WC Beningfield and Company

Antique and fine furniture repairs, restoration & refinishing
"Craftsmanship for three generations"
Authentic French Polishers since 1910

Serving the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley,
3683 197A Street, Langley
British Columbia, Canada
shop: (604) 534-1674         cell: (604) 996-1912





About Me


French Polish - Probably one of the most misused terms in the wood finishing trade, French polish and French polishing refers to a  technique rather than a specific material.  Using this method many layers of finish are applied using a rubber or fad made up of wadding folded up into a piece of linen to create a pointed bag.
     Generally, for restoration on antique or period pieces the basic finish is composed of shellac and related formulations.  The finish material is applied to the  wadding,  which is then folded up in the linen to create the pointed rubber.  The finish is then applied over a number of days until the desired effect is achieved.  One characteristic of a French polished finish is the unsurpassed depth of colour and grain clarity.  New finishes tend to be rather bright, but this can be altered with various techniques and rubbing compounds to achieve a gentler glow.   Another advantage of French polishing is that often, badly marked or blemished finishes on antique furniture can be cleaned and restored by this method without having to revert to stripping, thus preserving the value of the piece.                   
Lacquer Finishes - For modern and family use furniture the same method described above is employed to apply a mar-resistant catalyzed lacquer finish.  I find that many customers want a colour change to update their furniture so this involves a complete stripping off of the old finish, re-staining, and then refinishing in lacquer.  Applying the catalyzed lacquer with the rubber and then later buffing by hand to a desired sheen creates a nice traditional looking finish with modern durability and minimal maintenance.