Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

French Polish

French Polish, a composition with which furniture is rubbed to give it a smooth and glossy surface. It is obtained by dissolving gum-shellac in alcohol. A rubber of flannel or cotton-wool is saturated with the polish and rubbed persistently against the wood; the polish is thus forced into the pores of the latter. During the process the rubber is usually covered with calico dipped in linseed-oil. When the polish has hardened, it is rubbed with sand-paper before more is applied; but after the two last rubbings no sand-paper is used. Sometimes pumice and linseed-oil are rubbed over the surface after the polishing is complete.