Salve, Wax, Varnish??? What's the Difference?


Wise Owl has THREE different products to finish to your painted piece of furniture with, so how does one choose what to use and when? I get asked this questions all the time, along with, what is the difference between the WAX and the SALVE?

Well, let's talk about the different options and how you might choose...


Let's talk about the salve. This is the most amazing product I have ever used for furniture refinishing, and even if I am not sealing my paint with it, it will end up on every piece of furniture I complete. 

The salve is made out of Hemp Oil, Coconut Oil, and three other wax products (super secret, I don't know what they are either! ;)) The salve really just does it all...

Seals, conditions, rejuvenates, and oh yeah, they have SEVEN different scents (each one is super yummy- I don't think you can go wrong!) Riotious Rain, Black Sea, Lavender, White Tea, Noir Moon, Lemon Verbena, and Tabacco Flower. Don't want a scented version? Well, they also have clear and in the salve- it is food grade safe! Perfect for cutting boards, wooden bowls, wooden spoons etc... and you would utilize the clear if you wanted to seal white or light painted colors. 

What else can salve be used on besides to seal paint? Leather (even in your car!), Stainless Steel, Hardware to remove tarnish, Raw wood, and to freshen up existing finishes as a furniture polish, or even use it in your hair! Oh yes, and my favorite use- inside those drawers! (no, not thooooose drawers... ;)) Those dresser drawers on your vintage furniture that need to be refreshed in more ways than one because it also deodorizes. 

Whether you paint or not, Salve is just something you need to have in your home. 

YOU CAN GET YOUR SALVE HERE:!/Furniture-Salve-4-oz-and-8-oz/p/136545978/category=34709055


Wise Owl also offers natural Furniture wax. Unlike the Salve, there are no scent options, however, this is not only offered in clear, but in White, Black, and Black Walnut. 

The wax can also be used to seal paint and wood. It is made from Hemp Oil and Coconut oil and three additional wax products as well. I love the clear wax, because like the salve, it glides on nice and smooth and soaks into your paint, all the while enhancing and richening the color pigmentation that is already there. 

The colored waxes can be used on raw wood as a stain-like enhancement or over paint to create different tones and depth, a rustic feel, a white was feel, etc... 

The furniture wax is different from the salve as it doesn't have quite the same conditioning properties, however its superior protection is right on the same level with the salve. 

You can purchase the wax here:!/Hemp-Oil-Furniture-Wax-8-OZ/p/136593515/category=34709055


Alright, let's talk varnish now. Completely different from either the salve or the the wax, the varnish is a strong, water based finish that comes in Matte (still have a slight sheen) and Satin (higher sheen). 

Here are the highlights with the varnish: 

  • Available in Pints and Quarts

  • Tough as nails

  • Crystal Clear Formula-scientifically impossible to yellow over time- THIS IS AMAZING!

  • Rated for outdoor use with 3 thin coats

  • Self-levels

  • Recommended to wait 24 hours after painting to apply first coat

    of Varnish. Then recommended Varnish recoat time is 4 hours.

  • Lay it down quickly, do not over work! Work in small sections

I use the varnish when I am looking for a fine finish or when I am glazing and want to be able to "work" my glaze, instead of applying straight onto the painted surface. The Varnish creates a great under coat between the paint and the glaze. After glazing, I then again, would go a head and seal with varnish. 

The varnish is a bit thicker and does not always give you, the painter, a grace period with the product. You do need to move quickly as it dries fast, and overworking will cause pull lines. It's an AMAZING tough as nails finish and is perfect over paint and glaze to seal. 

You can purchase the varnish here:!/Wise-Owl-Varnish/p/136593366/category=34709055

Additional questions? Need assistance ordering? 

Feel free to message me @

HAPPY Painting!