French Polishing your antique furniture
Precious antique furniture calls for time-honoured traditional techniques
To keep it simple, French Polishing is a finishing technique that is applied to wooden furniture and is not a polish/substance as most commonly thought.
A French Polish finish is applied with a shellac soaked cotton rubber (known as a “fad”) building up layers over time using a very laborious and repetitive combination of rubbing motions. All natural materials are used throughout the polishing process to create a warmth and depth that enhances the natural grain and properties of timber.
French Polishing is a very popular finish for fine pieces of furniture, and the application is an ‘art’ in itself. It is applied in numerous layers of polish by a rubber (a pad made of wadding and cloth to apply the polish) until the desired degree of depth is obtained.
The purpose of French Polishing is to seal the timber and prevent movement due to moisture absorption. It wears well, keeps the dirt out and provides a superior finish.
In the hands of a capable craftsman French Polishing provides an immaculate finish to your furniture whilst enhancing the features of the timber.
Our approach to antique restoration is a purist one. Using only traditional techniques and materials, many of which we mix ourselves. Our aim is to remove unsightly blemishes and restore the beauty of a piece without unnecessary damage to its character and patina.
Antique restoration, properly carried out, is quite different from refinishing. In restoration, the goal is to retain as much of the original look and character (and thereby the value) of a piece. On the other hand, refinishing often requires complete removal of the original surface finish.
In some situations, such as when moisture has penetrated beyond the finish into the wood itself, a degree of stripping and refinishing may be necessary. In these circumstances we carefully hand-strip and then refinish using similar processes and materials that were originally used.
The first rule of restoration is to change the piece as little as possible. If any timbers need replacing, where possible, we will use the same wood. We’ve collected many old timbers over the years, so there’s a vast collection to call upon if needed.
Our attitude and our appreciation for the sensitive nature of our craft is reflected in the character and beauty of the piece of furniture that is delivered back to you.
Our workshop is fully equipped to carry out all repairs. We use time tested techniques to ensure your furniture remains functional.
Fire, Water, & Moving Damage
We are the company of choice for many insurance and moving companies. With the minimum of fuss we will have your furniture returned to its pre-damaged condition.
Missing parts can be replaced by duplicating an existing part, or we can copy them from a photo. We have an extensive stock of old timber to ensure as close a match to the original as possible.