French polishing is the name given to the process of applying Shellac to a piece of wood. A piece of wadding wrapped in cloth is charged with shellac, this is called a ‘rubber’. The rubber is used to make hundreds of passes over the workpiece and is lubricated with oil to stop the rubber sticking to the surface. Each pass leaves a microscopic trace of polish and the aim is to fill the grain but leave only a thin film of polish on the surface of the wood. Done correctly, the finish can’t be beaten for appearance.
With antique furniture, the aim should be to try preserve the original polish work whenever possible.
Unfortunately this isn’t always possible like this Windsor chair. The chair came into the workshop with so little left of the original finish it had to be repolished.
Below is a table which came to my workshop in a poor state. It needed a new section making and the whole table needed French Polishing. Not all the French polishing jobs I do are as big as this one!
How to find me
For a free, no-obligation estimate please email me at the address below and include a contact number.
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Unit 1 Engine Shed Lane Skipton North Yorkshire BD23 1UP