Darren McBride

French Polisher | Antique Restorer

Darren McBride has been working as a french polisher and antique restorer for over 36 years.

Darren was an apprentice to his grandfather, and under his guidance, learned the precise skills and techniques of this high-end traditional craft.

Through Hecdar Heritage, Darren provides customised service to individual projects, whether they be family heirlooms or large interior architectural works. He delivers a personable consulting serivce to all clients, and ensures a high-class finish on all projects.

Within the trade, there are so many different facets to the job. Darren therefore works with other specialist craftsmen to perfect the ultimate finish while working on restoration projects. For example, glass and mirrors, woodturning, metal-work, upholstery, carpentry, carving, and clock mechanism repair.

French Polishing

Learn About the Craft

French polishing is a wood finishing technique that gained popularity in the 18th century.

This traditional technique results in a high gloss surface with deep colour and a striking three-dimensional vibrancy. The process of French polishing consists of applying a number of thin coats of shellac dissolved in alcohol, using a rubbing pad lubricated with oil. It is a lengthy and repetitive process, requiring a specific combination of various rubbing motions, waiting, and repeating, to build up layers of polish.

The finish enhances the depth of highly figured wood, but it is known to be fragile. Treat your French polished furniture and items with care, understanding that the surface will be softer than modern varnishes and lacquers.

The unique, one-off nature of a French polished feature can transform a home. This rich look cannot be bought from a common store, nor is this technique like painting that requires a repaint in a decade.

French polished wood lasts a lifetime.

Darren also works in the art of hand lacquer work; production spray work; black japaning, white liming and liming finishes, pastels, and customising.