French Polishing & Woodcare - 2 Day Beginners/Intermediate Workshop



This two day intermediate course at our Cotswold workshop is designed to give the student the fundamental basics and in depth professional skills of French polishing and woodcare.

Each student will work on two small or one medium sized piece of their choice allowing them to go through the full process within two working days.

The course covers the following –

Health and Safety
Polishing materials, tools and personal set up list
Stripping, neutralising and sanding/wire wool techniques
Staining and grain fillers
Shellacs, touching in and waxes
Brush and rubber techniques

The course is designed for groups of 1 to 6.

If you wanted a bespoke package then we can mix and match with my painted furniture course to make sure you gain everything you need from the workshop.

Get in touch for more details of our range of courses and to book your place.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

All sundries needed to polish are provided. The furniture needs to be provided by the student.


Oliver Piepereit at OP Woodcraft

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77a Northwick Business Centre
Blockley, Moreton-in-Marsh
GL56 9RF

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Advanced/pro level
  • Children
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Hearing impaired
  • Hen dos
  • Intermediate level
  • Learning difficulties (SEN)
  • Limited mobility
  • Parking provided
  • Seniors
  • Stag dos
  • Teenagers
  • Tutor can travel
  • UK Holiday
  • Vision impaired


14 hours (9:30am to 4:30pm)

Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

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

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

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Harry Allen - - #38593

Just completed a 3-day French Polishing course. Thoroughly enjoyable. Oliver gives clear instructions and keeps a close eye on what you are up to, checking your technique. He was able to help repair and replace bits from my piece that had fallen off or broken with age. Oliver was very knowledgeable and calmly explained the processes (more than once, as required!).
As this is a teaching event, I would advise taking one complex piece requiring several different skills to be learned rather than several simpler pieces where fewer skills are repeated.

Dr William Gardner - - #37527

A superb course. Oliver Piepereit was very welcoming when I arrived and was a patient and careful teacher, always obliging and willing to answer all questions. I am delighted with the results on various piano components that I took for practise.

Mark, Salisbury - - #37456

Ollie certainly knows his stuff and has the workshop and equipment to provide a great training opportunity. I attended for 3 days and focussed on the French polishing of a table and chair, and the preparation and rejuvenation of 2 other items. Ollie explains, demonstrates and monitors to develop the skills you need to achieve great results. Apart from gaining new abilities I really got to know some pieces of furniture that I have owned for some years and taken for granted. My eyes have been opened to look at furniture in a new way with greater appreciation of the craftsmanship of the product, and the joy from the natural material that is "wood".

Simon B - - #37207

My second course with Ollie and once again it was excellent. Ĺearned so much and was really pleased with the way my project turned out.

Trish Neeves - - #37205

Working on a 2 day french polishing course with Ollie is both instructional and fun. I had already done a 1 day course with Ollie and it was because I had enjoyed Ollie's relaxed way of teaching that i decided to do another course.
I am now hooked !

Elaine - - #36588

I attended this course in November and was so inspired to do more furniture restoration as a result! As a complete beginner to all things wood Ollie was really responsive in answering my questions and helped me to decide which course would best suit my needs. I chose an ambitious piece of furniture to do up on the course (side board cabinet) but learnt so many techniques under the helpful guidance of Ollie: stripping down the cabinet, sanding, and french polishing - each step of the way Ollie advised on the best techniques (as well as health and safety advice) and I was so proud with what I achieved. Ollie was great at responding to my questions and giving me advice on further pieces after the course. The workshop is situated in a beautiful location, and I throughly enjoyed my time on the course and would highly recommend it!

Toby Parsons - - #35318

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Barnaby Swayne - - #34444

A thoroughly enjoyable course, Ollie is professional, personable and patient, with the ability to teach in a clear and methodical manner. With Ollie's guidance, I managed to transform a small veneered chest of drawers, with pealing veneer, scratches, cup ring marks, and old wood worm holes, back to it's former glory, it was quite incredible. I would highly recommend.

Sarah T. - - #34318

I can highly recommend Ollie at OP Woodcraft. Ollie is highly professional, friendly and an excellent teacher. Ollie is extremely approachable and generous with his all of his knowledge and experience.

I recently attended the 2 day French Polishing course and came away feeling so much more confident and with 2 fabulous tables which had been stripped back, stained and French polished to a high standard over the duration of the 2 days.

Thank you Ollie and I hope to be back again before too long! 😊

Mike Swaddling - - #34054

Ollie's course merits a rating above Excellent. He gave clear instructions just the once and then left me to have a go myself, before coming back and gently correcting or improving my efforts. He also adapted the course structure to suit my own requirements. I went there looking for a better way of presenting my finished restorations and I came away with that in spades, plus two restored items I am immensely proud of.

Ally Booker - - #32001

This was an excellent course taught by the wonderful Ollie.
I came to the workshop with zero experience about restoring historical pieces and Ollie packed so much in during that time. He covered every process step by step, explaining it all thoroughly whilst ensuring we had a go at everything. I left the course with a beautifully restored family heirloom that the family are delighted with. I'm feeling really excited about restoring my next piece of furniture using all these traditional techniques (along with Ollie's special Trade secrets too!). Thanks Ollie.

Mike Rust - - #31917

Very enjoyable two days in the Cotswolds! I arrived with a really old, well used, badly treated side table, and left with a lovely piece of furniture, restored and French polished by myself - a new skill I intend to make full use of in future. Great learning experience delivered by Ollie who has a knack of explaining quite complicated "stuff" in a way I could quickly understand. Looking forward to my next restoration project with OP Woodcraft!

Rowen Albert Spruce-Sewell - - #31620

I really enjoyed the 2 day course for beginners. Oliver is very knowledgable, friendly and a good teacher. I would recommend this course for anyone as a starting point or just for interest.

Dominique Corlett - - #31370

I did the two day French polishing course with Oli and really enjoyed it. Everything was really well organised with all of the equipment we needed to hand (along with hand sanitiser and socially-distanced work spaces) and Oli explained everything really clearly. He struck a good balance between showing us the process and leaving us to get on with it and steered things so we all got to the point of leaving with a finished project. His teaching style gave me a lot of confidence, even though this was completely new to me and I was amazed at what I achieved in two days. It was stretching but very satisfying and a lot of fun.

Eamonn Woods - - #31284

I have just complete the 2 day French polishing course.
I was a bit nervous beforehand but no need to be.
Ollie was really patient and walked us through the processes step by step.
Came away feeling as it I’d achieved something worthwhile.
Would highly recommend

Sarah Whatman - - #30421

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and was really pleased with what I achieved and learnt over the two days. Ollie is a patient instructor and gave lots of handy hints and advice while I was restoring a bistro chair. Even though I am a complete novice, I found it easy to follow the different steps and am now keen to apply what I learnt to another small project. Thank you Ollie for an enjoyable couple of days!

Ben Frost - - #30008

My measure of any good training course is that you feel inspire to put in practice what you have learnt. I have. I've purchased the materials and found some old furniture to practice on. Over the 2 day course Oli paced the work so that I completed more than I thought I was capable of achieving. It's quite a skill to master the shellac application but the results are wonderful.
Thanks Oli for your patience and advice.

Nancy Buxton - - #29730

I arrived on the first day of this course with absolutely no knowledge or experience whatsoever in woodcare and French polishing. Oli was extremely patient with my many questions and taught the process in a very easy-to-understand way, ensuring that everyone in the group was looked after well. The environment was relaxed and fun and Ollie's enthusiasm is infectious, which made the course all the more enjoyable. I've come away keen to continue bringing unloved items back to their former glory. The piece that I brought with me was stunning by the end of the two days. Thank you Ollie!

Tony Baker - - #29701

Having travelled from north London to attend this course it was always going to be a gamble that it would live up to the previous reviews and be worth the cost. It was, I learned what I needed to carry on my hobby of furniture restoration and very useful tips on what supplies were needed and how to apply them. Oliver is very good at teaching in a relax informal way and I would highly recommend this course to anyone that wants to learn some of the ways of French polishing.

Mike Hawkes - - #25870

An excellent 2 day course, with an experienced and very effective teacher. I took a Pembroke table that was in need of a lot of TLC. Although it became a bit of a rush towards the end, we got through the entire process and I now have a wonderfully restored table. Oliver is an excellent teacher, who clearly has a wealth of knowledge and experience - and has the ability to teach it well. I’m confident now to work on my own on other pieces.

Rosalind Thurlow - - #25866

I have just completed a second course with Ollie and looking forward to a third! His experience is generously shared with his students to help keep alive ‘French polishing’. He is a patient and attentive tutor and the two small pieces I took for attention, now look unbelievably beautiful thanks to his instruction and guidance. The extensive notes sent out following the course are invaluable. If you have any interest at all in woodwork, restoration and learning a new skill then don’t hesitate to sign up with Ollie you won’t regret it. Ollie, thank you very much and hope to see you again soon 🤩

Nick Hiltunen - - #25791

5 star recommendation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ollie is a great tutor, he is extremely knowledgeable & patient.
I enrolled on one of Ollie's French polishing courses. Extremely glad I did as I have now come away with the skills and confidence to strip and refinish wooden furniture to a high standard.
Highly recommended, thanks Ollie 👍

Ann - - #25215

Great course, surroundings, workshop and workspace. I had signed up for the painted furniture course but the chair I had bought needed more prep time mainly due to the many layers of paint and varnish applied over the years! Ollie was really great and instead took me through the process and techniques of French polishing working with me to apply these to my other piece of furniture. Ollie is very patient, extremely knowledgeable and a great guy. Well worth the stopover in the pretty Gloucester surroundings and the journey from Essex.

Bob Clayton - - #24056

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Ollie on the French Polishing Course. He makes the process so much easier that I thought possible! I focussed upon colour touching up of damaged veneer, as well as French Polishing and was well chuffed with the final outcome!

Given that my previous experience had not resulted in a good finish, through Ollie’s instruction and help the outcome was far, far better.

I cannot recommend the course highly enough, you will gain so much information and develop new skills that will leave you infinitely more equipped to carry out the art of French Polishing and related activities in the future.

Jane Elms - - #22598

Absolutely brilliant! I didn't arrive at Ollie's peaceful and well-equipped workshop space thinking I would do French polishing, I originally signed up for the painted furniture course...but it was quickly decided that the cabinet I brought for renovation was too good to paint! Ollie is generous of spirit and knowledge, pragmatic and good humoured, a great tutor for my first foray into the world of woodcare. Couldn't have been a better intro. Sign up, you'll get so much out of it not least skills, tips, ideas and lots of inspiration.


Oliver was a brilliant teacher and I found the whole experience very rewarding, relaxing and satisfying. I’ve now signed up to the advanced course. Communication was great, we learnt the processes in depth and it was a great atmosphere. Would recommend!

Paul Cooper - - #20425

An excellent 2 days, Ollie made things very clear throughout and was very helpful. I feel I have achieved a great result

Katy Sullivan - - #20376

I loved the course. I learnt a lot in a short space of time. The pieces I brought really were possibly a bit challenging for a beginner but with Ollie's patient and knowledgeable guidance, pieces that looked suitable for a bonfire were turned into little beauties.

It was the stepping stone I needed to be able to restore furniture at home with a view to starting a small business. His course notes are excellent - a really helpful guide for future projects. The workshop itself is light, well equipped and spacious as well as being in a beautiful part of the Cotswolds.

Mary Pearson - - #19331

This was a fantastic course which I enjoyed enormously. I learned so much in just 2 days and was thrilled by the results I achieved on my pieces of furniture. Ollie was extremely helpful and informative and showed a great deal of patience! It was fascinating to learn not only the technique of French Polishing but also about the wood and construction of my pieces. Seeing furniture through Ollie’s eyes has brought me another level of respect for even our most utilitarian pieces. I now feel ready to tackle French polishing at home and with Ollie’s notes and advice package I feel confident I can achieve great results. I cannot recommend this course highly enough.

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