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Thread: Glass like finish on leopard wood ?

  1. #1

    Cool Glass like finish on leopard wood ?

    I`m building a valet jewelry box and it has a leopard wood top , is it possible to achieve a glass like finish with this wood and if its possible what product and steps would I take to accomplish this task.........any help from the finish guru`s would be appreciated . Thank you in advance
    Charles Lewis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Shoreline, CT
    One way would be French polish, if the surface shape is suitable. The finish is basically shellac. The thing that makes it French polish is how it is applied. French polishing can fill pores, and leave a high gloss finish with no apparent thickness and a miles deep appearance.

    There is a learning curve, but it's not at all insurmountable.

  3. #3
    I have been using shellac more often as my first choice as a finish lately and have tried ( not very hard ) french polishing but I guess my desire is lacking and looking for something a little less requiring of a learning curve ,If there isn`t another alternative I guess I will have to take some scrapes and spend some time figuring it out , they make it look so easy in videos and what you read , but like everything practice makes perfect .Thanks for the reply
    Charles Lewis

  4. #4

    Look up Jeff Jewitt's & Bob Flexner's articles on French padding. It's similar to French polishing but not as demanding in terms of application. It can give very nice results for the type of finish you are wanting. As far as creating a glass finish, without going through a filling process, which occurs in French polishing and padding, you will be hard-pressed to achieve the result you are wanting. You could do a fill and finialize with lacquer, but there is still the rubbout to be done. I'd look at the padding techniques. Do a search on the web.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the info I will look into it , I was afraid that would be my only solution............
    Charles Lewis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Shoreline, CT
    Sure, French polishing isn't the only way. You can get a very attractive high gloss finish from shellac on matter how it is applied. Since you are almost certainly not staining the wood, you can use shellac to fill pores by applying a couple of coats and then sanding back until only the shiny spec's where the shellac is sunk into the pores show. Keep repeating this process until the entire surface has no such shiny spots. Then put on a couple more coats to give you some film thickness to work in and begin a rubbing down process. Start with about 600 grit wet/dry paper and make sure the surface is fully leveled (a sanding plock is essential), and then progress to about 1500 grit paper. At that point you can switch to a polishing compound. I'm a traditionalist so I use rottenstone lubricated with parafin oil, but automotive polishing compounds work fine. For really high gloss finish with the sort of polish that says something like swirl remover. Really, really close examination might be able to tell this from French polish, but the differences will be quite minor.

  7. #7
    Here's a link to one of Jeff Jewitt's articles:

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