If you’re after a high-gloss finish without streaks or dust nibs, consider the technique called French polishing.

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FrenchPolishing

If you're after a high-gloss finish without streaks or dust nibs, consider the technique called French polishing. Dating back several centuries, French polishing involves using a cloth pad soaked with shellac. You can French-polish a surface with simple back-and-forth strokes, but the job goes faster and is easier on your arms if you vary your polishing pattern.

The strokes shown at left allow you to move the pad constantly without frequently lifting it from the surface. As with the basic back-and-forth stroke, your pad needs to be moving when it touches down on the wood surface and as you lift it away. Avoid letting the pad come to a stop as you change directions or you'll dull the surface and the pad will leave marks.

Whichever pattern you choose, remember this French-polishing adage: Take care of the edges, and the middle will take care of itself.

You can French-polish the frame of a tabletop separately from the center panel, but your strokes should extend over all four edges of the surface you're polishing. For framed surfaces like the ones shown, we French-polished the center panel separately from the frame.
—from the WOOD® shop