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A customer had this old mahogany dresser and side table that belonged to her mother. It had been moved around a nursing home quite a bit and had broken and missing veneer, faded and scratched finish, and a hole in the back. She wanted it to be cleaned up (and it needed repairs to the drawer stops). So, once I figured out that it had a traditional shellac finish, I decided to bite the bullet and give french polishing a try. I had to cut the top layer of mahogany veneer as well as portions of the underlay plywood. Then, I matched a new piece of veneer, and hand stained it with a couple of different color stains using an artist's brush to match the overall grain pattern. Then it was mixing the garnet shellac and learning the polishing technique. Lots of hard work, probably 40 coats of shellac.

Well, it went pretty well! She was thrilled with the results and it is now at her home.

Gallery

Comments

· Registered
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67 Posts
Nicely done! I think repairing furniture well is way harder that building new. You should be proud it looks great!
 

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20,131 Posts
Amazing. Looks similar to a bedroom set my folks had.
 

· Registered
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1,811 Posts
Very nice job! That's a finishing technique I've been tempted to learn a time or two myself. Its just not my personal taste for something to put in my home. I think you did a fantastic job.
 

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174 Posts
Excellent work sir, I know what it takes to do a french polish, kudos to you.
 

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1,395 Posts
Beautiful restore - it takes a serious eye to do that correctly
Sure looks like you nailed it
 

· Registered
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5,279 Posts
Looks pretty good. The polishing is actually pretty easy if the prep is done right. If you see the "ghost trails" you're doing it right. :)
Nice repair!
 

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1,403 Posts
Nice save. Great results. Well done.
 

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2,494 Posts
Nice job on the repair. I have used that finish technique. Lots of coats!
 
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