How to Replace Veneer

Are you looking for an affordable way to improve the look and feel of your furniture, without blowing your budget? If so, then replacing the veneer could be just the solution you’ve been searching for! A veneer is a thin layer of wood or other materials that can easily wear down over time. But don’t fret – with a bit of effort and knowledge, you can get your furniture looking as good as new in no time at all!

How to Replace Veneer

In this blog post on how to replace veneer, we’ll take a deep dive into the steps involved in successfully replacing veneers on any piece of furniture. We’ll also discuss how to choose the right type and thickness of veneer for each project, ensuring your furniture looks great every step of the way. So what are you waiting for? Let’s jump straight into replacing those blemishes and bringing life back to that special piece today!

What is Veneer?

Before diving into the replacement process, it’s essential to understand what veneer is. As mentioned earlier, a veneer is a thin layer of wood or other materials that are applied to surfaces such as furniture, cabinets, and floors to create a more elegant and stylish appearance.

It’s an affordable alternative to solid wood while still providing a similar look and feel. Veneer comes in various types, including natural wood veneer, engineered wood veneer, and plastic laminate veneer. Each type has its unique characteristics and uses, so it’s essential to choose the right one for your specific project.

Why Replace Veneer?

Veneers can get damaged over time due to regular wear and tear, exposure to sunlight, water spills, or any other factors that may cause chipping, peeling, or discoloration. When this happens, it’s essential to replace the veneer as soon as possible to prevent further damage and maintain the integrity of the underlying furniture. It’s also a great way to refresh the look of your furniture without breaking the bank.

Essential Materials

• New Veneer Sheets

• Adhesive (Contact Cement or Rubber-based Adhesive)

• Paint Scraper

• Sandpaper (Medium and Fine Grit)

• Veneer Saw or Utility Knife

• Iron (for Heat-activated Adhesive)

• Veneer Softener (for Hardwood Veneers)

Veneer Saw or Utility Knife

9 Easy Step-by-step Guides on How to Replace Veneer:

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

Remove any remaining old veneer and clean the furniture surface. Sand it with medium grit sandpaper to remove any rough edges and create a smooth surface for the new veneer. It’s also essential to remove any remaining adhesive and dirt for better veneer adhesion. But be careful not to sand too much as it may damage the underlying furniture.

Step 2: Choose Your Veneer

Choose the right type and thickness of veneer for your project. For example, if you’re working on a large surface, such as a tabletop, use thicker veneer sheets to prevent warping. If you’re replacing a curved or detailed surface, use thinner veneer sheets for more flexibility. But make sure the veneer grain and color match the original piece for a seamless finish.

Step 3: Cut the Veneer to Size

Use a veneer saw or utility knife to cut the veneer sheet slightly larger than your furniture surface. This extra allowance is essential for trimming and fitting in later steps. It’s essential to cut the veneer with the grain to prevent splintering and ensure a smooth finish. You can also cut the veneer slightly wider on one side to create a lip for easier installation.

Step 4: Apply Adhesive

Apply a thin layer of adhesive evenly across the furniture surface, using either contact cement or rubber-based adhesive. Be careful not to apply too much, or it may seep through and ruin your new veneer. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. This step is crucial as it will determine the strength and durability of your new veneer.

Apply a Thin Layer of Adhesive

Step 5: Apply Adhesive to Veneer

Apply a thin layer of adhesive on the back of the veneer sheet, following the same instructions as in step four. If using heat-activated adhesive, you can use an iron to activate it. Once again, be careful not to apply too much. If you’re working with hardwood veneers, use a veneer softener to make the process easier. You can also apply adhesive to the lip created in step three.

Step 6: Align and Apply Veneer

Align the veneer sheet with the furniture surface and carefully place it on top. Use a paint scraper to remove any air bubbles and ensure proper contact between the veneer and the furniture surface. If you’re working with curved surfaces, use a soft cloth or roller to apply even pressure for better adhesion. If your veneer sheet is slightly larger, use a utility knife to trim the edges and create a perfect fit.

Step 7: Apply Pressure

Apply even pressure on the entire surface of the veneer using a roller or soft cloth. This step will ensure proper bonding between the veneer and furniture surface, preventing any future peeling or chipping. If you’re working with hardwood veneers, use clamps to hold the veneer in place for a few hours until it dries. If using a heat-activated adhesive, use an iron on medium heat to activate and bond the two surfaces.

Step 8: Sand and Finish

Once the adhesive is dry, use fine-grained sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges and create a uniform surface. You can also use wood filler to fill in any gaps or imperfections. Finish the surface with a coat of varnish, paint, or stain to match the original piece. This step will not only protect your new veneer but also enhance its appearance.

Adhesive is Dry

Step 9: Clean Up

Clean up any excess adhesive using mineral spirits or warm soapy water. Be sure to read the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions for proper clean-up methods. Once everything is dry, your furniture piece will look as good as new! Always remember to let the new veneer dry completely before using your furniture again.

Following these easy steps on how to replace veneer will not only save you money but also give your furniture a new lease of life. With the right materials and techniques, you can achieve a professional-looking finish that will last for years to come. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of veneer and techniques to create unique and personalized pieces. Happy veneering!

Tips for Choosing the Right Veneer

Before starting the replacement process, here are some tips to help you choose the right veneer for your project:

Consider the Type of Veneer

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of veneer available. Make sure to choose the one that best fits your project and the desired outcome. For example, if you want a more natural look, then a natural wood veneer would be the best option. If you’re on a budget or need something more durable, plastic laminate veneer might be the way to go.

Consider the Thickness

The thickness of the veneer is another crucial factor to consider. It’s essential to choose the right thickness based on the furniture type and how much wear and tear it will be subjected to. For example, a thicker veneer would be perfect for high-traffic areas like dining tables or kitchen countertops.

Consider Color and Grain

When replacing veneers, it’s crucial to match the color and grain of the existing veneer as closely as possible. This will ensure a seamless and natural look once the replacement is complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Replace the Veneer Myself, or Do I Need a Professional?

A: With the right tools and materials, replacing veneer can be done by anyone. However, if you’re not confident in your skills or have a valuable piece of furniture, it’s always recommended to seek professional help.

Q: Can I Remove the Old Veneer Instead of Replacing It?

A: Yes, you can remove the old veneer instead of replacing it. However, this is a more time-consuming and challenging process. Plus, there’s a higher risk of damaging the underlying furniture. It’s best to replace the veneer unless it’s severely damaged.

Q: Are There Any Alternative Options for Replacing Veneer?

A: Yes, you can also repair small chips or scratches in the veneer instead of replacing it entirely. This may involve filling in the damaged area with wood filler or using touch-up markers and stains to blend in the imperfections. However, these solutions may not be as long-lasting or effective as replacing the veneer.

Q: How Can I Prevent Veneer from Getting Damaged in the Future?

A: To prevent veneer from getting damaged, make sure to clean and maintain your furniture regularly. Avoid placing hot or wet objects directly on the surface, and use coasters and mats to protect against spills and scratches. It’s also essential to avoid exposing the furniture to direct sunlight for prolonged periods as this can cause discoloration and fading.

Prevent Veneer From Getting Damaged


It is important to remember that replacing veneers requires a time commitment and the right tools, in order to properly restore your furniture back to its original beautiful condition.

Whether you choose to purchase pre-veneered plywood or embark on an ambitious project of using individual strips of veneer, you now have the knowledge necessary to give your furniture the makeover it deserves.

Don’t forget that with any project comes some degree of risk, so be sure that you work in a safe and well-ventilated area and wear proper safety gear. If all else fails don’t hesitate to call in a professional who can do the job for you!

Taking the time now to repair furniture will ensure quality results that last for years, leading to priceless moments spent enjoying your favorite pieces of heirloom furniture! So why wait? Take on the task of replacing that old veneer – it’s worth it! Thanks for reading this article on how to replace veneer.

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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