Best French Polishing Service in Kent

Our Services

French Polishing:

 A traditional finish of supreme quality using shellac. It really is the king of finishes.  Initially, the wood is stained and sealed (fadded up) after which the wood grain is filled. The filler is sealed further or ‘skinned-in’. The next stage is to adjust any colour deviations in the finish by working-up the piece into one overall specification shade, any major colour defects, for example, colouring out a repair are also dealt with at this stage. The polisher will use an array of colours which they will mix themselves to achieve this. The bodying process is then performed. Layers of shellac of differing colours are built up with a polisher’s rubber until either the wood is at the correct specification for another top finish, for example, waxing or, a high build for a super sheen base is acquired.  For the latter, a further process of spiriting off is required. The last process is the most dangerous of all and if not carried out properly all of the work previously completed can be ruined in seconds.

 A layman friend once provided me with a really good illustration of the finish when he compared a french-polished table against another modern super sheen polyester finish in our workshop. He said, “the polyester looks really great and is like looking through the highly polished glass at the wood underneath. However… the french-polished finish is like looking through an unending depth of hundreds of different sheets of glass all playing off of each other to promote the natural beauty of the wood”.

Due to the complexity and skills required for this type of work, it is mainly applied to high-end projects, antiques and historical work, for example, historical buildings, mansions and palaces. It is suitable for internal use only and requires care to keep it in good condition. At Premier Wood Finishers we are only too pleased to offer advice to conserve your french-polished surfaces.

Modern finish lacquer work:

This is a modern finish that comes in a variety of sheen levels. Exact colour matches are also available making it a popular choice for designers, or customers working with a specific theme in mind. Pre-catalysed lacquer is good for most internal areas including tables, doors, skirtings, picture rails, chairs panel work or handrails. The acid-catalysed version has some damp and heat resistance. Polyurethane offers excellent high sheen levels for kitchens or other areas where a super high sheen specification is required. Floor lacquers offer good wear resistance for heavy traffic use. Lacquers are more hard wearing than french polish and are easier and faster to apply. Lacquers are easy to maintain. All of these factors together make them a cost-effective choice for wide range projects large or small. 

 

 

Polyester repair:

This service is for pianos and boats where damage has occurred due to dropping objects on the surface which cause scratches and dents. More significant damage is incurred when moving pianos from place to place, for example, pianos are often damaged by the straps used to secure them resulting in broken edges or corners that are much more difficult to repair than scratches or dents to the middle of a panel. The service takes considerable time due to the drying times of polyester. However, it’s the only way to restore the beauty and lustre to a polyester surface.

Hydro-dipping:

A great way of producing a faux finish and has become very popular. Wood can be made to look completely different for both traditional and more contemporary designs. For example, you may wish to put a flame mahogany finish on a surface or transfer your ordinary plain maple into birds-eye or flame maple. Or something more contemporary such as a white wood grain over a purple stained wood! The choice is yours. This service is very popular for electric guitars and wooden vehicle interior sets. Hydro-dipping can also be finished with other materials to enhance a bespoke look. However, it does have its limitations, antiques, and classic cars (of very high value) wood interiors require a conservative finish to keep their integrity and value.  We would not advise hydro-dipping anywhere where it would be out of place.

If you have any questions or ideas about how hydro-dipping could give you your dream finish, we’re always on hand to discuss and advise.  

Gold leafing:

Premier Wood Finishers offer both oil and water gilding finishes. Mainly carried out on antiques or work of significance it is expensive because real gold is expensive! However, there is nothing quite like a French-polished piece with an oil gilded carved surround to distinguish class or a burnished water gilded finish over a selected and distressed bole to capture the eyes admiration. Add to that a coloured tempera with a sgraffito design and you have a statement of beauty that only gets better with age.     

Japanning and oriental work:

Exquisite hand painted gold scenes with raised gilded and painted oriental figures, set against a soft sheen black, dragons blood red or Prussian blue background. No wonder it was the European rage of the 17th-century craftspeople who wanted to copy the traditional oriental urushi lacquer work. Many designs were painted by ladies as a pastime, a compressive compilation being available in a book called ‘the ladies amusement’. The work is all done by hand and is naturally very time-consuming. At premier Wood Finishing we offer repair and new work which you may wish to incorporate into a contemporary design.    

Dustless floor sanding and finishing:

For flooring, we offer a dustless sanding service which is of utmost importance to health. It also means that other areas of a building, for example, a gallery or museum may remain open to their customers whilst work is carried out. This keeps the disruption to a minimum.

 Floors can be finished in a large array of colours, sheens and wear ratings using specialist oils and lacquers. We are pleased to be accredited by Bona to apply their quality floor finish solutions. Please call to discuss a solution that suits you.

Spray shop:

We operate a small spray shop for items that are better finished away from their original site, for example, items may be required to be finished in the same time schedule as the ongoing site works but facilities on-site are not adequate for the application. Spray shop is a solution.

Auto-wood repair and finishing (sometimes accompanied by hydro dipping services):

A car's interior has to be right for the car to really be at its best. The paintwork could be great, the leather or cloth upholstery perfect, but if the woods are in poor shape it diminishes the overall lustre significantly. Why? Well, apart from the plastic, vinyl, leather, carpet and roof lining which are mainly matt to satin finishes, the woods normally hold a high shine. So, if they are scratched, dented, cracked, sun-bleached or dull, they let the interior down significantly. We can help in a number of ways! We can fix the cracks, repair veneer, stain and re-polish your woods. We can also incorporate other services, for example, you may have burr walnut panelling but your steering wheel although wooden is plain. You may have plastic parts that you really wished were the same burr walnut. The solution! We can re-colour the plastic and steering wheel, hydro-dip them in a burr pattern and then polish them. Of course, respect has been paid to truly classic cars of significant worth to maintain their integrity and so hydro-dipping isn’t suitable in these cases. However, we can still restore these to their original specification. For those who want a contemporary design for a cherished car, there are no limits.

We are also fortunate to associate with expert vehicle trimmers for other interior repairs which means that customers can get a one-stop-shop price for a project incorporating trimming and wood polishing works.

Whether you want to restore and conserve, add your dream touches or have contemporary designs for your interior vehicle woods, call us for a bespoke solution.

 

 

Antique restoration and reviving:

Antiques should be treated conservatively. It is of course true enough that a damaged piece that is left will worsen and continue to devalue. On the other hand, a full re-strip and restore apart from being costly will also strip the value from the piece. Premier Wood Finishers Solution…, repair, revive and match to the existing good areas. Many pieces just need a reviving treatment to bring them back to lustre. Call us for advice, we’re here to help.

Veneering:

We can repair small amounts of veneered surfaces up to 0.8mm thickness before polishing. Thicker veneers would need to be undertaken by a specialist. However, most instances that we have incurred are within our scope. Please call should you need advice.

Waxing (including liming) and Oiling:

Waxing is used on top of a sealer or polished surface to create a soft protective light sheen and hew. Liming wax produces a white grain fill which stands out prominently from the wood colour background. Waxing has been heavily used throughout history, for example, the beautiful English oak furniture and panel work observed in most historic houses were bees waxed from new. As they have matured over the years a fine patina has developed which is why it’s so pleasing to the eye. Waxing is a cost-effective and lovely way of finishing.

Oiling is another great way to finish wood. It’s super hard waring if maintained regularly and over time is impervious to scratching. This is because the oil fills the wood and doesn’t just sit on it. Did you know that Sheridan mahogany furniture was oiled with brick dust and oil? Many pieces during the 17th century were finished this way. These days there are many drying oils to choose from for different results and patinas. Call us to discuss a solution that suits you.

Furniture Upholstery:

Although we are not upholsterers. However, we are privileged to be associated with highly skilled upholstery professionals. The advantage to you is that you can get a one-stop shop price on pieces involving upholstery and wood finish. Naturally, this saves time and ultimately costs you less.   

 

Education:

We shall be producing brief ongoing educational videos to highlight some of the work we do and offer tips and solutions on maintaining your cherished wood surfaces.

 

 

 

 

 

Estimates and quotations are free

 

Call us on; 01689810067

Business Hours 0900 am to 1630 pm Monday to Friday

Mobile 07446132819