In the hands of a professional french polisher anything is possible. Whether you need us to match the existing colour of your particular furniture or change the colour of old surfaces, our extensive years of french polishing experience will allow us to accomplish any task you give us.


Our work ethics are accepted from established and traditional French Polishing and Furniture Restoration methods that have been passed down from generation to generation, this rich knowledge equipping us to provide you with a premier quality service.


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Previous French Polished Work

Coles French Polishing Logo




Since that day, the company has steadily grown and now has a wide variety of clients involving work on all types of projects. This meant anything from polishing antique furniture to modern hotels and pubs, most recently these have involved work on pubs, hotels and an 18th century house converted into luxury apartments.


The services we offer range from touching up damaged woodwork to re-polishing of jaded surfaces. In the past this has included varied jobs from the refinishing of bar tops with specialist bar laquers,
re-polishing a single chair and polishing all of the new woodwork in a new hotel complex.

On all of these we have been able to match existing colours, match samples of new colours or change the colour of old surfaces to match the colour of some new furniture. That's one of the beauties of wood, in the hands of a skilled french polisher almost anything is possible.

On all of the projects we get involved in, we have always managed  to work to any sample we have been supplied with and to the tightest time schedules.


Together with the services I have outlined above we are currently setting up workshop facilities equipped with a spray finishing shop. This enables us to offer the option of having timber pre finished in either a polished finish or even paint, prior to delivery to site. This will reduce the time required on a site and also limit the disruption to other traders. It will  enable us to offer a greater standard of finish to a job because we can control the conditions, which can only reflect well on our customers and ourselves. After all, a quality product, on time and at the right price will result in future orders for all concerned.

We are more than happy to take on anything from small one off or domestic items to major refurbishment projects and can work locally or nationally. If it's made of wood we can supply the skills needed to restore it.


I hope this has given an insight to the company and the some of the services we can offer. If you are interested in discussing anything further please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be only too happy to help.




French polishing is a wood finishing technique that results in a very high gloss, deep colour and tough surface. It consists of applying many thin coats of french polish (shellac dissolved in alcohol) using a rubbing pad. The rubbing pad is made up of wadding inside a square piece of cotton and is referred to as a fad.

The process is lengthy and very repetitive. The finish is obtained through a specific combination of different rubbing motions (generally circles and figure-eights), waiting for considerable time, building up layers of polish and then spiriting off any streaks left in the surface.

The 'fad' is commonly lubricated with an oil, e.g. linseed oil, that is integrated into the overall finish[1]. This helps to prevent the 'fad' from lifting previously applied layers of shellac. Which particular oil is used greatly influences the overall finish. Typically, "softer" oils, such as mineral oil, will produce a glossier and less durable finish whereas "harder" oils, such as walnut oil, will produce a more durable finish.

In the Victorian era, French polishing was commonly used on mahogany and other expensive woods, and was considered to give the best possible finish to exclusive furniture. The process was very labour intensive, however, and many major manufacturers abandoned the technique around 1930, instead preferring the cheaper and quicker techniques of spray finishing nitrocellulose lacquer and abrasive buffing. Another reason it fell from favour is its tendency to melt under low heat; for example, hot cups can leave marks on it. However it is also worth keeping in mind that the French polish is far more forgiving than any other finish in the sense that unlike lacquers, it can be efficiently repaired.
French polish could also be used in any of the situations above. It does, however, produce a much higher glossed surface and you are also able to change the colour slightly.