The Joy of Veneer June 03 2014, 0 Comments

There is no better feeling than that feeling when you find the perfect piece of furniture that is just waiting to be transformed, that is until you get a little closer and see the veneer and even worse, the veneer peeling off!!  OH NO!  But, luckily enough, there is a {fairly} easy way to get rid of that problem!


More than likely there is good solid wood under the veneer.  Instead of going through the hassle of trying to glue it down, giving it the chance to come up again, it’s best in my book to just take it off.  There are just a couple of items that you need; a metal putty knife, a hammer, an iron (one in which you would never use again on clothes – I got mine at Wal-Mart for $7), an old towel, a bucket of water & gloves to protect your hands.

Start by filling your iron with water and getting it ready to go by putting on the highest heat setting.  You will then want to get your towel wet.   Enough to where it may drip a bit when you hold it up. Now lay the towel down on the damaged veneer and the entire section that needs to come off. I recommend taking the entire section off, opposed to just the damaged part and trying to fill with wood filler.  Then put your hot iron over the veneer right where it is damaged and still glued down.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to BE CAREFUL!!!! You are working with a hot iron and it is going to stream.  As soon as you put the iron down on the towel, you will want to remove you hand.  Let the iron sit for about 30 seconds.  Remove the iron and get your putty knife under the section and then you should start to be able to slide the knife under the glued area to bring it up.



As you will work, you will find your groove, it took me a few times.  I found that the sides were a little harder to get the glue softened up so I had to leave the iron on a little longer.

It took me about an hour to do both sides of the dresser.  I am by no means a patient person, but knowing what the end result is going to bring, it kept me in the game!

After I removed all the veneer, I took my orbital sander to it to smooth out the wood.  Keep in mind veneer is splintery, so you might also want to wear gloves to protect your hands :)

Stay turned for the finished dresser. I think I am going to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White and Antoinette.

Again, before starting the project and during, keep in mind you are using a lot of heat and take all measures to protect yourself from getting burned.  Steam burns are just as bad as fire burns, so be safe!  Also, if you find that your iron is getting a bit brown and your towel as well, add addition water to the towel.  It should be very wet, not damp. In addition, check on the condition of the wood as this process can dry out the solid wood that you are exposing. Should you notice your wood is very dry underneath, you might try adding a wood conditioner to maintain it.