French polish

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French polish

a varnish for wood consisting of shellac dissolved in alcohol
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

French Polish

 

a substance used to finish articles made of wood. It forms a smooth, transparent coating with a mirrorlike shine and brings out the texture of the wood. The most widely used French polish is a 10- to 20-percent alcohol solution of shellac, which is applied to the prepared surface by hand, using a pad soaked with French polish and a few drops of linseed oil; the oil facilitates application. Polishing is accelerated by applying French polish over a layer of shellac varnish; polishing machines may be used for this purpose. A special type of French polish is used to finish nitrocellulose coatings. It consists of a 7-percent solution of pyroxylin, cyclohexanone-formaldehyde resin, and a plasticizer in a mixture of organic solvents. A mixture of this polish with regular French polish may also be used.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

French polish

[¦french ′päl·ish]
(materials)
Shellac dissolved in methylated spirits.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

French polish

1. A furniture polish or finish containing shellac mixed with alcohol or oil; French varnish.
2. A hand-rubbed high-gloss finish, achieved by multiple applications of such varnish.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.