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French Polishing WoodFixers

The Art of Staining in French Polishing

Discover the role of staining in the French polishing process.

Hello, woodcare enthusiasts! Today at WoodFixers, we’re exploring the art of staining in the French polishing process. Staining not only enhances the grain of the wood, but it also allows us to add a touch of personality to our pieces. Let’s delve into the vibrant world of wood stains!

Why Stain Before French Polishing?

Staining can dramatically affect the final appearance of your French polished piece. It can emphasise the grain pattern, darken light woods, or even change the wood’s colour. By staining before polishing, we allow the shellac to lock in the colour and provide a deep, rich finish.

Choosing Your Stain

Stains come in various types and colours. The choice depends on your desired look and the type of wood. Oil-based stains are popular due to their long open time, but water-based stains are easier to clean up and have less odour. Always test your stain on a scrap piece of wood before applying it to your project.

The Staining Process

Staining is an art in itself. Apply your chosen stain with a brush or rag, following the grain of the wood. Allow the stain to penetrate the wood, and then wipe off any excess. Remember, the longer you leave the stain on, the darker the wood will become.

Pre-Stain Conditioner

For woods with uneven grain, consider using a pre-stain wood conditioner. This helps the stain to absorb more evenly, preventing blotchiness.


The art of staining can take your French polished piece to a whole new level. Experiment with different stains and techniques to find the look that suits your style.

If you need a helping hand in your French polishing journey, the team at WoodFixers is always ready to assist. Check out our services and get in touch!

Stay tuned for more woodworking wisdom from WoodFixers!