Furniture Restoration

wood refinishingProfessional French Polishing Tips To Restore Antiques

Antique furniture usually demonstrates the rich texture of French polished surfaces over hundreds of years. The secret lies in using professional techniques to restore furniture from ill effects of heat and dampness. Antiques found in old homes and mansions generally follow simple ways of <a href=”http://adwoodcraft.ie/french-polishing/”>French polishing using readymade polish</a> easily available in the market. The basic process involves applying several coats of shellac mixed with alcohol. Improved manufacturing techniques ensure DIY processes are alive and kicking when it comes to acquiring the perfect surface using French polish.

Identifying French Polished Surfaces

With excellent finishes available in the market, it’s easier to restore authentic antiques coated with French polish, but surface coats must be identified before using the polish. The process to identify surface coat is pretty simple. Take a smooth piece of cloth with cotton wads folded into it to remove undulations. Dip it into methylated spirit and apply to the wooden surface at a corner away from sight.

French polishing immediately softens polished surfaces and leaves stains on the white cloth. Allow alcohol to work on the surface for an hour or two before inspection. Extent of damage is easily noticed in contrast to other surface areas. For example, antique furniture develops scratches over a period of time. A piece of furniture may still look luxurious and polished with limited restoration work required. The idea is to remove scratches without using too much polish or alcohol over existing polished surfaces.

Simple French Polish Restoration

You are now in a position to know how much alcohol is needed to completely clean the surface. If further cleaning is not required, remove traces of dirt from the surface with a piece of clean cloth. Avoid sanding as much as possible. Antiques are hardly soiled with dirt and grime, so polishing back to its former glory can be done with minimum effort.  Use fresh alcohol-dipped cloth to achieve consistent movements forming the letter “8”.  An old handkerchief wrapped around cotton wads can be used to complete the process.

Maintain a wet look on the surface with just enough polish being transferred to antique furniture. The process is simplified by allowing French polish to ooze through the cloth ever so slightly. The cloth remains wet ensuring a consistent surface coat. A scratch is less evident now with just a little bit of spirit needed to remove final traces. French polishing needs a methodical approach, but finished surfaces meet exact antique restoration requirements.

Innovative manufacturers have come up with French polish substitutes that are easily available in the market. The process is simpler with applications transferred with the help of special brushes designed to penetrate small crevices formed on the old surface. Split alcohol is applied directly to the surface.

Use soft cloth to remove excess quantity and allow the surface to dry on its own for a few hours. Scratches or any other scuff marks are easily removed by applying a coat of French polish normally. Small areas to be restored are coated with specially designed scratch repair sticks available in different colours. It’s definitely possible to restore your precious antiques by French polishing surfaces with minimum effort.

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About Craig

Owner of Apex Carpentry. I have been in the carpentry field for over 15 years. I am dedicated to providing you the best service and quality for all your carpentry needs.
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