All about French Polishing

While everybody might have their different tastes in what they find aesthetically appealing, some things have definitely stood the test of time to become a societal favourite in terms of aesthetic appeal. Polished wood, in particular, is a trend that has lasted hundreds of years across the world and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Of course, there are different methods of polishing wood, and each method has its own history that makes it unique.

What Is French Polishing?

If you’re interested in working with shellac French polish in Hertfordshire, you should first learn more about the process and where it came from. Although the term “French polish” may lead you to believe that the polish stems from a French origin, the term actually refers to a method of polishing that comes from France. The material used in French polishing is called shellac, and this method produces an incredibly glossy finish with deep colour and great optical reflectance.

The shellac is dissolved in denatured alcohol before being added to the wood in several thin coats. The rubbing pad used to apply the shellac is made of cotton or wool wadded up and wrapped in fabric. This pad is typically referred to as a fad, rubber, tampon, or muñeca (which is Spanish for “rag doll”).

Overall, French polish is an extremely popular method of polishing woods and is often considered to be the most beautiful. With that said, the finish can also be very fragile; spills of water or alcohol could leave cloudy marks in the polish. These are typically easy to repair, however, and can be blended into the original finish.

History of French Polish

The origin of French polishing traces back to the 18th century in the Victorian era. This polishing method was typically used for very fine, expensive pieces of furniture made from mahogany or for string instruments like pianos. Because of its long process, however, most people abandoned the method in the 1930s in favour of quicker spray lacquers and abrasive buffing. The method was also abandoned due to its fragility against liquids and low heat.

Even though a French polish finish can be rather fragile to the elements, it is still far more repairable than most other methods of wood polishing. Because of this, the method is still very popular and well worth the intensive process it requires. If you are looking for an expensive-looking finish for your wood items, French polish is definitely the method to use. Luckily for those who are interested, there are still plenty of establishments today that work with French polish and sell the materials necessary for you to learn how to do it yourself.

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