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

My Embellishing Wax Has Shrunk

When opening a tin of our Embellishing Waxes, you may find that the product appears to have ‘shrunk’ in the container. This occurs as the solvent starts to evaporate. A cold environment can also cause this to happen.

The tin in the photos was produced in May 2021 and has shrunk before it was returned to us to test. (This FAQ was added on 26th January 2023)

To check the product, Martin poked it with his finger (you could use the round end of a pencil). As it was still soft (as it should be), the product was applied to the ash bowl as shown in the product Two Minute Tutorial (HERE).

The end result is a finish that we would expect from the product as if it was freshly made.

We use a far greater wax-to-solvent ratio than other manufacturers, so the product in the tin may appear different from what you might expect. If you are concerned about any of our waxes, we recommend you test them first.

Can Your Products be Used Over Dyes and Stains

Yes. All of our products can be used over dyes and stains from a variety of manufacturers.

It is important to note that our wipe-on cellulose sealer may remove a little surface colour of some applied dyes or stains, but not (in our opinion) to the detriment of the final appearance.

As it is not possible to check compatibility with every manufacturer though, so we always advise testing compatibility before committing any product to your workpiece.

How can I translate your site?

To change the site language, use the dropdown menu in the top left of the screen to change the site language.

All the videos on the site are available with subtitles in English, Danish, German, French, Swedish and Norwegian.

Why am I getting streaks in my wax/sanding sealer?

Most of the time, this will occur when too much of the product is applied in one coat, or too much pressure is used when polishing it off.

Waxes: Use less than you think you may need and remember that when polishing it after application, you do not need a lot of pressure – You are polishing/buffing it, not burnishing it! Watch the Gloss Finishing Wax and Microcrystalline Wax Two Minute Tutorial videos to find out more.

If you get streaks, you are pressing too hard and you will need a hot air gun to melt the wax into the surface before buffing it again.

Sealers: Cellulose sealers such as ours contain solids that when heated too much, essentially ‘congeal’ into a solid mass which can be pulled around a piece in a streak. This will only occur when you are attempting to burnish it dry and put too much heat into the piece. If left to dry thoroughly without any encouragement, you reduce the risk of this happening.

However, if you burnish your finish that is over the top of the sealer, you risk melting and congealing the sealer. Keep your buffing/burnishing as light as possible to avoid this problem.

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.

Are Hampshire Sheen Waxes 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 Finishing Oil and Citrus Burnishing Oil we produce also comply to UK and EU food and toy safety regulations.

My wax flaky when I apply it.

Yes, that’s fine. There is a very large proportion of wax in the mixture compared to the solvent and does sometimes come off the paper towel when you apply it. This can be caused by the age of the tin and also the temperature. It’s not a problem if you apply it in light coats, as recommended.

How long will my wax tin last?

As you need to use less than 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 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 my Hampshire Sheen product?

There are various methods to apply each of the products. Find your product on our front page, give it a click to see all the available information and where one has been made, a Two Minute Tutorial.

How much do I need to use?

This very much depends on which of our products you are using. Generally, you need to use less than you might think as we make our products to be as economical as possible.

For individual product use, head to the front page of the site, give the product you wish to know about a click and read all the available information there, and even watch a Two Minute Tutorial if one has been made for the product.

The contents of my wax tin is very stiff. Is that right?

That’s right, and it is perfectly normal – Hampshire Sheen is different to paste waxes you may have used before. There is no beeswax in any of the Hampshire Sheen paste waxes which makes for a stiffer product, ensuring you have a rock-hard finish – superior to others available. And less solvent is used in the manufacturing process, ensuring you are buying more top quality wax rather than solvent.

Are Hampshire Sheen products really hand made?

Before 2020, every batch of Hampshire Sheen waxes wax measured, blended and poured by hand in the ‘Hampshire Sheen Global Headquarters’ by developer Martin Saban-Smith before labeling and shipping out to retailers.

From January 2020, we moved a lot of our manufacturing to a specialist wax blending company here in the UK who still make their waxes by hand….but in bigger containers! The oils and sprays are made for us, to our recipes are also made off-site.

The Embellishing Waxes, Intrinsic Colour Collection, Sanding Sealer and wax sticks are still made here at the Global Head Quarters. Every product though, whether made here or outside is labelled and checked before being packaged for shipping.