The Best Furniture Salve

round tins with furniture salve on butcher block counter

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Learn how to make a magical furniture salve.

We use salves for first aid, sore muscles, itchy skin, and so much more. But have you ever considered using a salve on your wood furniture? Better than just a wax, furniture salve is designed to deodorize, restore, protect, and beautify furniture. We call this salve magic because it does such an amazing job on wood but has some other surprising uses. It contains a combination of oils, waxes, and essentials; the specific ingredients in this magical furniture salve were chosen carefully

The oils

The main ingredient, hemp oil, is produced by pressing hemp seeds. In its freshly pressed form, it is a dark green colour and has a slightly grassy flavour to it. The oil is used in a range of products – most commonly for body care, where you will often see it within the ingredients of creams, soaps, and gels. It’s popular for this because of the high levels of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are great for the skin, but also when used in a huge variety of applications. You’ll see hemp oil being used in lubricants, paints and plastics. It’s growing in popularity as a wood finishing oil. It penetrates deep into the wood, and it offers a protective, water-resistant and beautiful finish.

I love that it’s environmentally friendly as well as being good for your skin!

According to DIY Natural, Sunflower oil is a great addition as it contains high amounts of Vitamin E, which can help preserve wood.

The waxes

Wax has been used for centuries as a protective coating and polish for wood. Beeswax is an amazing wood protector and also helps to solidify the salve and make the hemp & sunflower oils easier to work with. Soy wax is softer and helps keep the salve easy to work with while still offering the protective coating. You can use just beeswax or just soy wax in this recipe if that is what you have on hand. I’d adjust to 3T of Beeswax but you may need up to 5T of soy wax to get a good consistency.  I haven’t made salve with solely soy wax, so if you do, please share your results with us.

The essential oils

Essential oils add a wonderful aroma to your salve but also offer some antibacterial, antimicrobial properties that aid in the preservation of wood. We used a combination of fir and citrus oils in this recipe, as they both shine in the wood preservation department. There are many other oils that can achieve the same outcome. 

four tins of furniture salve on quartz counter

Why Does Wood Need to be Finished?

If left in its natural state, wood would soon absorb moisture and become a breeding ground for bacteria and, as a result, provide very short lasting integrity for your furniture, fences and construction projects. To counteract this problem a coating is added known as finishing. The aims of the finish are primarily to seal the wood to protect it from the aforementioned issues, as well as making it a lot easier to clean, much nicer to look at, and to make it feel smoother.

Hemp oil gives a great final look to wood, and can actually have a restorative effect on furniture that is looking rather worn. It is a drying oil, which means it hardens into a solid film when left exposed to air, so provides a physical protection to the wood. It can be used on its own, or mixed with other finishes, and is simple and safe to apply.

The process of extracting the oil means that you don’t have to use a product that has been mixed with any other chemicals. It’s completely safe to handle and is a 100% natural product. It’s a great way to finish wooden frames as well.

comparing a wooden bench before and after using furniture salve

We have a lot of wood surfaces in the house that I have neglected over the past months (and even years) so I’m going to put this salve to good use. First up was an old bench that was dusty and meh. The refinish job I did on it about 25 years ago was pretty sketch, but after a little bit of elbow grease and the miracle salve it looks a whole lot better.  I cleaned it thoroughly with our all purpose cleaner, allowed it to dry well and then pulled out a soft cloth, the salve and started polishing. I’m super happy with the results.

Next up will be my butcher block counters in the kitchen that look dry and sad. We have some spots on our hardwoods that need a little love as well. You can also use this salve on car vinyl to make it look like new. My car could use some TLC, maybe this weekend we’ll give it go!

What items in your house would be first on the list to benefit from this magic salve?

Magical furniture salve

This simple furniture salve will have the wood in your home looking gorgeous

Ingredients

2 T beeswax

2 T soy wax

3/4 cup hemp seed oil

1/4 cup sunflower oil

15 drops Siberian fir or arborvitae essential oil

20 drops lemon or orange essential oil

Instructions

Melt waxes and oils in a double boiler. Once melted, remover from heat and mix in essential oils. Pour into prepared tins. This recipe will fill four 2 ounce tins, so if you have different size containers, just do a little math. 🙂 

To use – apply with brush or soft cloth to unfinished, finished, or painted wood furniture, utensils, or floors. 

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