French Polishing Services

If you’ve ever admired the extraordinarily glossy finish on an antique piece of wooden furniture or a wooden instrument such as a guitar or violin, you’re likely looking at wood finished with the French polishing technique. While you appreciate the good looks, you may also respect the hard work behind the fine finish. While it is a very time-consuming process and does take many years of practice before you’ll reliably achieve the best results, it’s hard to match this time-honored method for producing a lustrous finish that shows off wood grain to perfection.

What is French Polish?

French polish is not a product. Rather, French polishing is a method of applying shellac to wood furniture, musical instruments, or decorative accents in many thin layers—typically well over 100—that results in a highly glossy, glass-smooth surface with a rich depth that beautifully highlights the grain of the wood. While it’s been around since the 1600s, made from a substance secreted by the lac bug—a species of scale insect native to Asia, there are certainly other methods of finishing wood that produce a glossy finish—including varnish, polyurethane, and high-gloss stains and paints—none of those produce the depth and richness of French polish.

The very best modern table top French Polish that we use at CMC Designs is quite durable and heat resistant, and doesn’t require much in the way of polishing once dry. It’s flexible, so resists cracking, scratches, and wear—a definite advantage if you drop your keys onto a French polished table or surface, for example. French polish also dries quickly and is nontoxic. It won’t yellow over time, as varnish will, and it’s fairly easy to patch up your French-polished piece without leaving obvious signs of repair. While French polish, (shellac) is naturally amber to orange, you’ll also find bleached shellac that’s useful over light-colored wood like maple.

French polish is still regarded today as the very finest finish available on wooden furniture once applied by a fully qualified professional.

We also offer all forms of modern finishes at CMC Designs International.