Creator Martin Saban-Smith answers some of the most common questions he gets asked about Hampshire Sheen. If you have a question, use the form at the bottom of the page to send it in. We’ll answer it and post the answer here (without your name, obviously!)

What are ‘Normal’ Conditions?

On many product labels and in particular the application instructions or product information, you will see the words ‘Under normal conditions’ or something similar.

This refers to your local atmospheric conditions such as temperature and humidity.

Higher or lower than average temperature or humidity may change the products performance as far as for example, drying time is concerned.

At all times though, it is worth ensuring that when applied, the product is as expected after the advised drying time. If not, then leave it for a longer time and always ensure the product is as expected before continuing a process.

How Do I Use the White Colour?

The white shade doesn’t really colour wood white. It’s more of a ‘wash’ colour than a dye in that sense. Mostly, it is used to turn the rest of the colours in the collection into pastel shades to give you even more creative options when using them

How Can I Lighten the Shade of the Intrinsic Colours

The easiest way to lighten the colours is to pour a little of the colour straight from the bottle into a small cup (think ‘shot glass’ here) and then add a few drops of water to thin the colour. Test this ‘new’ shade and add more water if desired.

Can I use the Intrinsic Colours Through my Airbrush?

Absolutely you can! They are made to be able to be applied using whichever method you choose.

Can I Use the Intrinsic Colours Straight from the Bottle

Yep. No problem. They are ready to go straight from the bottle and can be applied by any method you choose.

Can I Wash My Hampshire Sheen Finished Items?

This is a good question, and the short answer is: NO! Any wax finished product (from whatever manufacturer) should be protected from contact with water. This is because waxes are not waterproof. They may be water resistant for a few seconds, but it is always best to avoid water contact completely.

You have a little more grace with pieces finished with a drying oil like our Food and Toy Safe Danish Oil. But even then (to prolong the life of the piece) it is best to limit contact with water to a minimum. If you really need to, then use the tiniest amount of water and a very mild detergent then dry immediately after cleaning.

Please define your ‘splash resistant’ test.

Hampshire Sheen Original, High Gloss and Microcrystalline waxes are fingerprint and splash resistant in nature. Items finished with these products (in accordance to the instructions (at least 2 coats of the product applied)) need a few days to cure properly from the time of application to reach full density. In testing, bowls finished according to the instructions and left to ‘harden’ for at least 5 days were filled with tap water and then emptied and immediately dried with paper towel. The outside of the same bowls finished in the same way were held under running tap water for a few seconds before being dried. Neither method of testing resulted in tarnishing marks on the sycamore pieces tested.
Of course, wax finished products should be protected from prolonged contact with water or products containing solvents at all times! This test was conducted on UK manufactured products. Please refer to your local manufacturer for test results for non-UK products. Due to differences in like for like ingredients between UK and non-UK manufactured products, water resistance qualities may vary.

Is Hampshire Sheen Food and Toy Safe?

From February 2020, the Gloss Finishing and MicroCrystalline Waxes are safe for use on food contact items and use on toys. Our new manufacturer is making the products to meet necessary regulations in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa and Australia. The Danish Oil we produce also complies to UK and EU food and toy safety regulations.

It’s flaky when I apply it.

Yes, that’s fine. There is a very large proportion of wax in the mixture and some does sometimes come off the paper towel when you apply it. It’s not a problem if you apply it in light coats, as recommended.

How long will my tin last?

As you need to use less than your more traditional finishing waxes, it will last longer than you think. It is best used within 12 months of purchase to ensure the best results possible. Martin’s own tins are perfectly good 18 months after opening. To keep the product in tip-top condition for as long as possible, remember to firmly replace the lid when you’re done. Also, keep it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight and heat sources.

Can I Rejuvenate a Dry Tin of Wax?

If you have not used your tin for a while (see the ‘How Long Will My Tin Last FAQ), you may find the tin seems to have dried out.
If this is the case, most of the time it is only the top few millimeters and the product beneath is fine to use. However, if you use the dry product, the finish will be just as good.

Our sincere recommendation is not to try to rejuvenate a dry tin. For a successful rejuvenation, you will need to know the correct type and amount of solvent that has evaporated and add it to the melted wax. Too much and you will trash the product, too little and it will still be dry.

Plus, solvents and heat do not mix. There is a serious risk of fire if you attempt to rejuvenate a dry tin. Therefore, we do not recommend it under any circumstances.

What is the best way to apply Hampshire Sheen?

There are various methods to apply each of the products. The play list from our YouTube channel takes you through the recommended way to apply each of the variations.

How much do I need to use?

You only need apply enough finishing wax to cover the wood in a single coat. It is best to apply multiple thin coats and ensure an even coverage rather than one thick one. If you are a new user, it is recommend that you use about a quarter to a third of the amount you think you need. A little goes a long way. You’ll also find it is easier to apply and bring up to the level of shine you want.
With the embellishing waxes, they are best applied liberally and rubbed deeply into open grained woods such as oak or ash (Gold looks spectacular on Sapele, by the way) or woods with added texture, before buffing the excess off the surface.
Check the ‘How To’ videos for more detail.