Wood finishes

Friday 27 - Saturday 28 November 2020


The course

This is an intensive 2 day course suitable for beginners or those wanting to improve their skills. Students will learn how to take a project right through from initial preparation to a good final finish.
Along the way you will be shown the value of choosing both the right materials and good quality products and attention to detail.

No longer will you be limited to a big brush and a tin of varnish, as you are made aware of the different effects you can achieve by selecting different finishing systems.
During the course you will make up your own high quality finishing products including Wood Stain, French Polish, Polishing Rubber, Polishing Wax, and Wax Rubbing Sticks.

You will be provided with a project to practice on during the course as we work through the best techniques that you can use to achieve a fine finish.
There will be a maximum of 8 students on the course to allow for personal tuition.

Amongst the skills that you will be perfecting will be surface preparation, staining, grain filling, French polishing, and finishing on top of French polish. Course notes will be provided.
French polishing is a big part of the course but you do need to know the other areas of wood finishing to become a good French polisher.
Whatever it is that you want to “finish” after the course, be it furniture (new or old), DIY projects, or hobby items, you will be able to take your new skills and knowledge and apply them to your own items.

Day 1
Surface preparation – New wood & old
Surface removal
Shellac (French Polish) – It`s origins, history of usage & preparation
Staining & colouring – Using 6 types of stain & learning their advantages & disadvantages
Grain filling – Reasons for & against, types of grain filler & application

Day 2
Removal of excess grain filler – abrasives
Making a polishing rubber
Charging a rubber
Bodying Up
Defect faulting
Pulling Over
Making a hard polishing wax
Making coloured wax sticks
Finishing on top of French Polish

The tutor

Philip Hodge is a fully trained furniture restorer, cabinet maker and gilder and has been practising and teaching these skills for over 20 years. As well as courses from his own workshop Philip has also designed and run courses for BAFRA, Norfolk Local Education Authority and the Workers Education Authority. Philip is keen to pass on traditional skills and techniques to interested people as well as keeping them up to date with new materials and technology.

Participant information

Participants should bring with them the following items:
• Airtight Tupperware container – min. 6″ square x 3″ high (not too large)
• 2 empty washing up liquid bottles (clean & dry),
• Pair of Marigold rubber gloves,
• Pair of safety glasses,
• Flat bladed wallpaper/paint scraper,
• Apron or other protective clothing.

All other materials will be provided.

Pair of stout shoes or safety shoes (you will not be able to wear sandals or canvas shoes in the workshop).

Fee and refreshments

£230 per person, inclusive of teas, coffees and a light lunch. Please contact the museum in advance if there are any dietary specific requirements.



Please read out terms and conditions before booking.

If any of our courses are full and you would like to be added to a waiting list please email [email protected] or call 01243811021, we are sometimes able to arrange further course dates.