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Occupation Details

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French Polisher

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

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These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€18k > 30
French Polisher
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 30
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

French polishers prepare and treat wood to produce a smooth finish. They mainly work on furniture but may also french polish fixed timber, e.g, doors and panelling.


Videos & Interviews header image

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The Work header image

French polishers prepare and treat wood to give it a smooth finish and bring out the beauty of the natural wood. They work on both new pieces of furniture and old or antique items. Sometimes they work on fixed timber, such as panelling and doors in old houses, business premises and churches.  
 
French polishers prepare an item by stripping off layers of old paint, varnish or lacquer using chemical strippers, wire wool and sandpaper. They fill in any holes or dents in the wood using wood filler to make sure that the item has a smooth surface. They carry out simple repairs using basic carpentry skills; more complex repairs are sent to a cabinet maker or craft restorer.  
 
Having prepared the wood, they must choose the stain they need to produce the required colour. Mixing stains is an art in itself and some french polishers keep records of the mixes. The stain is applied with a brush or rag.  
 
The french polish is applied using a piece of cloth with wadding inside it, known as a rubber. The polisher covers a small area at a time until the desired effect is achieved. They sometimes apply other finishes too, such as lacquer, which is often applied by spraying, plus varnish, oil and wax.  
 
French polishers normally wear gloves, overalls and a facemask when mixing and applying chemicals. Mass produced furniture is not normally French polished. However French polishers may work in factories advising on how to achieve surface finishes using automated processes.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will need to be patient and careful, with a good eye for colour. The work processes are methodical and you need to pay attention to detail. Sometimes, especially when working on old furniture, you will use simple carpentry skills to make repairs. You need to have normal colour vision.  
 
You may need to be able to work alone and as part of a team. Where you deal with clients, you should be able to advise on treatments and explain finishing processes. You should also be able to estimate costs and provide written estimates of the work involved. Good numeracy skills would be beneficial.  
 
You will also need to be physically fit as some lifting and bending may be involved.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..French Polisher - from: N.C.S. [UK]

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Organisation: Irish Antique Dealers Association
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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Art, Craft & Design
Building, Construction & Property
Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing

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Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
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Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
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