French Polishing & Finishing Courses

Our Courses

All courses will be unique, adapted and led by the variety of projects undertaken in each group. Students will learn how to clean and revive existing finishes and learn about staining and colouring techniques. They will also learn how to make a Fad, use a polishing mop and learn the subtle art of French polishing and waxing.

Students will also learn some simple woodwork techniques, gluing and clamping, and how to clean and polish brass and metal furnishings, and tips on basic maintenance.

There will be periodic short lectures and demonstrations during the day, and fact sheets available to take away. Students will benefit and learn from the variety of projects we undertake as a class not just from the piece they are working on.

Sensible shoes and work clothes are required at all times in the workshop.

- £120 per student
- A one-day comprehensive course
- 9.00am till 4.00pm
- Covers all aspects of finishing, suitable for novice students and also those with more experience.
- All materials will be provided and lunch is included.
- Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available all day.


Open Workshop days

There will be an opportunity for students to book a second day (or half day) on the day following each course if required to finish off their project. There will be limited supervision on these workshop days. Students will have the benefit of the facility and materials but will be expected to mainly work on their own. The cost of booking a bench for these workdays will be:

- £40 for a half day
- £60 for a full day.

There will be a maximum of 8 in any class or workshop day and a minimum of 4 Full payment in advance is required for all courses, if students cancel due to unforeseen circumstances then another course date can be offered to them.

Course Dates 2015

- March Friday 6th
- April Friday 17th
- May Friday 1st
- June Friday 19th
- July Friday 3rd
- August Friday 14th
- September Friday 11th
- October Friday 2nd
- November Friday 6th
- December Friday 4th

“Your Project”

Students are required to bring a suitable project into class with them to work on. (We can supply you with a piece if necessary) nothing too large, and nothing that requires major woodwork repairs. A chair, a bedside cabinet, a box or a small cabinet are good examples of items to bring in.

Please Email me a photo of your project so we can discuss it’s feasibility, how to approach it and be ready to get straight to work at the start of the course day.
Photographs of the projects will be taken before and afterwards, and a certificate of achievement issued at the end of the course.

Group bookings are welcome, and these courses will be tailored to the specific needs of the group.

Directions to the venue can be found by visiting the Contact Us page and watching the short video.

We hope to offer a variety of restoration courses in The Barn in the future, including Veneering, gluing and basic woodwork, antique paint finishes, upholstery and much more

Robert Gripper

"I have run a professional antique restoration business for over 30 years, employing a number of restorers and have trained 8 apprentices during this time, most have gone on to establish their own businesses.

I have managed an antique shop in Woodstock since 2005, and regularly give talks and restoration demonstrations throughout Oxfordshire. I have also worked in television as a consultant in “At Home with the Georgians” and also appeared in “Celebrity Antique Road Trip”

Over the years I have been privileged to work for some of the most respected antique dealers in the business, the National Trust, museums, and for celebrities and also worked in many of the great houses and estates in the south of England.

I look forward to working with you and your projects."