Hand Rubbed French Polishing with Shellac

Still One of the Best Finishes Around


French Polishing has a few different interpretations. French Polishing with shellac is probably the most commonly encountered finish today.

All that is required to start is a piece of cloth or linen, shellac, ethanol and sometimes an oil of some sort.

Though simple in its materials, it is rather intricate in its application, and requires a certain "feel" before any success can be achieved. You can read about it, you can watch a video on it, but "hands on" learning with personal guidance is the fastest way to acquire that "feel".

There is also the visual presentation of how to charge the pad properly and what you will see on the wood to help guide your technique. There is the constant manipulation of the charging of the pad with more shellac, addition of the oil, addition of ethanol and the pressure that is applied by the polisher.

All of this added up is a high gloss multilayered coating that has its very own unique visual presentation.

Some Topics You Will Explore

  • How to find the perfect feel by watching for some simple cues

  • How such a quick finish procedure produces spectacular high gloss results

  • Why french polish is suitable for all types of furniture - high end and low end

  • How to repair a damaged french polish finish (hint: it's easy!)

  • Where is a french polish a poor choice