The Fine Art of French Polishing for Melbourne Antiques

French polishing is not a product as some people tend to believe, but is in fact a technique used to achieve the best quality wood finish. Our experienced polishers service all variety of furniture in Melbourne and specialize in antiques and historic collectables.

So what does the process involve?

The time consuming technique involves rubbing a polish into the furniture’s surface and slowly building up the coats over many applications. This process can take up to several days depending on the item and the required number of applications. This specific polishing craft first gained its popularity in the late 19th century and was solely reserved for the most expensive furniture of that time. However, the craft slowly began to lose favor in wake of cheaper and simpler wood finishes which were easier to mass produce. These easier solutions were less effective than the labor intensive process of French polishing and failed to achieve the same quality of luster. Today, there are only a few professionals who still practice the craft, and here at Canterbury Antiques, we consider the process an art form.


Not only is the technique one of the most beautiful ways of finishing your mahogany or oak antiques, but it can also help with the restoration of your piece by giving it a mirror-like shine. Your furniture will attain a warmer look and its colors will appear rich, and more enhanced compared to that of a spray on finish. Make sure you do your antique furniture justice and if it’s looking a little tired, reinvigorate it by taking it to one of our talented French polisher craftsmen in Melbourne.

Things to consider

French polishing can be heat sensitive, which means that you should be extra conscious not to ever set hot mugs or dishes on its surface. However, if you ever have a momentary lapse in remembering this, this particular finish is one of the few which can be repaired. Bring it into one of our Melbourne polishers and they’ll be able to undo the damage with a little attention and care.