Prefabworld Bali International offers French Polishing as an optional finish for the interior wood surfaces only. Because French Polishing requires a large number of coats and intermediate sanding, an additional charge will eb imposed for this option. French Polishing is NOT suitable for wood that is exposed to the weather.
For anyone who wishes to make their home as “organic” as possible by eliminating all man-made toxins, plastics, solvent or acrylic based paints, hydrocarbon based carpets (nylon, polyester), etc., French Polishing is almost a must. To understand why, read the section below on the origins of Shellac, the base component for French Polishing.
French polishing is one of the classic finishes for wood. Although French polishing came to the fore in the late 19th century, the underlying premise of using Shellac has been used for nearly 4000 years.
Shellac has usually a clear (blond) or amber (orange) color. Some ready to use variations come pre-mixed with denatured alcohol. It is also possible to use "pure" Shellac flakes that can be mixed with alcohol.
The secret of the proper use of Shellac lays in the number of "cuts". Each pound of Shellac flakes that is added to one gallon of denatured alcohol equates to one pound cut. Normally, Shellac is not used over a three pound cut.
All Shellacs imbue some bit of color to wood. They also won't yellow as much with age as other varnishes and lacquer.
Once you have seen a Shellac finishing ain't no going back to any other finishing.
The "Organic" origins of Shellac ......
Shellac resins come from the Coccus Lacca bug, indigenous to Indonesia, Thailand and India and are actually the insect's resinous secretions.
Ironically, for a finish that has such a dubious start in life, Shellac has many applications in today's world. The resin provides a non-toxic, thermoplastic coating that is approved by the food and drug industries as a coating on fruits (where the resin prevents molds and spores) and drugs where it acts as a slow release enteric coating on many today's medicines.