Help & Advice
The best prevention is placing your furniture away from direct sunlight or if that’s not possible, covering it with a sheet when the sun’s UV light is at its strongest.
*Regular applications of a coloured beeswax polish such as our rose or antique gold will help prevent this damage but it will not stop it from happening.
We have added Myrica Wax in our polish which is a natural wax covering that protects the fruit it covers. Only found at high altitudes (above 1,800m/6,000ft) in the Andes and can only be found in Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. The wax covers the small, greyish berries to protect them against the moisture loss and extreme environmental stresses that life at such altitudes demands.
If it's not possible to move the furniture out of the sun then, if possible, try and rotate the position of your furniture. I have been in many houses in the past employing my french polishing techniques to repair severely sun damaged grand pianos. In some cases this severe damage could have been prevented by simply rotating the piano every once in a while.
I know we all don't have grand pianos in our homes, but if you can, try repositioning your furniture if possible.
My Auntie Margaret is always doing this, not just because of sun fading, just because she likes to change the layout of her rooms. She enjoys it.
*I can't tell you how often to apply Gilboys polish to furniture that is in direct sunlight. There are too many factors for me to guess at. But I would suggest that once every three or four months, during the lighter periods of the year, for furniture that has a vertical face in prolonged direct sunlight.
If you have a very high gloss finish on your furniture, you know the sort of high gloss you would expect to see on the dashboard of a luxury car or yacht. Don't use our polish! This type of high gloss, polyurethane or polyester finish will not respond well to high content natural wax polish such as ours.
The images here show how a single application of our coloured polishes (rose and antique gold) can help revive and protect an old sun faded finish.
You can see how we achieved these easily achievable results in this video:
This is probably one the most common questions I am asked. Our polish can be very successful at helping to restore tired and faded antique finishes.
This statement is very important: How successful it is will very much depend on how dry/absorbent the finish is that it is being applied to.
For period antiques that still retain the original french polish and or waxed finish, but have sadly suffered the fate of many pieces of furniture with years of UV bleaching will, in most cases respond well when a coloured wax polish such as rose gold or antique gold is applied to them.
You will discover how effective it will be almost as soon as it is applied. Faded, sun bleached dry surfaces will quickly draw the colour from our polish which will not only help colour and revive the old finish but in many cases go further and colour the wood itself beneath.
This is one of the times when we can really say that it does ‘nourish’ the surface’. Because of the extremely rich, natural wax content of our polish it does start repairing and smoothing the old dry finish.
You must allow the wax to dry before buffing. The surface will appear dull and flat. This where the wax cells are pointing at different angles and feel slightly rough to the touch.
When you buff the newly waxed surface, you are in effect polishing and smoothing all those wax cells flat to the surface. Creating a reflective smooth layer which allows the light in and you, the viewer, to see the wood beneath.
*Please remember you still have to wait 20 minutes before buffing and apply following the polish following the grain.
If you do not see an immediate change in the finish, don't start over applying the polish. This is where we find that although the wood surface may be bleached, the finish that protects it is still doing its job. The wax is unable to penetrate past the hard, in-tact surface layer, which also means that it is unable to transfer as much colour from the wax to the surface. However you still may see a slight change in colour.
Repeated applications over a long period may help. It will certainly go in some way to preventing further damage but it is unlikely to be as transformative as you may have wished for. If this is the case then the only option you have is stripping and refinishing the piece. But up until the point of trying there is no way of knowing. You won't have wasted your money because you still have a very good wax polish to use on your furniture.
Situations where it is unlikely to be as effective at treating sun bleaching are:
Like I mentioned earlier, it really works best when it is used on tired antique finishes. If your sun faded looks like this…
It is very unlikely that applying any coloured beeswax polishes will remedy such high contrasting sun fading. The finish is still in good order which will prevent the colour transferring from the polish. The answer here is stripping and refinishing as I demonstrate in these videos...
Simon's career began in furniture restoration in 1987. Leaving school at 16 and signing on as an apprentice French Polisher at Staverton joinery, he has accumulated over 30 years experience in the restoration of fine and antique furniture.
In 1994 Simon opened the doors on the first Gilboy’s workshop at the Riverside in Staverton with financial and mentoring help from The Prince’s Trust.
In 2015 after years of searching for a beeswax furniture polish that would befit the fine furniture Gilboys were restoring, Simon developed his own beeswax polish using only the very best of responsibly-sourced ingredients.
Simon says, "My intention was not to compete with anyone on price, but to simply make the best beeswax polish it was possible to make"
You can usually find Simon in the Gilboys workshops filming instructional how-to videos for the Gilboys YouTube channel, on help forums, or actively finding new ways to preserve the past for the future.