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!)

Common Questions

How To Redeem Gift Vouchers

To spend a gift voucher you may have received, there are two ways you can do it…

1: Add the Voucher Code When Checking Out an Order or Booking

After adding all you wish to your order, view the basket and add your code in the ‘Redeem Gift Voucher’ Box (arrowed) and click Apply Gift Voucher.

The voucher amount will be deducted from the balance. If there is a balance left, you can pay the difference after clicking Proceed to Checkout.

2: Add the Voucher as Store Credit

Under the ‘Gift Card’ tab in your dashboard, you can add the voucher code to your account by adding it to the box arrowed below.

You can then spend as much or as little as you want of that store credit until it runs out.

To apply ‘x’ amount of your store credit, in your order basket, you will see the available balance and a box to enter the amount you wish to spend.

Enter your value in the box and it will be deducted from the order total and the store credit balance reduced, also.

Royal Mail Deliveries

Since we introduced the physical gift cards in October 2023, we have been sending them on Royal Mail’s 24 Hour Tracked service. This tracking number is emailed to you when your card is sent.

Delivery times appear to vary from anything between the 24 hours paid for to 10 days or more, which is far from ideal.

Therefore, to allow for the sporadic delivery of Royal Mail in some areas, we advise the following:

  1. If you are buying a month or so in advance of the day the gift card is required, order as normal.
  2. If your gift card purchase is within a month of when it is required, we recommend using our virtual gift cards instead – just in case.
My Card is missing after 7 days from sending

If you card is missing, please use the tracking number provided. If it is at your local sorting office, you may need to visit them to collect it if time is running out before the card is needed.

If the card is not at your sorting office after 7 days from sending, we will have to refund you the cost of the card and make a claim with Royal Mail to recoup our costs.

It is of course disappointing. After the card leaves us, there is very little we can do to chase it up for you.

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.

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.

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 Gloss Finishing Wax 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.

What is the best way to apply my Hampshire Sheen product?

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

For the best resources in application methods, join our Free Finishing Academy for over 3 hours of HD video lessons in our recommended methods of use.

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.

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

For the best resources in application methods, join our Free Finishing Academy for over 3 hours of HD video lessons in our recommended methods of use.

Are Hampshire Sheen products really hand made?

Before 2020, every batch of Hampshire Sheen waxes were 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 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.

Finishes Specific

Can I lacquer or apply other finishes over your Danish Finishing Oil

Yes, you can. We recommend a single coat of our Danish Finishing Oil would be all you need. That is all you need to ‘pop’ the grain or make any applied colour more vibrant. Then, you must let the oil cure fully. Please allow at least 24 hours for the oil to cure.

After that, the piece should be sealed properly before applying our Professional Lacquers or waxes.

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.

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.

How long will my Hampshire Sheen product last?

All our products are good for use within 12 months of purchase – though often longer if kept out of direct sunlight and extremes of heat and cold.

Remember to always replace the product closures firmly after use and store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat and cold.

Products with solvents in will always start to dry out and/or thicken/harden after opening.

My wax is 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.

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.

Why Doesn’t My Gloss Wax Buff to a Shine?

There are various answers to this question;

  • The most common problem is caused by poor sealing – the wax does not have a good surface to be applied to.
  • Too much pressure when buffing will remove the wax rather than shine it up.
  • It also depends on how much wax you are using on each coat. If you use too much, it won’t buff easily. Following the instructions in the Two Minute Tutorial or the Finishing Academy is the way to see the recommended application medhods.
  • Open grain woods like oak or ash appear not to buff up as well as close grain woods as the more open parts of the grain cannot be covered with a finishing product unless a grain filler is used.
  • Exotic and/or oily woods sometime struggle accept finishes as the resins and oils can react to the finishes.
  • Spalted woods (such as beech) are also troublesome to seal and finish with a gloss finish, particularly if the spalting is heavy.

Intrinsic & Carnival Colours

What is the difference between the Intrinsic Colours and Carnival Colours?

The Intrinsic Colours are dyes, and are designed to penetrate the surface of wood.

The Carnival Colours are stains which are designed to penetrate a little, but sit largely on the surface. Think of them like a translucent paint.

Can I Use the Intrinsic and Carnival Colours Straight from the Bottle?

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

Can I use the Intrinsic and Carnival Colours Through my Airbrush?

Absolutely you can! Both the Intrinsic and Carnival Colours are made to be able to be applied using whichever method you choose.

How Can I Lighten the Shade of the 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.

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

Finishing Academy

How Will Joining the Academy Help Me?

The Hampshire Sheen Finishing Academy has been provided for users of our products to learn our recommended methods of using our products in an easy to use video and e-learning format.

After completing the course, you can be sure that you have the best available knowledge and insight into using our products in a variety of ways.

How Do I Use the Finishing Academy?

Answers to many of your questions will be in the Navigating the Academy lesson. You do not need to be signed-up in order to see the lesson. Click HERE to view the lesson after the Academy launches.

Inside the Lessons

The Player

The player is very similar to others you will have seen online.

A: Play/Pause Button
B: Volume slider
C: Time elapsed/remaining
D: Settings (see below)
E: Pop-Out video – watch the video in a small window over the rest of the lesson.
F: Full Screen video
G: Video progress bar.


Click the settings button to open a menu to change:
– Playback Speed;
– Video Quality (Resolution)
– Open the Captions menu.

Captions / Subtitles

Click the captions option in the Settings menu and you will see a list of available subtitles in various languages.
We have transcribed the videos to the local languages where Hampshire Sheen is available.

Contact Support Button

Below the player to the right, is a Contact Teacher button. It now says ‘Contact Support’.

Use this to contact us with any lesson or product specific queries.

Messages are replied to first thing in the morning and when we are available to do so and we will endeavour to reply as quickly as possible.

Step-by-Step Guide

Using screenshots from the video, we have also provided a step-by-step written guide for you with some additional information.

Professional Tips

In most lessons, there are Professional Tips in a Flash Card.

Flip the card using the link to reveal the tip.

Downloadable Media

At the bottom of most of the lessons are links to downloadable media in .pdf format.

Click the red link to open the document in a new tab. You will need a .pdf reader installed to open the file. Click here to download Adobe Reader.

Completing the Academy

After practising each lesson, we expect you to complete the course in around 2 weeks. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you – the lessons will be here for you whenever you need them.

When complete, and you have passed all the quizzes, you will be presented with personalised course certificate to download and print.

Make sure you remain on our mailing lists to be kept up to date with new lessons added to the Academy, and a planned Advanced Finishing Course.

Why Not Put the Lessons on YouTube?

People using our products are very special to us here at Hampshire Sheen.

The Academy represents the investment of our time and energy into providing our customers with a unique learning experience and range of benefits that is impossible on publicly viewable sites.

How Long Should the Academy Take?

Practising each lesson in the Academy before moving on is our recommended way of getting the most out of it. If you complete one lesson per day for example, it will take just over two weeks to complete.

All of the lessons in the Finishing Academy are available to you from the moment you sign-up. A lesson is complete once you have watched the video and scored at least 75% in the lesson quiz, if there is one. The course is complete when all of the lessons and quizzes have been passed

What are the system requirements?

The Academy has been put together to be accessible on all common devices – Desktop and laptop devices, tablets and phones. You do not need any more than your device internet browser to join in the academy. You will need access to a reasonably good internet or mobile data connection to enjoy the videos without buffering.

Known Quirks:
Phone Users may need to turn their device Landscape to access the menu. The Ask the Teacher button is located in the video drop-down menu.
Firefox Browser: The video player controls may be laid out differently to those shown in the Navigating the Academy lesson.

How do the Quizzes Work?

Most lessons in the Academy have a multiple choice answer quiz attached to checking your knowledge and to have a bit of fun along the way. They are completely optional, though you will need to pass them all in order to complete the Academy and be presented with your certificate.

Taking a Quiz

  • At the bottom of the lesson is a blue ‘Take Quiz’ button.
  • Click this button for a short quiz about the lesson.
  • After answering a question, click the blue ‘Next’ button for the next question.
  • After answering the last question, click the blue ‘Continue’ button 
  • Your grade will be presented to you.
  • A pass mark of 75% is required to complete the lesson. An overall pass mark of 75% is required to pass the Academy.

Passing a Quiz

If you pass a quiz, use the lesson menu to the right of the grade to move on to a new lesson. Your grade will be recorded towards your overall Academy mark.

Failing a Quiz

If you fail a quiz, you can retake it by clicking the ‘Restart Quiz’ link in the grade box. You can also continue to another lesson but must return to incomplete quizzes to finish the Academy.

How Do I Ask for Help?

There are two ‘Contact Support’ buttons in each lesson. One below the lesson list, and one at the bottom of the page.

Support messages are checked first thing each morning Monday to Friday and replied to where appropriate.

Please use this facilitate sensibly. If the answer to your query is detailed in the lesson, we may not reply!

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