The key secret to the sheen on the luxury yet prized pieces of wooden furniture is shellac. It is applied to the musical instruments, wooden furniture and decorative accents in a number of more than 100 layers. And these layers result in a highly shiny, glass-smooth surface with highlighting the wood grains. However, unless the shellac is applied perfectly, the sheen will be missing. French polishing is a technique often used for applying shellac on wooden items. Implementing the technique abruptly won’t help. There are certain steps to ensure getting French Polishing Advantages. Here are some useful tips to be followed while applying shellac in the French style.
- Sanding is essential – At the onset, sand off old finishes of the wood furniture. Not only finishes, varnish, paint or rough surfaces also should be removed beforehand. Start with medium-grit sandpaper and finish it with fine grit. Lastly, use a damp clean cloth to wipe away sawdust.
- Mix the shellac well – You can save your time and effort by using prepared shellac. This insect-derived finish works best while applied fresh. This is the reason woodworkers tend to mix the shellac on their own. While mixing, take three ounces of shellac flakes and let it dissolve in denatured alcohol amounting to 16 ounces. Now keep it in a squirt bottle. This will ensure easy use. However, you can also store shellac in a glass jar and take out the solution in a shallow bowl as much you need.
- Make the dabber – For proper shellac application, use a pad with the absorbent core. It will dispense the shellac as you work. Create a fabric dabber, which you can hold easily. Dabber should be moved smoothly. And for this purpose, you can use pure olive oil to the work surface of fabric dabber.
- Initiate with a sealer coat – The first coats of shellac are the sealer coats. Apply the strokes to the edges without lifting the dabber. Apply three coats and let the shellac dry for a couple of minutes between coats.
- Use pumice power to fill in the open wood grain – This is an optional step, this is needed for open-grained wood such as walnut. Use ultra-fine FFFF grade for smoother French polish.
- Switch back to the initial shellac dabbing – This is an important step towards getting French Polishing Advantages. This ensures an even smoother surface of the wood. Apply it firm. Use olive oil for smooth application. Keep adding thin coats until the entire surface is covered a few times. Shellac dries quickly. Therefore, you can apply multiple coats.
- Spiriting is important – To remove excess oil, it is important to spirit the finish. Take quite a few drops of denatured alcohol to the dabber and apply it across the piece of furniture. Let the surface dry completely.
- Repeat the steps – You need to repeat the entire process six to eight times for optimal results. However, the surface must dry before starting a new session.
To get the most out of French polishing, you must follow certain steps. Sanding is essential. Don’t forget to mix the shellac well. Make the dabber rightly and initiate with a sealer coat. You may use pumice powder to fill in the open wood grain. Spiriting is important for flawless polish. Repeat the steps for the best result.