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CV – Fine Finishing

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CV Fine Finishing, French Polishing and Gilding

             Furniture finisher and Faux Finishing career specialising in furniture restoration and all finishes to wood.

Able to create turn-key solutions and handle all project details end-to-end, client facing.

2009 – 2010:  Blue Rose Construction:  French Polisher

Completed numerous bar refurbishment projects across London. Completing to tight 24-7 deadlines and high on detail.  Fast accurate finishes were needed – including:

  • Bar-top and bar, panelling re-polishing and lacquering
  • Touch-in, blending in damaged areas and fixing new/old repairs
  • Staining and diamond coating floors and tables
  • Sundry retouching
  • Sign writing

Link  Commercial french polishing projects

2009: Webbs Gallery, framing – fine finishes

Work consisted of fine gesso and paint finishes with water gilding and aged patina burnishes.

2009: John Pope Signs, Gilding & sign-writing

Continue to work assisting leading hand made sign maker in London.

  • Gilding
  • Sign writing
  • Lining

2005: Farina antique dealers, Piacenza Italy, Restoration French polishing

Working on fine Italian 17-18th century veneered antique collections. Rich museum quality finishes.

  • Replacing any damaged areas
  • Removing stains
  • Veneer replacement
  • Carving
  • Polishing and toning

2001-2003: Cabinet  Maker, Paint finisher

Running my own furniture workshop in Perth Australia specialising in large scale cinema display cabinets for prestige homes.

Styling:  a blend of New England and English (Smallbone) lines.

         Finishes included French polish, earth tonal paint finishes (Nina Campbell and Fox Linton mix).

I created 98% of the cabinet fully finished prior to installation while edging-in and fine tune touching-in seams and edges on site.

  • Design
  • Sourcing materials eg:
    • Italian hinge fittings and chamfered plate glass
    • Anti-vibration materials
  • All detailing of assembly, fine mitre cuts, jointing
  • Routing, detailing, edge finishing
  • Wax polish Oak interiors
  • Paint effect exteriors
  • Installation
  • Finishing on site

1996-1998: Webbers Furniture Store, Cabinet  Restorer and finisher

Daily routine included checking import stock from Indonesia and re-finishing all teak wood products.

Process included wood repairs, light shellac, wax polish and buff.

1996-1998: Gilded Mirror restorer

Freelance work for prestigious A and R Antique dealer in Subiaco, Perth.  Daily work included re-building damaged gesso and carving in details such as head pieces, florets, linear plats, contours etc.

  • Matching in antique gold
  • French polish and gold powder blends
  • Water Gilding.

1996-1998: Harmony Antiques, Swedish Antique dealer, Fremantle AU

Freelance work for prestigious antiques importer specialising in 18th century distressed Gustav pieces.

  • touching in damaged paint-work
  • replacing cornices
  • frame/moulding details
  • retouching gilding.

French polishing and waxing all wood areas and items such as desks, tables, chests and armoires.

1997-1999: Faux Finishes tutor, Fremantle Australia

Creating a series of products and teaching how to create popular finishes of the day:

Ageing, Verde Gris patina, liming, 2 colour wash, crackle and distress.

1994 – 1996  David Walter Timepieces, Perth Australia: Furniture Restoration:

I assisted the restoration and repair of antique clock cases for this world renowned clock maker – I drew on my classical knowledge of furniture and was responsible for carving and restoring 17th Century Italian, Swedish and English long case clocks.  The work was of the highest standard.

Having worked as wood grainer and specialised in figured mahogany grains for various brewery companies I knew the exact colour and tone blending necessary in high quality restoration.

Particular attention to detail required for:     

  • Matching woods such as Cuban mahogany and flame feathered mahogany.
  • Toning-in’ to existing aged patina and French polished surfaces.
  • Re-building, removing stains and old repairs.
  • Fashioning hand made details inc: beads with traditional ‘patterned’ planes.
  • Renewing original lustre with cleaning and hand polishing.

1988-1999  Tricia Guild, Designers  Guild, London UK

Tricia was a major client for nearly a decade whilst I ran my London faux finishes studio.  For DG I was furniture stylist and colourist for advertising shoots, publications and mainstay retail sales.

I became site manager for several schemes in London after 1 year of working together.

In 1988 I was appointed by Tricia Guild to paint a series of furniture titled ‘Santa Fe’ from 3 original distressed chairs she had sourced out of New Mexico. Tricia wanted something bold and unpredictably inspiring for her new table-top publication ‘Painted Country’.  

The collections were an immediate sell-out success and continued for 9 years.

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1986–1989:  Nina Campbell, Interior Design UK

After gilding Nina’s first boutique shop sign I was asked to polish and gild various items for her Walton Street retail stock.  These included mirrors, accessories, lamps, tables and chairs.  Nina wanted a balance of rich classical English tones, finished with either satin lacquers, French polish and wax.

  1.  Created fine softly dragged painted table sets.  Stained and polished dark walnut finish and burl mottled collections.
  2. Swedish blue chalky drag – French Polish and beeswax finish.

Gained understanding of the full process used in traditional French and Italian antique gilding.

1992-1999: Harwood’s Specialist Paints and Glazes

Creating my own successful series of products for the specialist paint market in London serving all top faux paint stores in the Thames valley. These were all water based acrylic glazes and new to the market.

  • Diagnosing material properties
  • Formulating Crackle Glazes, Scumble Glaze, Liming wash, Verde Gris

Packaging design, promotional and instructional material. Publishing FX Updates client support flyers.

1986–1989:  Mary Fox-Linton: Furniture finishing 

MFL wanted clean, pale French limed oaks and similar natural quality painted FX and stains to mainly dining room sets manufactured in beech out of Spain.  Created 2 popular stories:

  • Softened pale wood wash, white French polish and wax finish.
  • Teak wood stain and satin velatura (hazy over-glaze) with French polish wipe or  matt lacquer finish.

1989-1990: Hutson Designs on Furniture, Faux Painter

Working on small furniture items for this Battersea studio and assisting with studio organisation.

Specialising in:

  • Preparation
  • Washes
  • Fine Dragged linears
  • Fine grain finishing

1989-1990: Jocasta Innes, House Paint Products

Creating a series of products and product development for this leading interiors personality.

1986-1987: Smallbone of Devizes, Faux Painter

Working on prestige painted kitchens and assisting with home counties VIP projects and flaghip showroom display and interior decoration.


  • Washes
  • Fine Dragged linears
  • Marbling
  • Fine grain finishing

1986 – 1988:  Maples Furniture London:  Interior refurbishment, UK

Completed numerous prestige refurbishments managing full dry and wet trades teams.  Finishes included:

  • Decorating to highest standard
  • Graining and marbling all areas
  • Fine detailing and murals
  • Furniture painting

1986 – 1988:  Ray Walker:  Pub refurbishment, London

Completed numerous bar refurbishments working to tight deadlines and high detail.  Finishes included:

  • Bar-top and bar, panelling re-polishing and lacquering
  • Graining and marbling all areas
  • Touch-in, blending in damaged areas and fixing new/old repairs
  • Staining and diamond coating floors and tables
  • Sundry retouching
  • Sign writing

Nick Garrett – CV Fine Finishes Back to Top

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