A quick, easy alternative to French polishing
Synopsis: When done well, a French polish has a soft but brilliant glow that brings out all the depth and color of the wood without the heavy buildup generally associated with a high-gloss finish. No other finish comes close for Mario Rodriguez, who’s taught French polishing for years. The ingredients – shellac, oil, and pumice – must be applied at the right time and in the proper amounts. The method explained here produces a finish virtually identical to that of a traditional French polish without the risks, though it still requires a lot of elbow grease. Rodriguez talks about preparing the surface, applying the padding lacquer, feathering out the finish, repairing mistakes, and finishing on the lathe. There is also a discussion of filling pores for a glass-smooth surface.
For me, French polishing is the finish of choice for the very finest furniture. When done well, a French polish has a…