No registration, no passwords; no pop-up ads -- just aloha, fun, & authoritative answers.
As an eBay Partner & Amazon Affiliate we receive compensation for qualifying purchases.
Home /
Search 🔍
the Site
pub  Where the world gathers for
plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989


French Polish Formula for Furniture Refinishing

Somewhere, recently, I saw a presentation on t.v. re: "french polishing" which included the formula for softening and/or dissolving a faded, scratched finish then wiping it clean and letting the remaining film dry. Viola! It appeared to be refinished, but in actuality, had only had its surface dissolved and re-distributed. Any help?

Robert A. Mager
- Los Lunas, New Mexico, USA


French polishing uses orange shellac, high quality denatured alcohol, a prepared wool pad, technique, muscle.

If you're going to attempt a fix get a book that describes the procedure and practice it on a separate item. If a pro were to show you how to fix this multi-remelted/layered finishing system you would end up ruining it. Knowing how to do it is only half of the system, acquiring the skill is the other half. It is produced by applying a thin layer of shellac moistened with alcohol and a lubricant with a prepared pad. This is repeated with the alcohol allowing the shellac to melt into the previous layer. It's important to have the right amount of shellac and the right amount of alcohol in the pad through the whole operation, these amounts vary as you progress.

Fixing it is almost the same procedure as applying it, alcohol and shellac.

What I'm leading towards is there is no magic formulae. It's a lengthy process requiring a technique to both apply the shellac and let it melt in and at the same time not bond the pad to the existing finish or remove it. Either learn the process or leave it alone. If you were to french polish a a board you would learn what to do to fix your present finish and what not to do.

David Domm
- Rochester, New York

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact  -  Privacy Policy  -  ©1995-2024, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA  -  about "affil links"