Get rid of unsightly marks and stains 

Over the years, we’ve carried out hundreds of french polishing jobs ranging from simple tables chairs to elaborate chests of drawers. And, while we’re proud of the sheer quantity of work we’ve completed, that isn’t what is important to us.

We believe that beautiful furniture deserves to continue to be admired and used. That’s why we take great pride in every single project we take on.

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What Is French Polishing?

French Polishing is a process, not a material. The material used when is called shellac, which is a resin secreted by the female Lac beetle to form a cocoon in trees in India and Thailand. The colour of shellac varies with the type of tree the Lac insect was living on, ranging from a deep garnet through orange to pale yellow. It is dried into flakes and then diluted into alcohol to make a liquid shellac.

The purpose of finishing with shellac is primarily for appearance and protection. Wooden furniture needs to be protected against conditions such as humidity, sunlight and everyday wear and tear such as watermarks. Shellac also enhances the appearance of the timber and this is where French Polishing comes into its own, the rich colour and distinctive figuring of the grain in the wood is brought to life, leaving the wood with a beautiful lustre and sheen. The process can also be used to change the colour of the timber, hide blemishes, repair damaged surfaces and dramatically improve the appearance of a plain piece of furniture or fixture. Although less durable than a modern lacquered finish, French polish is far more forgiving than any other finish in the sense that unlike lacquers, it can be efficiently repaired.

Enjoy your furniture again

Just because your furniture is looking a little worn doesn’t mean it isn’t loved.

Get more comfortable

Through our specialist techniques, we’re able to enhance the comfortability

Fit right in

We can help your furniture fit in better with your current home design.

The process

1. Polish Application

Polish is applied as a liquid mixture by either polish mop, usually made from bear or squirrel hair, or by a polish rubber which is made up of wadding wrapped in cotton.

2. Evaporation

Once spread over a surface, the shellac forms a thin, solid coating. The changeover from a liquid that is relatively easy to apply, to a tough, well adhering film, is accomplished by the solvent simply evaporating and leaving behind its solid component as the film coating.

3. Polishing Mop

The French polisher applies the first coats by polish mop in the direction of the grain, the surface is then sanded down with a very fine abrasive paper to ensure the surface remains smooth and to prepare the surface for application with the polish rubber. The polish rubber is moved across the surface in the direction of the grain starting with small figure of eight movements from the centre outwards. The pressure is gradually increased as the rubber applies the shellac to the surface. This process is repeated many times.

4. Bonding

As every new, extremely thin coat of shellac is applied, it’s alcohol solvent melts the uppermost part of the hardened shellac film already on the furniture. This makes for excellent bonding between coats.

5. Finishing

The ultimate goal of French polish is to achieve layer upon layer of shellac that fills in all the woods pores and eventually reaches the point where a thin, perfectly flat film covers the entire surface of the piece.

Dark, fine grained woods such as Mahogany, Walnut and Rosewood benefit the most from French polishing. Not all wood types require such a lengthy process for finishing. Oak for example which is a rustic and coarse grained timber, is best left unfilled. Pine and Teak however prefer a low lustre finish, which is achieved using waxes and oils.

30 Years Of Experience

Our extensive experience gives us the confidence in our ability to restore almost any piece.

Highly Trusted

With many customers around the Edinburgh area, we are your go-to service for furniture finishing

Free Advice

Before we begin any work, we give you complete clarity on what work needs completed

French Polishing Edinburgh

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you travel, if so, how far?

Yes, we can pick-up and deliver your furniture from Edinburgh and the surrounding areas too!

How much will it cost?

The cost of your french polishing job is dependent on the item involved. We try to stay away from blindly quoting so that you can get a realistic cost that works for you.

The good news is that you can get a free quote! Just hit ‘request quotation’ below and we’ll get right back to you.

How many coats of polish do you apply?

When it comes to french polishing, there is no right answer. We apply coats until we feel that the furniture is looking at its very best. That’s our benchmark!

Will you need to take my furniture away?

Sometimes we’ll be able to do the French polishing job in your house. Other times it may be best if we complete the job in our workshop.

How much experience do you have?

We have over 30 years experience in the industry. We’ve worked on hundreds of French polishing jobs and have an incredibly satisfied clientbase

Can you remove heat marks?

Yes, we do! Within reason of course. Some pieces of furniture are past the point of repair. If you’re not sure about whether it’s at that point, just ask us and we’ll help you see if the job is worthwhile.