Halford Restorations
Jamie Halford BA(Hons)
Restorer of Antique Furniture
Bishop's Stortford Hertfordshire

French Polishing

French Polishing is a term typically applied to the cosmetics of antique furniture, but is only one particular surface finishing process, involving specialised application of liquid shellac. In reality a finish may be an oil,  a wax, or a gum or resin based varnish or lacquer,  or a mixture of these, having been over- or re- polished during its life.

Halford Restorations undertakes all aspects of traditional furniture finishing, with an understanding of finishes of different periods and a consideration for the patina, colour, sheen and feel of a surface. 
Please use the contact us button if you have an inquiry about a cosmetically damaged piece, whether it is polished timber, or a painted, lacquered, japanned or gilded item.

The best policy is usually to retain and enhance existing finishes, using various processes to revive a degraded polish, remove or disguise stains and blemishes, colour match repairs and return clarity and sheen to reveal the beauty of the wood.

When an old coating is beyond recovery, or if a missing part is reinstated, then the complete finishing process is required, along with reinstating lost patina.

The patina is the generally acceptable and desirable development of signs of a pieces age and use. Consisting of accrued surface imperfections and development of polish characteristics and timber colour, oxidization, burnishing and accumulation of dirt and various coatings. Such characteristics takes the full age of the piece and is very difficult to reproduced, you must not be easily persuaded to opt for a complete re-finish, but neither must you be scared to have the piece cleaned or revived, as this can help conserve the existing polish.

Below are some examples of various polishing projects. Generally including pieces requiring more significant work.