Final polishing

It all depends on how you varnish dries, how well you had it dry out between layers, on the overall thickness of the varnish. Do the thumb test, check the upper curves of the C bouts and decide whether the varnish is dry enough to bear polishing. That can be as soon as 1-2 days in UV cabinet.

The thing is to polish at the right time. Too early, and you will tear up your varnish. Too late and the varnish may already be too hard, forcing you to use coarser mediums which will in turn flatten the varnish and rob it of its texture.

When polishing with pumice I use linseed oil as water seems to be too aggressive. Proceed from coarser mediums to finer ones. IE. 000, 000000, tripoli.

The linseed oil and the medium must be removed, For absorbing the oil you can use china clay {kaolin} or flour. Just dust the instrument with it and remove it with some fine cloth. For oil removal, avoid the use of turpentine as it may partially dissolve the varnish.

The final gloss, whether silky mate or highly polished is based on preference. Bear in mind that any irregularities of the plates will be much magnified in highly polished surfaces.


Put some chalk on the bridge feet to prevent the still rather fresh varnish from sticking to the feet.

Category: Varnishing