The terms ‘French manicure’ and ‘French polish’ however, are sometimes used interchangeably within the spa and cosmetology industries despite the fact these are different treatments. That’s not to say those with less than perfect nails can’t enjoy a French polish – the therapist will work to make your nails look as great as possible, regardless of their current appearance. Spray polish with bees wax is excellent but if it contains silicone then do not use it. Silicone will leave the furniture looking good but over time it will contaminate the finish as well as the timber.
The shellac is then applied in the same way with light longitudinal strokes ensuring that consecutive strokes do not overlap. The final important component in the formula for a beautiful and durable French Polished shellac finish is oil. The main use of this white French polish is as a sealer to bare timber prior to the application of a wax polish finish. The pressure is gradually increased as the rubber applies the shellac to the surface.
You’ll also need some mineral oil, some 2 1/2 pound cut shellac, some 4F pumice, and Shellac solvent (I like Behlens since it has other stuff in it other than Methanol-remember all wood alcohol will destroy your optic nerve). At this stage there is still a good amount of wood chips and bugs in there, but it is usable for French polishing after being dissolved and filtered for use.
The ultimate goal of French polish is to achieve layer upon layer of shellac that fills in all the woods pores and eventually reaches the point where a thin, perfectly flat film covers the entire surface of the piece. French polishes are often less expensive than French manicures for this reason and are a great choice for those with hands and nails that are already in great condition.
Normally I can achieve an excellent French polish finish direct from the rubber but with the difficulties encountered with this cabinet decided to burnish it to bring out the mirror finish and it certainly now glows; in fact I’ve had problems trying to take the pictures due to reflection. A French polish can be applied over finished wood as long as it doesn’t have an acrylic or similar coating that leaves a layer of plastic.
Using a carpenter trained specially in the art of French polishing is a must, and with the right treatment, your wood can have a truly beautiful, excellent quality finish that looks amazing in your home. It is quite common for us to deliver a great finished piano and take back some furniture to also work on for the customer. After the straight stokes, the workpiece must be left for 15 minutes or so to allow the polish to dry sufficiently for another coat to be applied, using the same 3 stages of figures of eight and straight strokes. Wooden furniture needs to be protected against conditions such as humidity, sunlight and everyday wear and tear such as water marks.
Follow the directions and guidelines in the French polishing – one padding session, step by step section to French polish a layer of shellac over the entire surface. Polish is added in layers, using the same rubbing patterns, mainly circular or in a figure of eight. They are not DIY brushing polish type products as they keep most of the workability of pure French polish for fine quality and advanced work.
However, it is also simpler to repair than a damaged varnish finish, as patch repairs to French polish may be easily blended into an existing finish. When a noticeable finish layer has been built up over this entire working area, charge” the pad with a few drops of alcohol (no shellac solution) and polish over the surface in larger circles. Since the alcohol evaporates so fast, the shellac hardens and grabs the weave of the tampon.
Even though a French polish finish is thin and flexible (good for sound) it is not very protective against even minor physical abuse. Then go round the other side of the table and start in the centre again, working your way out. The advantages of using French polish as a guitar finish are related to both the finish and the process. TO CLARIFY: When customers book a French manicure, they will receive much luxurious hand pampering: exfoliation, massage and/or a softening paraffin wax treatment, for example.
This specialist course is aimed at students with no previous experience or limited knowledge of French polishing and re-finishing – time is allocated for discussion on stains, fillers, bleaches, polishes and waxes. Leave the job at least a day and then apply with a brush a coat of filler/sealer which helps form a skin on the wood and prevents subsequent casts of polish simply soaking in. With old wood the sealer can be omitted. If we have achieved a level surface, we can start with the actual french polish.
A French manicure and French polish can be purchased as part of a gift, so whether you’re looking for someone to accompany you, or you wish to buy a present for that special someone, be sure to check out our spa gift vouchers page. The French Polishing Kit contains a selection of hard sanding blocks, please use these on the timber as shown in the French Polishing DVD — the idea is that you put the shine on to the timber before applying the polish. Many people only use the middle leaf of an extendible table for special occasions.
The quality of the finish is completely dependent on the proper technique being used to apply it. It takes years of practice to fully master this and if approached correctly, can be an incredibly enriching experience as it was for me. Mastering the French polishing technique forces one to develop control, strength, and patience. Dark, fine grained woods such as Mahogany, Walnut and Rosewood benefit the most from French polishing. If a customer particularly wants a french polished surface this of course can be done.
If this is not mastered, you can be polishing for weeks to get a flat level surface which will be difficult to achieve if the pores in the wood are not filled (especially in harder woods such as Cuban mahogany and South American rosewood). FINPOL Easy Polish – is, as its name suggests, a really easy to use brush-on finish for doors, handrails, and decorative woodwork. Squirt a small shot of very thin shellac (either 1-pound-cut shellac or fresh pre-mixed shellac diluted with alcohol) onto the wad—don’t drench it!—and gather the corners up to surround the wet ball (right).
Shellac is not only used to produce French polish, it has had a distinguished history of coating many different products. Polish over the area methodically and watch the surface closely as the very thin shellac slowly builds and diminishes the fine scratches left from the wet sanding. The one-day Standard Course suits most people, and is specially designed to allow enough time for you to go through all the stages in French Polishing. The chart above provides a reference for what to keep away from shellac finishes, particularly alcohol, ammonia, strong soaps and heat.