When it comes to restoring the natural beauty of wooden furniture and surfaces, French polishing is a time-honoured technique that brings elegance and charm to any interior. However, as with any professional service, cost considerations often play a significant role in deciding whether to invest in the art of French polishing. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of French polishing costs, discussing the factors that influence pricing and offering insights to help you make an informed decision.

Hourly Rates and Beyond

If you’ve been exploring the realm of French polishing, you might have heard about the typical hourly rates that practitioners charge, which often hover around £20 per hour. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t a universal standard. French polishers frequently provide quotes on a fixed-rate basis, tailored to the specific requirements of the project. This approach can actually be advantageous for budgeting purposes, as it eliminates the uncertainty or hourly charges and gives you a clear estimate of the total cost upfront. 

Factors Influencing Cost

While a rough estimate might provide a starting point, several factors can influence the overall cost of professional French polishing services. Let’s take a closer look at these variables:


The geographical area where you reside can significantly impact the cost of French polishing. Urban centres and regions with higher living costs might see slightly elevated prices compared to rural areas.

Scope of Work

The amount of work required is a pivotal aspect of pricing. French polishing a small table will naturally cost less than refinishing an extensive wooden floor or even a staircase. The complexity of the project, including the intricacy of the woodwork and the number of surfaces to be treated, plays a role as well.

Challenges and Repairs

If the furniture or surface to be polished requires significant repairs or restoration work before the French polishing process can begin, this can add to the overall cost. Damaged wood, deep scratches, or structural issues might require extra attention and effort.

Type of Wood

Different types of wood have distinct characteristics that can affect the polishing process. Some woods are more porous and require more coats of polish, which can increase the time and materials needed.

Finish and Expectations

The level of finish you desire can also influence pricing. If you’re aiming for a more intricate and detailed finish that requires additional layers of polish, this will impact the cost compared to a simpler finish.


In the realm of furniture restoration and wood finishing, French polishing stands as an art form that brings out the innate beauty of wood in a way that few other techniques can match. As you consider whether French polishing is the right choice for your project, it’s crucial to factor in the costs associated with this artisanal process. While the typical hourly rate of French polishing might be around £20 per hour, the ultimate cost depends on a variety of factors, including location, scope of work, repairs needed, wood type, and desired finish.


Remember that obtaining quotes from experienced French polishers, who can take these factors into account, will provide a more accurate picture of the costs involved. By setting realistic expectations and recognising that each project is unique, you’ll be better prepared to appreciate the intricate beauty that French polishing can bring to your cherished wooden pieces.