You noticed that your favorite piece of furniture exhibits veneer blisters or lifted, loose, cracked, broken, chipped or missing veneer. Most likely the furniture piece has been exposed to direct sunlight, too much humidity or has simply been abused. Get you tools out and fix the veneer damage before it spreads and ruins the entire surface of your furniture!

Depending on the type of the damage of the veneer surface you can follow one of this links

Steps to Repair Blisters in Veneer

  • slit the blister along the grain of the wood with a razor blade or a sharp craft knife
  • insert some wood glue under the edges of the slit
  • set a relatively large piece of wax paper on top of the blister, then cover it with a same size piece of smoth cardboard
  • apply a clean cloth on top of the cardboard and press firmly with a worm to medium-hot iron until the blisters have flattened – do not touch the surface of the veneer with the iron
  • lift the covers and check if the bister has flatten
  • wipe out any excess glue with a cloth
  • remove the cloth and apply some weights on top of the cardboard for one day
  • wax and polish the entire surface of the furniture

Steps to Repair Lifted or Loose Veneer

  • carefully lift the veneer and scrap the old glue left on the back of the veneer and on the base wood – use a razor blade or a sharp craft knife
  • clean the two surfaces with benzene or other solvent until you remove all glue residue
  • lightly sand the back of the veneer and the base wood with fine-grit sandpaper
  • clean the two surfaces with a soft cloth moistened with mineral spirits
  • apply carpenters/wood glue or contact cement in between the veneer and the base wood
  • carefully smooth the loose veneer into place
  • wipe out any excess glue with a damp clean cloth
  • cover the area with a sheet of wax paper
  • protect the surface by placing one wood block against the glued surface and another block on the other side
  • clamp the veneer firmly – if you cannot clamp it, apply enough weights to hold it firmly in place
  • allow the glue to dry for about two days
  • remove the clamps, wax and polish the entire surface

Steps to Repair Cracked or Broken Veneer

  • reglue if the veneer is lifted, cracked but not broken completely
  • carefully lift the veneer and scrap the old glue left on the back of the veneer and on the base wood – use a razor blade or a sharp craft knife
  • clean the two surfaces with benzene or other solvent until you remove all glue residue
  • lightly sand the back of the veneer and the base wood with fine-grit sandpaper
  • clean the two surfaces with a soft cloth moistened with mineral spirits
  • apply carpenters/wood glue or contact cement in between the veneer and the base wood
  • carefully smooth the loose veneer into place while avoiding further damage to the edges of the break
  • wipe out any excess glue with a damp clean cloth
  • cover the area with a sheet of wax paper
  • protect the surface by placing one wood block against the glued surface and another block on the other side
  • clamp the veneer firmly – if you cannot clamp it, apply enough weights to hold it firmly in place
  • allow the glue to dry for about two days
  • remove the clamps, wax and polish the entire surface

TIP

  • do not try to trim the edges of the broken veneer as irregular lines will not be as visible as straight lines
  • if required, refinish the repaired area

Steps to Replacing Chipped or Missing Veneer

  • get the shape of the missing veneer by placing a paper over the damaged area and lightly rubbing a pencil over
  • use the tempate you just created to cut a replacement patch of veneer – make sure to match the grain of the new veneer to the grain of the damaged area
  • test if the patch fits exactly into the hole – make sure there are no gaps or overlaps
  • if overlaps are present, carefully sand the edges with fine-girt sandpaper until the patch fits the hole
  • cut a slightly larger patch is gaps are present
  • lightly sand the back of the veneer and the base wood with fine-grit sandpaper
  • clean the two surfaces with a soft cloth moistened with mineral spirits
  • apply carpenters/wood glue or contact cement in between the veneer and the base wood
  • carefully smooth the loose veneer into place
  • wipe out any excess glue with a damp clean cloth
  • cover the area with a sheet of wax paper
  • protect the surface by placing one wood block against the glued surface and another block on the other side
  • clamp the veneer firmly – if you cannot clamp it, apply enough weights to hold it firmly in place
  • allow the glue to dry for about two days
  • remove the clamps, wax and polish the entire surface

Tools and Materials Required

How to refinish wood furniture

  • sand the existing finish with fine-grit sandpaper
  • clean the area with a soft cloth lightly moistened in mineral spirits and let dry
  • apply the original finish (lacquer, varnish, shellac, etc) of the furniture with an artists’ brush and let the spot dry
  • lightly buff the surface with steel wool
  • wax and polish the entire surface for a consistent look

More Information on Wood Furniture Repair

How to Repair Burns in Wood Furniture, from Scorches to Deep Char Burns
How to Hide or Repair Scratches, Dings and Dents in Wood Furniture
How to Repair Furniture Hardware – Loose, Missing or Damaged Hinges, Drawer Pulls, Locks, Handles

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