Wood finishing refers to the process of refining or protecting a wooden surface.  Finishing is the final step of the restoration process that gives wood surfaces desirable characteristics, including enhanced appearance and increased resistance to moisture and other environmental agents. In addition, finishing provides a way of giving low-value woods the appearance of ones that are expensive and difficult to obtain.

A good finish prevents swelling and cracking, protects against stains and enhances the appearance of the wood.  Finishes contain chemicals that can be dangerous if used without proper safety precautions, so the facilities and resources available at Littlefield & Sons allow us to give your item the lasting protection it deserves.  


let the littlefield experts handle it!

Our formidable technical expertise, educated eye and artistic sensibilities have earned us a brilliant long-standing reputation with our clients.


French Polishing


French polishing is a lengthy process that results in a beautiful, deep finish full of color and chatoyance.  We use multiple layers of high quality shellac and rub with a technique passed down through our family to create the signature French polish.  Although French polish is generally a weaker finish due to its softness, it is also simpler to repair and still remains as one of the most attractive ways to finish wood.


Lacquer Finishing

Lacquer is the fastest-drying of the finishes for wooden furniture.  It is more durable than shellac despite its thinness and must be applied in many coats.  It is available in high-gloss, satin, and matte finishes, in clear form and in several clear stain colors.  Because it dries so quickly (sometimes almost instantly) working with lacquer is a high intensity and difficult process that we carry out with a motorized spray-gun.

Before lacquer finishing we ensure that the piece is properly prepared, sanded, and sealed. We allow the lacquer to cure for up to 48 hours between coats and lightly smooth the surface with steel wool and tack cloth.


Polyurethane Finishing


Polyurethane finish will result in a smooth, blemish-free surface with this oil-based compound.  The natural beauty and wood grain is brought out by the polyurethane's varnish and with enough patience the result is quite impressive.

As always, your piece is smoothed and cleaned before finishing.  We brush on a diluted polyurethane finish with a natural-bristle brush in long, even strokes to ensure to an even coat.  Once that layer has dried and cured, about 24 hours, we use an undiluted polyurethane for two coats.  This creates that smooth, glossy look and feel while the diluted compound provides the base layer.  

Following these two layers we get as close as we can to the surface and check for blemishes: dust, maybe tiny bugs, small scratches, hardened drips.  With a small knife we gently scrape these out and then apply the final coat, waiting up to 48 hours before polishing.