Business Hemp Industry Products

Hemp Paint & Wood Finishing: For Natural Home Improvement

hemp paint
Written by Sarah Friedman
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Prior to the criminalization of hemp in the 1900’s, it was used for a large variety of industrial products, as well as for medicine. When prohibition came around this all ended. Now with the laws once again reversed, all the benefits of using hemp are coming back into play, including things many of us never thought of. Like hemp for paint and wood finishing. Great alternatives for those who want a more natural way of home improvement.

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What are hemp paint and hemp wood finishing oil?

Some people are totally cool with the standards of harsh chemicals, and man-made, often toxic products, while some of us like to do things more naturally. For the second category, the idea of hemp paint is a breath of fresh air from the standard market. We already know that hemp can be used to build structures via hempcrete, but it doesn’t stop there. Hemp materials can also be used to paint buildings and for wood finishing projects, a great natural way for general home improvement. These are (or, can be) green products, great for the natural health folks out there, and are eco-friendly, with way less impact on the environment.

Hemp paint and wood finishing products are chemical free and biodegradable, which is certainly a change from the norm. This means a non-toxic product, and most certainly lead-free. Since these products don’t use VOCs, they also don’t leave the finished product/space with an odor that won’t go away. Hemp paint uses hemp oil, and unlike standard paints which release fumes which the user can breathe in, hemp paint and wood finishing products are almost entirely odorless. All of this is even more practical for houses with children.

These products are highly sustainable, and can outlast many standard products on the market. Hemp paint and wood finishing products can be used on a lot of surfaces, from wood (of course), to leather, to your walls, to many other items. It even helps protect the surface that it goes on.

non-toxic paint

So, to make hemp paint, do you squeeze a hemp plant and paint comes out? No, not quite, but not a whole lot more complicated either.

Is hemp paint an alternative for all paint?

It should be remembered that even before adding hemp oil into the mix, there are more than one kind of paint out there. Most of the paint used for houses, for example, are oil or water-based. Oil based paints are known for being thicker, shinier, and generally more durable, and also take significantly longer to dry. On the other hand, water-based paints are thinner, quicker to dry, and provide a matte finish. It’s more common to see oil based outside (makes sense what with rain), and water-based paint inside. Hemp paint uses hemp oil as its oil base, and therefore is not interchangeable with water-based paint, though it can often be used in places where water-based paints are used.

Even within these basic categories, there are different kinds of paint. Like enamel paint, an oil-based paint known for its sheer durability, and which can be found as a glossy, or semi-glossy paint. Then there’s latex paint, which confusingly doesn’t contain latex, but which is an example of a water-based paint. Acrylic paint is another form of water-based paint, which specifically uses acrylic as a binding agent.

Yet another type of paint, which isn’t exactly a paint, but which fits the category, is primer paint. This is what’s applied before using paint, and helps the paint stick to the surface being painted. This can be oil-based or water-based, and should be used in conjunction with a paint that is the same, so water-based primer with water-based paint, and oil-based primer for oil-based paint.

These types of paint can be modified for different reasons by adding chemicals for specific purposes. Some are mold and mildew resistant, some are fire retardant, and some are anti-condensation. These specific mixtures do require additives as these benefits are not otherwise a part of either standard water-based or oil-based paints. Hemp oil paint provides many of these benefits, without the added chemicals.

How are hemp paint and wood finishing products made?

Hemp oil paint is made by mixing the pigment of choice with hemp oil, and adding in oil until the consistency is like other oil-based paints. As these are newer products – only now hitting the market, it might be beneficial for prospective users to know how to make this kind of paint themselves. Since its a newer industry, not as much has been written on it yet, but instructions can be found.

eco-friendly paint

Last year, a kind soul responded to a forum post in ‘Hempbuzz’ with DIY instructions for hemp paint. At the time this kind soul wrote them, there was even less official market, whereas today you can buy products. However, since it might be easier for interested parties to create their own, here are some basic instructions for making hemp paint on your own according to what was posted:

  • 1: On a clean surface, you don’t mind getting paint on, place a small mound of pigment; make a basin in the center of this mound.
  • 2: Slowly add hemp oil to the pigment, a few drops at a time.
  • 3: Using a spatula, fold the pigment into the oil; blend and apply pressure as you mix. Once the mixture has the consistency of a thick, tacky paste and looks dry, you have added the proper amount of oil.
  • 4: Put your muller on top of the paste; while holding it firmly (with the heel of your hand down and thumb up), move it in a circular motion from the center of the paste outward, spreading in a thin layer as you grind. The more you grind, the softer it will become.
  • 5: Once you have spread all the paste out, scoop it back to the center in a pile and begin again.
  • 6: If it becomes too runny, add a small bit of pigment.
  • 7: Once your paste has reached your preferred consistency, you’re ready to store it, or paint!

Hemp paint on the market

Even just a year ago this did not seem to be a thing, but the good thing about this new hemp revolution we’re experiencing, is that new products, and ways to use hemp, will be coming out continuously, and gaining momentum fast. Whereas last year no one seemed to be aware of producers of such products, today you can actually buy hemp paint, though admittedly, the offerings are not very wide just yet. I expect that by this time next year there will be tons of hemp paint options filling shelves in home improvement stores.

For now, there are a few options available, and interested parties can look into these companies further. The first one is Berkin Enerji, a Turkish company that actually specializes in cleaning oil storage tanks with Electro Chemical Reaction Steam Generator Technology which was developed by the company. The company also offers a line of Hemp Paint products, including: interior paint enhanced with hemp seed oil, insulation plaster, thermal insulation plaster, elastic exterior coating, waterproof coating, roof insulation plaster, construction foundation plaster, adhesive plaster, zeepas 2K apoxy, zeepson solventless epoxy, U-Pox finishing paint, zinc phosphate epoxy primer, and stone insulator.

The site gives plenty of detail about uses and benefits, though it should be noted that the company isn’t a green company, per say, and uses hemp as a benefit to create stronger products.

hemp oil paint

Another company entering the hemp paint arena is Graham & Brown, a UK company. This company also offers an array of painting, building, and home improvement equipment using hemp, ranging from $8-96. Products on offer include: hemp paint, hemp gloss lacquer, hemp matte emulsion, hemp primer and undercoat, and hemp resistance ultra matte emulsion. This company is very much geared toward eco-friendly products, and uses ingredients for their products which are VOC free and generally less harmful for the environment.

I had an issue pulling up the hemp product pages or adding them to a bag, which could simply indicate being out of stock. Interested painters should contact the company for more info, as the company is active, and these products are listed.

Another company that’s in on the game, Fusion Mineral Paint, doesn’t produce hemp paint, but does produce Hemp Oil Wood Finish ($15).  With the super easy instructions of putting it on, and spreading it around, this finish is food safe, has no chemicals added, no preservatives or VOCs, is biodegradable, and uses 100% natural hemp seeds. This is great for people with chemical sensitivities that would have a hard time with harsher finishes. It also helps revive, protect, and condition wood, which is great for older pieces or restored work.

Conclusion

The world of industrial hemp products gets bigger every day, with this new inclusion of hemp paint and wood finishing products joining the likes of hempcrete, hemp clothes, hemp plastic, and even hemp batteries. For those who want it, the world can be a much cleaner place, and as these industries gain more traction and grow further, it can mean substantial help for a suffering environment, and healthier options for individuals.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

About the author

Sarah Friedman

I am a US born writer, travelling the world and doing the digital nomad thing.

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