How to Paint Furniture That Has a Wax or Hemp Oil Finish | Country Chic Paint

Do you have furniture that needs an upgrade, but already has furniture wax or hemp oil on the surface? Come find out how to prep your piece so your next paint coat will adhere beautifully!


Step 1) Remove oily products with rubbing alcohol

Our paint is water-based, and as you know, oil and water just don’t mix. That means the paint will not be able to adhere over an oily finish. If you have a piece of furniture that you painted previously and sealed with an oily product like wax or hemp oil, you’ll need to make sure you prep it before you re-paint it.

How to Paint Furniture That Has a Wax or Hemp Oil Finish | Country Chic Paint

Luckily, this is pretty easy to do! Use a clean, lint-free rag and rubbing alcohol to wipe down any oily surfaces on your piece and clean away the oily residue. Since rubbing alcohol dries very quickly, make sure you re-wet your rag regularly. Depending how much wax or hemp oil was on your piece, you may find it necessary to clean your surface 2-3 times to make sure all the oil is really gone.

Note: you may have heard others recommend using mineral spirits to remove wax from furniture. While this will also work, we prefer rubbing alcohol because it’s free of solvents and it evaporates very quickly so it won’t leave behind any residue.

Step 2) Testing…1,2,3!

Before you dive in and re-paint everything, it’s best to do a test patch. Apply paint to one or two small areas and let it dry overnight.

How to Paint Furniture That Has a Wax or Hemp Oil Finish | Country Chic Paint

Give it a scratch with your fingernail to see if the paint has adhered well or not.

How to Paint Furniture That Has a Wax or Hemp Oil Finish | Country Chic Paint

If it scratches or peels easily, you’ll need to keep cleaning to remove more oil before you continue painting.

How to Paint Furniture That Has a Wax or Hemp Oil Finish | Country Chic Paint

Step 3) Re-paint

How to Paint Furniture That Has a Wax or Hemp Oil Finish | Country Chic Paint

Once your paint is adhering well to the scratch test, you can go ahead and re-paint everything!

Watch this video so see this technique first-hand:


Find these products at your local retailer

If you would like to try painting your own furniture, stop by our store locator and call your local retailer for availability. If you do not have a local retailer, you can also find all of our products in our online shop.

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We would love to hear what projects you’re working on, so make sure to leave a comment or post a picture of your project to our Facebook page or Instagram (@countrychicpaint)!

To see more DIY tutorial projects like this, click here.

Leave a comment below to tell us what tips you’ve learned about how to paint furniture!



36 thoughts on “How to Paint Furniture That Has a Wax or Hemp Oil Finish | Country Chic Paint

  1. Learned to remove Hemp Oil, very important! Glad to know this, thanks! Have a beautiful old buffet I want to paint! Plus our Kitchen cabinets!

  2. Thank you for the tutorial. This is my comment for the paint giveaway. I love your paint! My next project will b painting my sewing dest jitterbug and China cabinet Sunday tea with luxury on the inside. Waiting for samples!

  3. Hi I’m tegistering for the contest. I’ll be redoing a dresser in my daughters room which actually does have chalk paint and wax!

  4. Selina Daniel – Re*Finnish Décor & Staging:

    Great tutorial! I cannot wait to use the Paint for a Cure colours on a couple of really cute end tables i will be working on in the Spring!! Here’s to winning the prize pack!
    Good luck everyone!

  5. I would love to paint my buffet / hutch. I’m a little nervous, but after watching your awesome videos, I think I can do it !!
    Thanks for the great tutorials !!

  6. This video is very helpful. I will be working on a small table and bed frames next. Using this paint for the first time. Very excited to be trying it out!

  7. Thanks for the great tutorial. I’ve been reluctant to try and clean wax off a piece I have but it actually looked effortless. I was expecting to be scrubbing for days!!

  8. I watched the YouTube video and learned a lot. I’m just getting ready to start my first project and learning that if I don’t like something after I’ve used help oil or wax can be changed easily with just alcohol makes my dresser less intimidating. Thanks for the great tip. I’m going to watch more of the videos so I feel comfortable doing it.

  9. Love your tutorials, grest tips and ideas and always learn something new such as rubbing alcohol to remove wax or oily products. Thank you!

  10. Apply paint to a couple of areas and let dry over night and do a scratch test if the paint scratch of or peel of run more oil of using rubbing alcohol.

  11. I am so excited to try a new project on a corner desk I found at an estate sale. Never seen one of these before but it’s beautiful. After my project with your paint it will be even more beautiful. Cannot wait to start!

  12. Great to know. I just picked up a kids table and chairs, not sure what it’s finished in. But I’ll go over it with rubbing alcohol – which is easy to come by – to make sure there isn’t an oily surface before I re-do it. Thank you.

  13. I love the tip on removing wax or hemp oil to repaint. My next project will be a buffet I hope I win some amazing products!!

  14. I love the tip on how to remove wax or hemp oil prior to repainting! My next project is a buffet. I hope I win some of your amazing products

  15. I have a couple of dressers, likely 60 or so years old, that I need/want to re-finish. The information in the video/presentation was usefulmtomhelmascertain how to tell if the furniture is ready for paint application.

  16. Thanks for this. I have a question re removing hemp oil with alcohol. Can you use this process before the hemp oil has dried/cured or should you wait? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lois,
      You can remove the Hemp Oil at any point! If you’re still in the application process, just wipe away all the excess oil that you can with a rag, then use the rubbing alcohol to get the rest out.

  17. I bought rubbing alcohol from Amazon (isopropyl 70% alcohol) to try this. I’ve tested a patch and it’s rubbed the paint off too. I don’t really want to do that as I need to do another coat of paint then seal with the oil again. Is this normal?

    1. If the paint has adhered well to the surface it shouldn’t come off with just rubbing alcohol. However, you may see a little bit of the pigment come up on your cloth. As long as it’s not rubbing the paint completely off so you can see the layer underneath then it’s just fine!

  18. Hi,
    Your video was wonderful. May I ask, I have a coffee table which wasn’t painted. I had sanded it back to the natural hardwood, so it’s raw timber. I applied the hemp seed oil but I don’t like the colour of the timber and want to paint instead. How do I remove the hemp seed oil from the raw timber please? It’s only been a couple of days that I applied it.
    Thank you

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