Please select a course below:

Course Dates

26th Oct & 2nd Nov 2019
15th & 22nd Feb 2020
16th-17th Apr 2020


£275 including all materials


2 Days - 9am to 5pm

Download French Polishing 2 Day Information PDF

Print Short Course Booking Form

Print Short Course Calendar

French Polishing & Re-Finishing

This short course is ideal for people who would like to learn how to re-finish furniture using traditional wood staining and French polishing techniques. The course is also suitable for restorers and owners of antique furniture

This course is suitable for …

Beginners √
Intermediate √
Advanced X

Course Overview

• Why choose this course?

This two day practical French polishing course, delivered by a professional polisher with over 35 years’ experience in the trade, is designed for those who are new to staining and re-finishing and those who wish to gain hands-on experience in this specialist field of furniture re-finishing and furniture restoration. The course has been designed to complement the skills of furniture makers/restorers, as well as people who buy or own antique furniture that needs bringing back to life.

Read Peter Sefton's article on the 2-day French Polishing Course here

Peter Sefton French Polishing Course Article Woodworking Crafts Magazine May 2016

The course has an emphasis on the sound understanding and use of traditional French polishes and stains and “touching-in” techniques, including the selection and use of finishing materials.

All equipment, materials and sample boards are provided, but students will need to bring along one or two small items of furniture to re-finish. Suitable items include a side table, chair, stool or box – you will be able to work on one item whilst the other finishes drying.

This specialist course is aimed at students with no previous experience or limited knowledge of French polishing and re-finishing – time is allocated for discussion on stains, fillers, bleaches, polishes and waxes. Small groups ensure plenty of hands-on tuition for every student.

Students are also able to try out, test and buy woodworking tools, materials and equipment from Peter’s tool shop with a 5% discount – try before you buy …

Two-day courses are divided into three disciplines:
o Material identification, preparation and use
o Stripping, staining and colouring up
o French polishing and waxing

• What will I achieve?

This short course gives students a thorough grounding in the safe and practical use of traditional wood staining and French polishing techniques, through practical demonstrations and hands-on experience. Students work on a personal re-finishing project under expert guidance, ensuring professional results.

Course Content

• Induction and Welcome to the School
• Basic Safety Considerations
o Personal safety – Safe use of finishing products
• Materials Used in Traditional Polishing
o Strippers and revivers
o Stains and earth colours
o Grain fillers and filler sticks
o Shellacs and waxes
• Tools
o Scrapers and abrasive papers
o Wire wools and Mirlon pads
o Pencil brushes and mops
o Fads, Rubbers and waxing pads
• Techniques
o Stripping or reviving
o Grain filling and staining
o Touching in and bodying up
o Spiriting off and waxing

• Health and Safety Equipment Required
You do not have to bring any tools, equipment or materials with you, as we supply everything you need.
Please do not get dressed up for the occasion as wood finishing can be a messy job!

o Items to be Polished – Please bring along two small items such as a side table, chair, stool or box etc; if you are unsure about what to bring, please call us on 01684 591014 to discuss their suitability.

Where to Stay
Please see the Find Us page of our website and then click on Accommodation

• Booking Info
Duration and Facilities: The course runs on two consecutive Saturdays, 09:00 to 17:00 with 1 hour for lunch. Students will need to provide their own lunch each day; tea and coffee are provided by the School. It is only a 3 minute drive to the town centre, where you will be able to buy lunch from the bakery or supermarkets on the High Street – there’s also a great fish and chip shop …

How do I apply for any of your Courses? First, please contact us to confirm there is space on the course either by phoning 01684 591014 or emailing Then complete the Course Booking Form and forward it with your 50% deposit to the School. We accept payment by Internet Bank Transfer, Debit and Credit cards.

The balance will be due 6 weeks prior to the start of the course and if booking less than 6 weeks in advance, the total course fee will be due. Don’t forget you will receive a 5% discount code for use at Peter’s tool shop whilst on your course. The School regrets that we are unable to accept applications from anyone under the age of 18 at the start of their course.