How to Repair Wood Veneer Furniture

Are you tired of seeing damaged wood veneer furniture in your home? Worry no more because in this guide we will teach you how to repair wood veneer furniture and bring it back to its original beauty.

How to Repair Wood Veneer Furniture

Wood veneer furniture adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room, but it can be prone to damage over time.

Scratches, dents, and peeling veneer are common issues that can detract from the furniture’s overall appearance.

Fortunately, with the right tools and techniques, repairing wood veneer furniture is a manageable task that can restore its original charm.

This guide will walk you through the steps needed to repair wood veneer furniture. Whether you are dealing with minor scratches or more significant damage, these tips will ensure your furniture remains a beautiful and functional part of your home.

What Will You Need?

Before diving into the steps, ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials. These include:

  • Wood filler or putty
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Wood glue
  • Paintbrushes
  • Veneer strips or sheets
  • Utility knife
  • Clamps
  • Clean cloth

Once you have all these items, it’s time to move on to the repair process.

10 Easy Steps on How to Repair Wood Veneer Furniture

Step 1: Prepare the Damaged Area

The first step in repairing wood veneer furniture is to prepare the damaged area for repair. Start by cleaning the surface of any dust or debris using a clean cloth. Next, use sandpaper with fine grit to smooth out the damaged area. If there are any chips or splinters, use a utility knife to remove them and ensure the surface is smooth.

Step 2: Apply Wood Filler or Putty

Once the damaged area is smooth and clean, the next step is to apply wood filler or putty to any holes, cracks, or significant scratches. Take a small amount of wood filler or putty on your putty knife and carefully apply it to the damaged area. Make sure to press it down firmly so that it fills in the imperfections completely.

Using the Putty Knife

Smooth out the surface of the filler using the putty knife, ensuring it is level with the surrounding veneer. It’s important to be meticulous during this step to avoid any unevenness once the filler has dried.

Allow the filler ample time to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions, usually a few hours up to overnight depending on the product used.

After the filler has dried, use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the area until it’s smooth and seamless with the rest of the surface.

Be gentle while sanding to avoid removing too much of the surrounding veneer. Clean the surface again with a clean cloth to remove any dust from the sanding.

Step 3: Repair Small Chips or Peeling Veneer

First, gently lift the loose veneer to address small chips or areas where the veneer has started to peel. For precision, apply a thin layer of wood glue underneath the lifted veneer using a small paintbrush or a toothpick. Press the veneer back into place, ensuring it aligns properly with the surrounding wood.

Use clamps to hold the veneer down firmly while the glue dries. If clamps are unavailable, placing a heavy object on top of the veneer can also work as a temporary solution. Wipe away any excess glue that might seep out using a damp cloth before it dries.

Allow the glue to set and dry completely per the manufacturer’s instructions. Once dry, gently sand any areas where the veneer repair might be uneven to ensure a smooth surface. Clean again if necessary to remove any sanding dust.

Step 4: Replace Missing Veneer

If you have a section of missing veneer, you’ll need to replace it. Start by measuring the size of the missing veneer and cutting a piece of veneer strip or sheet to match the size using a utility knife.

Ensure the replacement piece fits snugly in the missing area. Apply a thin layer of wood glue on the back of the replacement veneer piece and press it into place.

Step 5: Sand the Repaired Areas

After the Glue on the New Veneer

After the glue on the new veneer has dried, use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the edges where the new veneer meets the old veneer. Sand gently to create a seamless transition between the two surfaces.

Once you’ve finished sanding, wipe the area with a clean cloth to remove any dust.

Step 6: Stain or Paint the Veneer

Once the repaired areas are smooth, you can match the veneer’s color to the rest of the furniture. Choose a wood stain that matches the existing color if the veneer is stained.

Apply the stain using a paintbrush or a clean cloth, following the grain of the wood. Allow the stain to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

If the veneer is painted, choose a matching paint color. Apply the paint with a paintbrush, ensuring even coverage. Let it dry thoroughly before proceeding.

Step 7: Apply a Protective Finish

Apply a protective finish to protect the repaired veneer and give it a polished look. This could be clear varnish, polyurethane, or another type of wood finish. Use a paintbrush to apply a thin, even layer over the entire surface, following the wood grain.

Step 8: Reassemble Any Disassembled Parts

After allowing the protective finish to dry completely, it’s time to reassemble any parts of the furniture that were disassembled during the repair process. Carefully check each piece to ensure the repairs are secure and all surfaces are smooth and even.

If your furniture has drawers, doors, or other movable parts, test them to ensure they operate smoothly. Reattach any hardware, such as handles, knobs, or hinges, making sure they are firmly secured. If any screws or fasteners were removed, replace them and tighten them appropriately.

Step 9: Final Inspection and Touch-Ups

Perform a thorough inspection of the repaired furniture piece. Look for any remaining flaws or areas that may need additional touch-ups. This includes checking for any spots where the veneer may not be fully adhered to or where the finish might not be even.

Apply a Bit More Wood Filler

If necessary, apply a bit more wood filler, paint, or stain to achieve a flawless finish. Use a fine artist’s brush for precision application for minor imperfections. Allow any touch-up work to dry completely before moving on to the final step.

Step 10: Maintain and Care for Your Wood Veneer Furniture

Proper maintenance and care are essential to ensure the longevity of your repaired wood veneer furniture. Regularly dust the furniture with a soft, dry cloth to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt.

Avoid placing the furniture in direct sunlight or near heat sources, as this can cause the veneer to fade or warp over time.

Use coasters, placemats, or tablecloths to protect surfaces from spills and scratches. If a spill occurs, clean it up immediately with a slightly damp cloth to prevent any potential damage to the veneer.

Periodically apply a wood polish or furniture wax to keep the veneer looking vibrant and add an extra protection layer.

By following these steps and carefully maintaining your wood veneer furniture, you can ensure that it remains a beautiful and functional part of your home for many years.

5 Things You Should Avoid

1. Skipping Surface Preparation

Skipping the initial cleaning and surface preparation might seem like a time saver, but it can lead to poor adhesion of fillers, glue, and veneer strips. This can result in future peeling or uneven repairs that will be more noticeable over time.

2. Using the Wrong Type of Adhesive

Such as Generic Craft Glues

Not all adhesives are suitable for wood veneer repairs. Avoid using incorrect types such as generic craft glues or superglues. These can fail to provide the necessary bond strength and may damage the veneer. Always use wood glue specifically formulated for woodwork projects.

3. Over-Sanding

While sanding is essential for a smooth finish, over-sanding can remove too much material, damaging the veneer and the underlying material. Always use fine-grit sandpaper and be gentle to ensure you do not create new problems in the repair process.

4. Ignoring Manufacturer’s Drying Times

Rushing the drying time of fillers, glue, stains, and finishes can compromise the quality of your repair. Ignoring these recommended times can lead to weak bonds, uneven finishes, and potentially having to redo the repair from scratch. Patience is key to a successful and durable repair.

5. Neglecting Safety Precautions

When working with repairs, it’s easy to neglect basic safety precautions. Always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes from adhesives and finishes. Use appropriate safety gear like gloves and masks to protect your skin and respiratory system from dust and chemicals.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your wood veneer repairs are successful and long-lasting.


How to repair wood veneer furniture is a meticulous yet rewarding process that can restore the beauty and functionality of your cherished pieces.

You can achieve professional-looking results by following the detailed steps outlined—cleaning and preparing the surface, applying the correct adhesives, sanding gently, matching stains or paint, and finishing with a protective coat.

Avoid common pitfalls such as skipping surface preparation, using the wrong adhesives, or rushing drying times to ensure the longevity of your repairs.

With proper maintenance and care, your repaired wood veneer furniture will continue bringing elegance and charm to your home for many years. Whether you are a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, patience and precision are your keys to success.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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