Polishing furniture has been a bit of a mystery to me and I have never been sure about how to go about it.
A few weeks ago I discovered a new Furniture Tonic made in Brooklyn by a French furniture restorer Christophe Pourny.
Christophe has created two furniture tonics and I bought both. On his website he describes the lighter tonic and says it "nurtures wood as it restores the luster and shine that time and sun can diminish. The tonic is made from natural, non-toxic ingredients that are friendly to the environment and sourced in North America." The tonic includes organic linseed and walnut oils, beeswax and a natural cleaner and drying agent.
Christophe Pourny Furniture Tonic
In our country home we have an oval table made from walnut. We've owned it for close to twenty years and it has had its share of wear and tear. The surface of the table reflects that -- complete with a nice white ring made when someone (probably me) set down a hot platter. Our table really needed help and this tonic looked like it might do the trick. Here is what the surface looked like before I applied anything.
Before using the Furniture Tonic
Following the instructions, I used a soft, clean white cloth and poured a small amount of the light colored tonic on the cloth then rubbed it into the surface of the table along the grain. The difference was evident immediately. The dry wood soaked up the nourishing oil and took on a rich, burnished glow. Here is the table surface mid-way through the process.
Applying the Furniture Tonic
Once I had polished the entire table it had a warm, deep glow and it did not feel greasy or sticky to the touch. The white ring looked like it had disappeared. My husband and I won't be going back up to the house for a number of days and I am curious to see how the table looks, if it maintained its sheen and if the large white ring is really gone. Here is how the table looked when I had finished polishing.
After this positive experience I spent some time on Christophe's web site and watched a video where he appeared on Martha Stewart's television program demonstrating how one creates a very formal lacquered surface using shellac and other materials.
Over the New Year's weekend, my husband and I visited dear friends and stayed in the new house they had just purchased. My friend Elie and I are always comparing and discussing cleaning products so in addition to a special housewarming gift, I brought her a bottle of Christophe's Furniture Tonic and we polished her kitchen table with great results!
If you have good furniture that is exposed to the sun but not in daily use (in a country or weekend house) you should consider using dust covers to protect it from dirt and sunlight. My table, as you can see above, was very dry and soaked up the furniture tonic very quickly. I will be covering it now when I close the house each weekend.
Hope you enjoyed this blog!