Wood finishes

Wood Finishes

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.
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.

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
  • Sealing
  • 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 Tutors

Philip Hodge is a fully trained furniture restorer, cabinet maker and gilder and has been practicing 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.
  •  Pair of stout shoes or safety shoes (you will not be able to wear sandals or canvas shoes in the workshop).

All other materials will be provided.

Fee & Refreshments

£230 per person, inclusive of tea, coffee and a light lunch. If you have any dietary requirements please let us know in advance.

Book course


Mon–Tue 1–2 November 2021




Working with Wood