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HOW TO: Applying Wood Veneer

Dont let it intimidate you!

I know from antiquing all the time you come across a lot of great wood pieces that have water damage or chipped veneer. This will usually turn off most collectors/buyers but don’t let it intimidate you. If something catches your eye you should really consider buying it and repairing the surface. The surface damage actually gives you the power to haggle more and get the piece for very cheap in some cases.

Depending on the kind of wood veneer you buy it can be relatively cheap to expensive. There are a vast array of woods to choose from and the grains can blow your mind. Usually the more exotic wood veneers have to be special ordered through a specialty wood dealer. I don’t think you will find veneer at Lowes or Home Depot but I could be wrong. I purchased a 4×8 sheet of Teak veneer (around $200, but I have a lot left over for other projects) from a dealer in Sacramento California to restore the surface of my Seeburg Jukebox pictured below. The original surface of the veneer on this cabinet was not in the best shape.

Keep in mind that the veneer was not this color. I stained it to make it look richer but you could just oil it as well.

Something to remember is that you always want to cut the veneer to overhang the piece of wood you are applying it to. This gives you room for error in case it does not line up appropriately. The surfaces that you are going to apply the glue to need to be completely free of debris otherwise you will see it when the two pieces are glued together. Here are a few things to use to help complete the job:

Remember you have to apply this to the back of the veneer and the surface you are applying it to. Also, you can use just a regular brush to apply the glue to the surfaces.

If you don’t have a router with a veneer trimming bit this is a low cost option. It has a razor that when slid on the edge of the piece you are veneering cuts off the excess.

I have this same roller. This will help to push out any air bubbles that get trapped during application of the veneer. I prefer this tool as opposed to using a flat piece of wood because the wood could mar the surface.

Here is a video from DIY to show how simple it is to veneer something and trust me it really isn’t difficult.

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4 responses »

  1. I am afraid of laminate.. I can’t help it. It sorta freaks me out! But you do great work so I will enjoy “watching” your success! :)

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  2. Any suggestions on where to acquire that veneer roller in the USA?

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    • I think maybe Lowes or HomeDepot might carry it. If not check Ebay. If no luck at those places you could use a piece of 2×4 maybe 24 inches long and use that to push out the air bubbles. You may want to wrap the wood with some fabric to prevent scratching the surface. I hope this helps.

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  3. hello this is mohammad rafee from wood veneer company .. i will help you all if you want any kind of veneer for you are project.

    thanks ,

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