POLISHING - French polishing & modern hand finishes in East Sussex



This course is appropriate for both the complete beginner, and the more experienced restorer or furniture maker, who is perhaps lacking in confidence, or would like to look at a new approach to an old subject. Whilst this course is described as “Traditional” hand finishing, it is in fact hand finishing using mainly traditional materials, but with an up-to-date slant.

The methods that John teaches for ‘French Polishing’ use simplified techniques which have evolved in our workshops over the years and make the process very approachable and less confusing.

All aspects of finishing wood will be covered, from the initial preparation, to final waxing. Test panels will be provided so that all of the techniques can initially be practised in safety! These panels may also be taken away and used for later reference.

Students are also encouraged to bring along one or two smaller items of their own work that they have made or are restoring, or timbers / veneers that they are intending to use, and advice may then be given on designing appropriate finishing systems for them.

The aim of this course is that students will emerge with a thorough understanding of the principles of finishing, and a good grasp of various hand finishing techniques together with the confidence to use them.

Teaching hours are from 8.30am to 6pm to enable students to gain the maximum from their time in the workshops.

Refunds are not available on this booking. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

What you will learn:

Preparing wood for finishing

Colouring – using stains and chemicals

Grain filling – various methods and materials

Filling minor defects – various types of filler

Polish – making shellac & wax polish

Polishing – shellac “French polishing”, heat resistant systems, wax polish

Using modern finishes, oils etc.

Blending defects and repairs – cosmetic colouring systems

Tea, coffee and cakes will be provided. Students are requested to bring their own packed lunch.


John Lloyd at John Lloyd Fine Furniture

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Bankside Farm
Ditchling Common
Burgess Hill
East Sussex
RH15 0SJ

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners


5 weeks (9:00am to 6:00pm)

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This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

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Daniel O'Brien - - #14416

The relaxed setting, makes the whole course more enjoyable. John always has time for questions no matter what.

J Jones - - #14415

Worked systematically through the topics with ample time to develop practical skills

Rob Richards - - #5828

The small group meant we got lots of individual help and were able to go off track easily to discuss specific things in more depth.

Dick de Boer - - #5314

The course was excellent I really liked the fact that is was quite relaxed and interactive, lots of practice, lots of humour. Really nice!

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