when needed? What treatment would you recommend for the backside of the trim?”

Why Milk Paint outside?

It will never chip or peel! We have all experienced painting a project outside, and after a few years, mostly all of the paint has peeled right off, leaving you a big project to tackle to re paint it.
With Milk Paint, as long as you apply the paint to a porous wood, one that has no finish on it, the Milk Paint cements itself to the wood, binding with it creating a very durable hard wearing paint that will last decades. Over time, with much physical abrasion, for example on steps, you will notice gentle wearing away in those areas only. However there is no prep work required to re paint over it, simply apply the paint and go! If you were using a conventional paint you would be required to fully remove any and all of the chipping paint and sand down the surface! Vertical surfaces painted in milk paint fair extremely well and almost never need to be repainted in our life times!


Why does paint fade outside?

Depending on the quality of the pigments used, most pigments are not rated to withstand years of UV rays. Car paints are typically the most UV resistant, however most conventional house paints will fade quickly. The beauty of the Milk Paints. UV Rays do not affect the Milk Paint colours, they will retain their vibrancy for many years!

Why do paints peel in the first place?

It is important to understand the most basic chemistry of conventional paints and how they are not breathable. They are essentially a by-product of the petrochemical industry, similar to a plastic. (A conventional paint is anything that comes premixed in a can/container.)

If you apply a conventional paint, let’s say for example on a deck, within 1-2 years you will have major peeling and “paint failure”. Conventional paints are not breathable, but what does this mean? When you have moisture seeping into the wood from the ground, the sun hits the wood, it starts to heat up, and that water or moisture trapped under the paint will force its way out, resulting in peeling. With Milk Paint, there is no synthetic barrier therefore it is completely breathable, allowing the moisture trapped inside the wood to evaporate right through the Milk Paint without harming the finish.

Really quite simple isn’t it?!

Exterior Milk Paint Cottage 2

What is the best top coat to use outside?
Tung Oil! It is the most water resistant of all of the natural oils on the market. Our pure Tung Oil is 100% unpolymerized, and not cut with any thinners or solvents like most are on the market. For your first coat, adding a thinner makes it easier to penetrate into the wood and dry a little faster, however it is not 100% necessary to use a thinner. You will get a very pure, clear matte finish that is water resistant. This oil is natural and breathable therefore you will not have the issues with trapping moisture within. Using waxes or other poly coatings will lead to many problems outside.

A few more answers to the Question of the Week!

-Milk Paint itself will not protect the wood, therefore a coat or two of Tung Oil, a natural breathable non peeling oil should be applied on top of the milk paint to protect it from water spots. If you decide not to put a top coat natural oil, then the colour will not achieve its true vibrancy, and you may see water spots from rain.

-There is no prep work required is the wood is already unfinished. If it was coated in something you would need to remove it down to the porous bare wood.

-I would not recommend any treatment at all on the backside of the boards, nothing is required when using Milk Paint for prep.

*Colours Used- Algonquin and Bard Red from Homestead House Paint Co.

Color Staining With Milk Paint

Milk Paint has become popular for it’s awesome chippy goodness that gives on previously finished surfaces, but what about on raw wood?
Did you know that milk paint on raw wood is actually the strongest, most durable paint you can use?!
Milk paint when painted on raw wood will bind with the wood fibers, acting more like a stain, then paint. It soaks in, showcasing the wood grain- and giving your finish a durable, beautiful finish.

It can take two different toned wood species, and blend them together.
We started with this solid wood farmhouse inspired table design, using pine for the top, and cedar posts for the legs.
DSCF7288 (2)
We chose Raw Silk Milk Paint, to give this table an aged antiqued white finish.
When choosing to stain raw wood with milk paint, you can add more water- a 2 to 1 ratio of water to paint.
The raw wood will soak all the paint right up, and dry in a fraction of the time other toxic stains take.
After a staining the wood, you will notice that milk paint will cause the wood grain to raise- we recommend sanding this down with a fine grit sand paper or orbital sander.
We chose to create some antique wear and tear on this table by blending in some antiquing wax.
A waxing brush, sponge, or cloth will work wonderful for this. We chose to add the dark wax in the knots, and crevices of the wood, building up the age of the finish.
To seal, you can use one of waxes, or our signature Hemp Oil, or Tung oil.
Because this table was raw, and it will be a high traffic surface, we chose Tung oil for extra durability.

Milk paint gives this table an authentic wood finish, giving it a aged creamy white finish, yet not covering the wood grain, the way most premixed paints will. Do you love a painted look, but your partner cherishes wood grain? Staining with Homestead House Milk Paint is the perfect paint to marry both loves!

No Prep, No Priming, No Kidding!

We have taken 10 years of experience, expert testing and refining to provide what furniture painters require in paint: zero VOC, durability, strength, and environmentally safe. Giving a chalk like finish to mimic our milk paint line, this 100% acrylic latex paint requires no priming, sanding, or top coat!

Too good to be true, you ask? Well, we put it to the test on this high gloss cherry writing desk.
No prep, no sanding, no priming. Just 2 coats of our Furniture Paint in sunny Ochre.
Here it is before:
The paint goes on so smooth, with excellent coverage.
ochre paint
After 2 easy coats, this high gloss cherry desk has a fresh new look, with an incredibly durable finish you have to feel to believe.
A-14 copy
There is no need for topcoats, although you can add texture and sheen with any of our wonderful waxes.
A-13 copy
The brass pull got a quick coat of Sturbridge White, with a little distressing. That’s right, Furniture paint will cover metal as well!
A-12 copy
This desk in our dead flat finish, with no reflective qualities, mimicking the chalky finish of our milk paint, yet it is washable and scrub-able.
If you would like to do some distressing, like on this chair below, we recommend doing it soon after the paint dries, or wet distressing, in which you pull the paint off while wet. Because of it’s supreme adhesion, distressing can be tough once the paint is cured!
The possibilities are endless! Don’t be afraid to tackle that high gloss, ugly, intimidating furniture that you long to refinish! Our furniture paint will do all the hard work for you! Paint, and enjoy!

Choosing a Homestead House Color

Are you ready to start your painting project, but worried about making the right color choice?

We offer a beautiful selection of colors- and pallets, each unique in it’s hues and undertones.
We placed some of our favorite colors together, side by side, to help you see the difference between them, so you can chose the color right for you!


First the beloved blues:

H-4 web

Left to Right: Maritime Blue, Soldier Blue, Homestead Blue, and Midnight Blue.

Maritime Blue: A rich cerulean Blue

Soldier Blue: A bold, true Blue

Homestead Blue: A dark saturated Blue, with just a hint of green.

Midnight Blue: Our darkest Blue, appears almost black in certain lighting situations.


Our lighter Blues and Aquas:

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Left to Right: Laurentien,  Loyalist, Rideau, Quaker Blue

Laurentien: A soft robin’s egg blue with a hint of green.

Loyalist: This is a soft muted light green/blue mix.

Rideau Blue: This muted blue has a hint of grey.

Quaker Blue: This bold blue has a blend of green and dusty grey.

The lovely yellows:

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Left to Right: Buttermilk, Ochre, Garden Seed, Mustard

Buttermilk Cream: A rich, creamy yellow. Goes well with any of the greens, reds, or blues.

Ochre: A Bold Warm Yellow

Garden Seed: A rich, Vibrant Yellow

Mustard: This harvest yellow is a little darker and slightly more muted than Garden Seed. Goes well with greens and reds.


The Greens:

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Left to Right: Upper Canada, Gatineau, Acadia Pear, Bayberry

Upper Canada Green: This is the brightest of the greens. It has an granny smith apple vibrancy to it.

Gatineau: This is a medium tone yellow green. Goes well with yellows, reds and the grey-blues.

Acadia Pear: A muted, sage-green.

Bayberry: A deep rich, yellow-green.


The Whites:

H-2 web
Left to Right: Sturbridge White, Raw Silk, Champlain, Limestone

Sturbridge White: Considered to be a “natural white” less stark than the whites found in lead and modern paint

Raw Silk: This is a warm white with a hint of grey.

Champlain : Absolute warm white. It is a neutral that matches just about anything, with a mix off cool and warm undertones of yellow and grey.

Limestone:This next to the white has a very slight hint of a warm yellow. Similar to natural limestone or chalk


The Taupes:
H-6 web

Left to Right: Cathedral Taupe, Bedford, Algonquin, Cartier

Cathedral Taupe: A light taupe. This ageless neutral matches just about anything.

Bedford: This is a very light neutral grey with a hint of sage- green.

Algonquin:A warm, bold grey beige taupe, with light undertones of brown.

Cartier: A warm Sage-green

And two classics:

H-7 web

Coal Black, and Chocolate

Coal Black: This jet black is used to accentuate any color.

Chocolate: This dark sorrel brown has a touch of red. Goes nicely with reds, blues and greens.





Algonquin (Before and After) and A Sneak Peek!

Today on the blog, we have a before and after featuring one of our beloved neutrals, Algonquin, as well as a sneak peak we have in the works! We are in the process of creating a wonderful new product for you, Stone Surface Medium. This product will add texture and dimension to your faux finishing, stenciling, and furniture painting. Where as it is not quite ready yet, we couldn’t help but share a sneak peek with you!

This antique cedar chest was in great shape, but the exterior was faded and outdated. It had beautiful details that needed to come alive using our Furniture Paint.

The pallet was Algonquin for the body, and Sturbridge White for the details.

The beauty of our Furniture Paint is it’s ability to go on flawlessly, as well as it’s consistency is beautiful for stenciling.

We chose a fleur de lis stencil to give the front of the chest some character, by lightly pouncing Sturbridge white over the stencil using a foam sponge.



To give the pattern a raised finish, we played with our medium Stone Surface medium. (Again, this product is still in testing, will be coming soon!)

DSCF7331 (2)
After gently pulling the stencil was off, the design had instant texture and a 3 dimensional quality!

DSCF7340 We just had to share, this product is going to give your finishes a step up!

algonquin (2)

And some shots of the details of the chest…
algonquin (3)

algonquin (1)

algonquin (2)
Don’t you just love being in the “know”?! Stay tuned for our new Stone Surface Medium… until then grab some Furniture Paint and start your own transformation!

We would love to see your work! Share it with us on our Facebook page!

Furniture Paint {Before and After}

We have a wonderful before and after for you today using our gorgeous, no prep, no priming, one step Furniture Paint.

First, a Before:

DSCF7068The top was sanded down, and our beautifully rich Chocolate Milk Paint wood stain was used, and Sturbridge white, as well as Laurentine was used on the body.

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ADU-9 copy (1)


ADU-12 copyHere the white details were slightly hand sanded, an easy look achieved after the paint is dry, or you can pull the paint off while wet as well.

ADU-10 copy (1)Full coverage is an easy feet with one to two coats, and the finish is very durable.

What colors will you choose on your next project?




Soldier Boy- Using bonding agent

Who doesn’t love a good before and after?

Today’s post is featuring our milk paint line using Bedford and Soldier Blue on this vintage tall boy.

hh before 2

And After:
adu-6 copy
Here are some tips on achieving a smooth milk paint finish:
1. Look at the surface in which you are painting.
Is it sealed, shiny, or porous? This will determine if you need to add a bonding agent or not.
Milk paint will naturally chip and resist on previously finished surfaces.
On this particular piece, bonding agent was not added, do to the fact that the piece was fairly worn, and porous.

hh before 3

2. Are you ok with some chipping or natural distressing? Milk paint gives old finished pieces a naturally worn and aged look where the paint might resist on areas that were sealed.
adu-10 copy
After you paint is dry, smoothing out the finish with a fine grit sanding paper or block (we recommend 220 or higher) will give your piece a smooth finish ready for hemp oil or one of our finishing waxes.
adu-fall sneak