REVIEW: Hemp Shield Wood Finish

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As the many uses of cannabis become more marketable and easier to access, many fans of green living are choosing to utilize products derived from industrial hemp.

While searching for a sustainable, eco-friendly stain for the outside of a personal grow cabinet, I chose Hemp Shield wood finish and deck sealer, the first ever commercial product of its kind made entirely of a water reducible hemp oil product. Hemp Shield is designed to penetrate wood surfaces, providing excellent durability with no peeling as deterioration of the finish only occurs through erosion. It also acts as a retardant for fungal and algae growth as well as controlling blue rot. According to the company’s website, Hemp Shield is “recommended for use on any properly prepared wood decking, patios, wood screening, porches, outdoor furniture, steps, railing, plywood structures and wooden fencing.”

The stain was surprisingly easy to use, almost as if applying water with a brush, rather than an oil surface as is typical when using a traditional wood or deck stain. I was able to smoothly apply it with a few simple strokes of a regular bristle brush. Application might be a little smoother with a small hand roller; however, for my project. the resulting brush marks in the stain beautifully masked the basic wood I’d used for the doors and the sides, leaving them looking like a much more expensive type and grain of wood.

Only one coat was necessary to achieve the desired effect, and the Chestnut color turned out beautifully. This fantastic product starts at $41.00 a gallon for clear “sealer” and $45 per gallon for various shades, including Redwood, Clear, Hickory, Cedar and Cobblestone Grey. I only needed about ¾ of a quart to completely cover the outside of the cabinet described in my “Grow Your Own” DIY series.

Clean up was easy, including the brushes, with a little soapy water. No longer does evidence of using a stain need to remain on your hands and fingers; it even sprays right off concrete.

Prior to stain application, the surface does require some preparation as it must be clean and free of all dirt, mildew, and loose wood fibers. The surface must be structurally sound and completely dry with a wood moisture content of less than 15% (akin to approximately the same as dried kiln lumber) or the surface must be exposed to dry weather for 3-5 days before applying. Any previously stained or weathered wood surfaces require sanding or scrubbing in order to remove any loose wood fibers, dirt, mildew, residues, waxes or oils. Hemp Shield does not recommend application to wood with a glossy natural finish as this may prevent the stain from properly penetrating the wood.

Hemp Shield products are non-toxic and eco-friendly, with extremely low levels of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and 0% HAP’s (Hazardous Air Pollutant). More detailed information about environmental safety testing as well as quality testing is available on the company’s website. The products are all made in the USA, and users are even eligible for tax credits thanks to Hemp Shield’s low VOC and “bio-based sustainable resin sourcing.”

Hemp Shield exceeded my expectations, and I highly recommended it for remodeling any type of wood feature in one’s home, from the deck to a personal grow cabinet.