Furniture Restoration and French Polishing - Northern Beaches Community College

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Furniture Restoration and French Polishing

Course Outline:

Students are asked to bring 1-3 small pieces of furniture to work on
Students will learn how to assess the piece of furniture they have brought with them and to determine if the finish needs to be refurbished or removed and redone
Students will be shown the possibilities of colour changes, what repairs to the surface are required and the type of finish best suited to the piece.
Tutor will be providing step by step instructions on how to strip the piece without damaging the patina and then demonstrating all the techniques for applying filler, colour and coatings.
Finally we will cover what treatments and techniques can be applied to the finish such as steel wooling, burnishing and waxing to complete their piece.
The students will leave the course with a piece that is completely revitalized while still expressing its history and the knowledge to apply to future projects.

No pre-requisites required

Session 1:

Assess the pieces that have been brought in by each student and determine what their expectations and outcomes are. 

Cleaning, rejuvenating and stripping the furniture

Session 2:

Preparing the surfaces- sanding
Minor repairs and filling if required- including colour matching of the filler
Colour changes to the timber if required, using oil, water or alcohol based stains, bleaching or ebonising.

Session 3:

Applying finishes- 
Learn how to make an applicator (rubber)- this is used to apply shellac for french polishing
Learn how to use a blender (shellac brush)
Learn how to apply oil and soap finishes
Learn how to touch out repairs and other blemishes

Session 4:

Final treatment of the finishes including steel wooling, burnishing and applying various waxes.

Please note classes held at the Tramshed need to be cancelled with the council if numbers not met 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO WORKSHOP DATES due to council requirements. Please book well in advance of this to avoid disappointment."

What to Bring:

The piece/s of furniture you would like to restore.
Please wear old clothes and closed in shoes

Please note there is a $20 fee payable directly to the tutor on the day for materials.  

About the Tutor:

Rick Tailby - Working in the industry for 30 years, is a specialist in antique conservation- specialising in repairs, restoration, and French polishing.

"I come from a long line of woodworkers and it’s been a joy working in the cabinet
making/restoration world over the past 30 odd years.
It has always been my desire to pass on the extensive skills I’ve learnt along the way after witnessing
a slow decline in the opportunities available to learn how to conserve and restore such a large part
of our history. I know from visiting hundreds of client’s houses over the years that there are
thousands of unique, sentimental and historical pieces out-there that will fall into disrepair and
become unsalvageable without preserving these skills and knowledge"

$340 Limited inc GST / $306
Furniture Restoration and French Polishing

<h2 id="header-course-outline"><strong>Course Outline:</strong></h2>

<p>Students are asked to bring 1-3 small pieces of furniture to work on<br />

Students will learn how to assess the piece of


If there isn't a class to suit you, please the waiting list.