French Polishing

French polishing is so much more than just ‘french polishing’.

It has spread its art form to modern day lacquers and oils to provide the right look for the job. Where french polish is usually glossy and is suited to sometimes handrails and some furniture, modern day lacquers and oils are an alternative for a satin or matt finish.
As french polishers we provide you with the correct advice and have the knowledge and skill to give your wood all it needs to look its best.
Sometimes as french polishers we use grain fillers. This is a traditional method which not all french polishers use, (but we do). These help to fill the grain of the timber, especially on mahogany joinery where the grain is very deep.
The difference grain filling can make is truly substantial. On some furniture and handrails it is not necessary, as the grain of the timber is only shallow and can be filled up by polish and lacquers alone.
In some cases our customers prefer an open grain look to the timber to give a different feature. Different techniques and different finishes are applied to suit a certain piece of furniture or handrail. This is all part of the luxury of french polishing and the skill of the french polisher to advise and assist you in his or her job.

Colour Matching

Colour matching, this is where a french polisher can really show their skill. For example, if you have a Kitchen floor which is a certain colour and would like to match your kitchen worktop to the same colour, this can be achieved. Or maybe you want your handrail colour matched to your wooden floor.

The difference between french polishers and painter & decorators is vast. Also the difference between varnish and french polish or lacquer is vast. 

As tradesman we both have our skills. You wouldn’t choose a french polisher to wallpaper your room, so why would you choose a painter to finish a handrail. The difference a professional can make to your woodwork, whatever it is, is truly worth it.

So whether your furniture, kitchen or floor needs a refurb, or you have new joinery that needs colouring and finishing, were here to help.

 

What is french polish and how is it applied?

 
French Polish is basically `shellac`, which is a resin created by a `lac bug` and found on trees in India and Thailand. It is then processed and turned into dry flakes, which are then dissolved in pure alcohol to make a liquid shellac. This liquid shellac can then sometimes be even more modified by suppliers to make it heat resisting. The term `french polishing` refers to the art of the application, this technique is used to bring out the very best in wood and furniture. It is considered the best treatment as it leaves a deep shine and smooth finish. French Polishing arrived in the 19th Century and was mainly used on expensive woods ie: mahogany or oak. These days it is used on all sorts of timbers and still retains to be the `Rolls Royce’ of wood –

finishing. The french polish is usually applied with a brush to start with and rubbed down smooth in between coats. Then it is

applied with what is referred to as a `fad`, which is mutton cloth. Finally it gets finished in a pad which is referred to as a `rubber`, which is made from a piece of wadding and rag.Sometimes the polish is thinned down with methylated spirits on the last few treatments or can even be applied with an oil. The oil acts as a lubricant and also helps to fill the grain of the timber. It naturally has a high shine finish which really brings out the beauty of the colour and grain.