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French Polishing WoodFixers

The Environmental Impact of French Polishing

Explore the eco-friendly aspects of French polishing and how to make the process more sustainable. This WoodFixers guide walks you through it.

Hello, woodcare enthusiasts! Today, we at WoodFixers are delving into the eco-friendly aspects of French polishing. With growing environmental consciousness, it’s important to know how our actions affect our planet. So, let’s discuss how French polishing stands in terms of sustainability and what steps we can take to make it more eco-friendly.

The Eco-Friendly Aspects

French polishing uses shellac, a natural resin secreted by the lac insect. Unlike synthetic finishes, shellac is renewable and biodegradable. Additionally, it is dissolved in denatured alcohol, which is less harmful to the environment than petroleum-based solvents used in other finishes.

Choosing Ethically Sourced Shellac

One way to make your French polishing more sustainable is by choosing ethically sourced shellac. This ensures the shellac is harvested without causing harm to the environment or the lac insects.

Minimising Waste

Try to measure out just enough shellac and alcohol for your project to avoid waste. Any leftover mixed solution can be stored in airtight containers for future use. Also, consider reusing your French polishing rubbers by storing them in a sealed jar to prevent them from drying out.

Safe Disposal

Dispose of any waste responsibly. While shellac and denatured alcohol are less harmful than other finishing materials, they should still be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility.


While French polishing is more eco-friendly than many other finishing techniques, there’s always room to make our practices more sustainable. Remember, every little step towards a greener planet counts.

If you’re looking for a team that values sustainability as much as you do, WoodFixers is here to help. Visit our services page or get in touch!

Stay tuned for more insights and tips on woodworking from your trusted WoodFixers.