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French polisher

Alternative titles for this job include

French polishers use traditional skills to treat wood and restore furniture and items like staircases, doors and musical instruments.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter

to

£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

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How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a french polisher

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • training with a professional body

University

Doing a higher national diploma or degree in furniture design, decorative arts or furniture restoration can be useful if you want to start your own business.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • between 1 and 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma or degree

More Information

College

You can learn polishing and finishing skills on some furniture making and restoration courses like:

  • Level 2 Furniture Finishing Methods
  • Level 3 Diploma in Furniture Restoration
  • City and Guilds Level 3 Furniture Design and Making

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships that may give you some of the skills needed for this role include:

  • Level 2 Furniture manufacturer
  • Level 2 Wood product manufacturing operative
  • Level 3 Bespoke furniture maker
  • Level 3 Carpentry and Joinery

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Other Routes

You could do a specialist training course in french polishing with a professional body like the The British Antique Furniture Restorers' Association.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join The Guild of Master Craftsmen for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a french polisher from The Guild of Master Craftsmen.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • concentration skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • decide on the type and colour of wood stain to use
  • mix and apply the stain
  • apply french polish and other finishes, like lacquer, paint, varnish, oil or wax
  • repair furniture

If you are self employed as a french polisher you may also need to:

  • market your business
  • deal with customers
  • order materials
  • do paperwork and manage your finances
  • Working environment

    You could work in a workshop or in a factory.

    You may need to wear protective clothing.

    Career path and progression

    Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

    Career path and progression

    With experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager.

    You could start your own business.

    Current opportunities

    Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

    Current opportunities

    Apprenticeships In England

    Apprentice Wood Product Manufacturing Operative

    • Wage: £222.30 Weekly
    • Location: Bradford

    Apprentice Wood Product Manufacturing Operative

    • Wage: £220.00 Weekly
    • Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    Courses In England

    Diploma Level 2 Furniture Making

    • Provider: MOULTON COLLEGE
    • Start date: 06 September 2021
    • Location: Northampton

    OAL Level 1 Diploma in Furniture Occupations

    • Provider: BURNLEY COLLEGE
    • Start date: 06 September 2021
    • Location: Burnley

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