Trouble with French Polishing

Hi David,
I recently received a french polishing kit from you, I have been trying to teach myself the art of french polishing and have found some of it a bit tricky and of course have had a few mistakes along the way. With your help I have overcome some of my problems.
I do have a few questions if possible could you answer, I think you are mixing polishing spirit with shellac to make the polish and not using meths /denatured alcohol this has been slightly confusing to me – is polishing spirit better for better results, as it is a lot more expensive than just meths?
When the work is finished after spiriting off do you, after a while, wax the job, as a lot of people seem to and there is a a great rage of polishes out there?
To be honest I think I was trying to polish with something like a 3 pound cut which did not help and things have been going so much better now, I have read what I can on this fascinating subject and seem to be hooked its a marvelous subject to be involved in and time just flies by, even with the problems I have had. I have seen as much as I can find on youtube but everyone seems to be doing this polishing differently.
Thank you for you time.



(David’s Response)

Hi Andy,
I am delighted that you are so involved in the process of french polishing. To answer your questions, Finishing Spirit is as far as I know alcohol with a little bit of polish in to allow it to be called finishing spirit not alcohol. So it can be sent by courier. Methylated sprit is alcohol mixed with dye and nasty tasting chemicals to stop people drinking it. The latter is fine used on darkish woods but don’t use on blonde woods as the color will show up.

Yes we do wax but a very thin coat of wax with a beeswax element in it.

Hope this helps



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