How to French Polish – Woodworking Finish with Shellac

How to French Polish - Woodworking Finish with Shellac
How to French Polish! Finishing is one of the most important aspects to any woodworking. The shellac used in French polishing will give your furniture a beautiful lustrous appearance with a deep colour and chatoyancy!
I like to show you how to apply a French Polish.

Support me on Patreon:

About French Polish:

Other French Polishing Videos I like to recommend:

Deutsche Schellack Politur Videos (German)

How to French Polish – Woodworking Finish with Shellac

16 thoughts on “How to French Polish – Woodworking Finish with Shellac”

  1. It's now July of 2018 and I'm just now watching your video . Thank You so much for making this and posting it here . I'm just now trying to learn about and going to try shellac finishing . Watching this has given me several tips . You're right when you said everyone does this differently . It's a lot to learn for such a simple finish ,,,, again , Thank You 🙂

  2. I imagine there must have been rooms full of these guys doing this back in the day! AND USE A COASTER under you coffee MUG!!! LOL! !! LOL! 😀 😁 😂 🤣 😃 😄 😅 😆 😉 😊 😋 This technique has been sadly increasingly replaced with "Liquid Glass" Epoxy Resin especially on luxury boats, motor homes and yachts interiors. As time is money unless it is The National Trust or Buckingham Palace! 🤔 🤨 😐 😑 😶 🙄 😏 😣 😥

  3. How many hours were out I to this block of wood? Better question, how much should I charge my clients for this application on my drums per sq. Ft.?

  4. If you used Abranet, clean it with the back of an other abrasive disk.
    If you used abralon on or with oil, clean with mineral spirit plus running with the back of a disk (abralon is cool, 180 to 4000 on a foam, but expensive, I always wash them before they get hard clogged). Tegards

  5. looks like a way to French polish indeed (rare enough to be noticed). The explanations also are simple and crystal clear (this is even more rare 😉 Just some comments :
    for furniture we need a rubber that have a sharp side, looks like a mouse , special folding mehod allows that.

    linen cloth (even not very thin) is just perfect for the job. contain much fluid, need less oil to rub nicely. the same linen fabrics can be used for the pumice then for the shellac. wool is also good inside becaus it hold a lot of humidity . the oil is choosen because it does nor dry that way we can get rid of it at the end (but if a lot have been used, some is in the shellac and will raise days and weeks later) .
    less oil way better, and we simply need a very light hand to make 6 an circles then 8, not necessary only 8 . press more on the rubber when it get dry, we need to feel the rubber working the shellac, not sliding too easily (but not scratching it )
    too much oil and next day the shine is gone I use a drop from time to time and have a good but light smear. – I could use a little more, but I compensate by using linen oil, very thick, the surface stay oiled longer with less oil. That is decided depending of the tactile feedback .
    that oil is to be cleaned later, part of it goes within the shellac if too much is used, it takes longer then , the oil will be at the surface months later (hopefully vaseline oil do not harden – but it is always possible that it goews down to the bare wood)
    a sample : first coats after pumice :– I use "Astra" shellac, no wax, very transparent, very hard, as an isolation coat, then blond dewaxed shella. 100g liter , no cutting so process is easier for beginners.
    To understand the moisture level, put the shellac directly on the sole, more often then but as it is faster, you keep the surface fresh and ready to be worked immediately, no need to warm it first.
    Shellac soften and get transparency at 45 celsius. If rubbed with not enough oil it can soften and turn gummy, loosing transparency then 😉 hence the oil.
    look at the sole, it should be clean, not shiny.
    When working more slowly I turn the cloth and the wool regularly, no crown of hardened shellac, no oil migrating in the wool, and the used cloth is better for the job so I try to keep it for some time..
    best regards

  6. Excellent video, Fabian! My first job, in southern England, was working with a true artisan antique restorer on to-die-for Euro antique pieces. This was some 40+ years ago. He specialized in French polishing because of the amazing 3-dimensional effect it had on grain-patterns. He always used a circular motion when polishing – never, ever straight-lines – as he felt this magnified the 3-D effect. Layers upon layers of circular patterns magnified the depth of the grain patterns. He also would add a small amount of oil to the polish-mix, and then de-oil the next day after the finish had set before adding the next micro-layer of polish. A typical finish would take at least a week but the end result was absolutely astounding! As to durability, some of the pieces that we worked upon were very old. The damage we were repairing wasn't due to the finish failing, it was physical damage – scratches, water-marks, etc.

  7. Hello.
    Thank you for your tutorial, but what is shellac ?!
    Is it wax or an other thing ?
    If it's not wax, how to make shellac ?
    Thank you

  8. Although I could never do this, I watched the entire video in disbelief that anyone can have that much patience

  9. When you start the next session later, do you just start with shellac and alcohol, or do you also begin with oil?

  10. True craftsman. Followed this excellent tutorial & achieved a finish of which I'm proud. Thank you kindly. Regards

  11. It is only after doing a couple of French polishing projects that I fully appreciated how good this video guide really is.

Comments are closed.