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Polishing is a complex process and on occasions, a time consuming one as well. It has to be done very carefully and skilfully, as it would impact the aesthetics of your expensive wooden furniture or veneer based furniture.
As explained in the previous section, there are broadly 2 kinds of polishing systems available: the conventional French Polish based systems and the now more commonly used Melamine/PU based systems.
If you are opting for a French Polish or traditional polish, then there are two options: either the contractor can prepare the same at site or it can be purchased off-the shelf. In the former case, the contractor would use materials like wax, shellac, rosin etc. together with a solvent like turpentine to "make" the polish. Suitable pigments can also be added at this stage to give the desired color to the polish. In case of Melamine or PU based systems, these are available in ready to use packs. You can buy the same from here. While opting for these systems, a critical choice to be made is between the kind of finish desired: Matt, Satin or Gloss. Matt finish gives a subdued look to the furniture, while Glossy gives a radiant, shiny look and Satin is between these two finishes.
Regardless of the choice of Polishing system, the first and the common step is to sand the wooden surface using a sand paper. The next step is to use a wooden sealer. This is used to seal ad plug any pores or holes in the wood. The use of sealer is important for the proper application of top coat. Sealers allow for more uniform absorption of the top coat, else parts of the furniture with gaps, dents etc. would absorb more top coat and hence appear stained. Typically, sealers are a 2-components pack, including base and hardener: it has to be diluted with thinner. Sealers are again best applied using a spray gun.
At this stage, there is an option to use wood stains and apply them, after the right dilution using a thinner, to the sealer coat. Stainers help in giving the desired color to the wooden surface and are typically available in most of the common wood shades.
The process of application of top coat in case of melamine or PU based systems is similar to that of sealers. These are also a 2-component system, with a base and hardener, which are diluted with thinner and the applied through a spray gun on the wooden surface. Appropriate interval needs to be maintained between different costs. In case of French Polish, multiple coats of the same are applied using a brush or using a ragging cloth.