Whether you have had a piece of furniture for many years or have recently picked up a vintage piece from a second-hand furniture store or yard sale, a little TLC will go a long way in ensuring that the piece is looking its best.
Thankfully, there are several highly effective techniques that a reliable furniture restoration london company can use to help restore your antique piece back to its former glory without any loss of value, heritage, or stripping of the piece’s original character. One such effective technique is ‘French Polishing’
Certain techniques which were very commonly used during the 18th century, is incredibly effective in restoring the appearance of antique furniture and giving the pieces a beautiful wood finish.
Still not convinced? Below are some of the ways french polishing can effectively revive your antique furniture.
Removal of Common Stains
It is not uncommon for many antique pieces (dining tables, coffee tables, and side tables) to have stains, water rings, or small burn marks. These stains, of course, ruin the whole appearance of the piece and it can be very difficult to remove them yourself.
Thankfully, french polishing is a technique that can be used to effectively cover up these unsightly stains and give your furniture a fresh and glossy look. With french polishing, you also would not have to worry about the finished look of your furniture being affected by the stain removal.
Fixing Dents and Chips
Chips and dents are also types of damage that can happen to a piece of furniture over the years (from moving pieces around). While many people believe that these types of damages can’t be fixed on antique furniture, it is not necessarily the case. An experienced furniture restorer or french polisher will be able to reconstruct the damaged parts from scratch and fix up the piece before finishing things off with layers of french polish to give the piece a glossy finish that looks good as new.
Disguising Scratches and Scuffs
Seeing as how antique furniture are pieces that have been in use for many years, they will most likely have been through a lot of wear and tear. This means that things like scratches and scuffs may be present and causing the piece to look tired. If you’re looking to disguise these scratches and scuffs, french polishing is the best way to do it. The technique will shine up your furniture and completely remove all visible imperfections.
Reviving the Colour of Your Furniture
The color of antique and vintage furniture pieces can fade over time, causing the piece to look tired and dull. French polishing can be used to refresh and restore the original colour of the piece. The fact that french polishes also come in different shades and hues makes it all the more ideal for bringing the color of your antique piece back to life.
Reducing Future Wear and Tear
French polishing does a lot more than restore the appearance of antique furniture. Pieces that have undergone french polishing are usually better at resisting cracks, scratches and other signs of wear and tear. In addition to protecting your furniture from the elements, french polishing also makes it easier for the piece to be maintained.
Steps of the French Polishing Process
French Polishing is a centuries-old technique of revitalizing furniture that has been around for hundreds of years. This careful and arduous process leaves a beautiful finish on the wood. Even with the rise of varnishes and waxes, French Polishing remains a great option for restoring your antique furniture.
The technique of French Polishing entails several steps that should be carefully followed in order to facilitate success. These steps include:
- Surface Preparation: The surface must be carefully sanded, cleaned and prepared with a shellac sealer before beginning the polishing process.
- Combination of Alcohol and Oil: A combination of alcohol and oil is then applied to the surface using a specific pad called an “establishment pad” – this mixture creates an even ‘base’ or foundation upon which the finish is built
- Wax Application: After allowing 24 hours for the mixture to dry, paste wax will be applied in thin layers followed by buffing with muslin cloths to provide its signature luster
- Toning.: Once completed, various tones (i.e natural, red/brown mahogany) can be applied to enhance color depth and texture
- Final Buffing: The final step involves buffing with silk to make for a beautiful glossy finish
Each step requires it own meticulous attention in order for results desired by both furniture makers as well as owners’ restored antiques to be achieved!
Tips for Successful French Polishing
Here are some essential tips for success when you start French Polishing your antique furniture:
- Use high-quality products that won’t damage the original material or fade with time.
- Work in small areas at a time and make sure each area is thoroughly covered before moving on to another part of the piece.
- Make sure your environment is well-ventilated so you don’t inhale any strong fumes from the polishes being used.
- Polish very lightly without leaving any marks or residue on the piece itself. This will ensure that the wood surface looks even throughout with no visible fine scratches or patchy blemishes remaining after polishing.
- Always test out a small area first to see what kind of results you get – this will save you from making mistakes on a larger surface area later down the line should something unexpected occur in terms of color discrepancies or texture effects from using different products in combination with each other.
- Allow plenty of time between coats – normally up to 24 hours – as this will help achieve an excellent finish by allowing everything plenty of time to settle comfortably into place before being wiped down once again with more polishes added if necessary. This will also greatly reduce any risk of damaging additional parts of your furniture during its restoration process due to rushing beforehand which could cause damage while wet or unevenly securing some elements which require extra time during their installation stages too!
When it comes to antique furniture restoration, it goes without saying that French polishing is one of the best techniques out there. It has the ability to completely transform the appearance of any antique piece and leave a glossy finish that looks almost brand new. To achieve the best outcome from french polishing, do make sure to only hire a professional restorer or french polisher to carry out the restoration.