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How to Install Wood Veneer on Cabinets

How to Install Wood Veneer on Cabinets

Often, furniture sets, doors, walls, and drawers take up large areas, so they are covered with a veneer made of valuable wood species. Therefore, it is not surprising that over time, the front panels and doors of these cabinets require updating. Today there are several effective renewal methods, and we will take a closer look at the re-cladding and talk about how to restore the cabinet cladding with our own hands.

Any veneer cabinets lose their original appearance during the time of use. Veneer designs are very popular. They are practical and attractive. If various defects appear, they can be restored on their own. The main thing is to act carefully. Then the system will look new. Next, let’s look at how veneer cabinet doors are restored: ways to eliminate defects.

The first step in restoring veneered doors on furniture should be their meticulous inspection. After all, you need to assess the upcoming volume of work, prepare all the necessary materials and tools, it is better to eliminate all visible defects at once. It is much easier to work if the sash is removed from its hinges and placed on the floor or chairs. Swelling of veneered doors appears when the sheets of finishing material were poorly, incorrectly glued. Also, this can be observed if the structure is operated in conditions of high humidity, the door was washed with a too wet rag, in case of flooding the room.

There are two effective methods for eliminating such a defect: 

Ironing. Before restoring the veneered door, you need to moisten a piece of cloth, squeeze it well and place it on the swollen place for about 10-15 minutes. Moisture will soften the veneer layer. Then the iron should be heated, but not too much (minimum or medium temperature). It remains to iron the swollen canvas. 


If the first method did not help, then you will have to glue the finishing layer. Before you repair a veneer door in this way, you will need to buy PVA glue and an ordinary medical syringe, with its help it is easier to inject glue under the coating. After a sufficient amount of glue has been applied under the veneer layer, you need to press the coating well and rub it on top with a dry cloth so that the glue is evenly distributed. The place of gluing must be pressed with a load for at least a few hours, and preferably for a night or a day. After that, the canvas can be hung in place. Veneer sheets have a small thickness, so PVA is completely glued. It is suitable for the restoration of artificial and natural surfaces. 

Masking scratches

Veneered doors can be scratched with claws by pets, playing kids. They also suffer from moving furniture, bicycles, and strollers. Scratches are conspicuous and spoil the look. Veneer door wax for minor damage is the best option. To do this, it is worth acquiring a material that matches the color of the finish. You can eliminate the damage in the following ways: If the scratch is small, then before restoring the veneered door, you need to cut off a small piece from the wax pencil, literally a pinch, hold it in your hand for half a minute, so that the material becomes soft and begins to melt. After that, the wax must be rubbed into the scratched place, and then the veneered door must be polished. To add shine, it is worth using polishes, they also include wax. If the scratch is significant, it must be cleaned first. This must be done carefully so as not to damage the upper protective coating (varnish). Sandpaper with minimal grit is suitable. After that wipe off dust, degrease a well-protected scratch. Then you need to drip melted wax into the grooves. Immediately, until it is completely frozen, its excess should be removed.

Veneer patches

If the coating has deep, serious damage, then such an area must be replaced. For the restoration of veneered interior doors, you should prepare PVA glue, a sharp stationery knife or scalpel, as well as pieces of veneer. It should completely repeat the color and texture of the old material. The restoration scheme consists of the following stages: 

Before restoring the veneered cabinet doors, the canvas must be removed from the awnings and placed horizontally. 

Cut out “windows” from the canvas – one or more in places of noticeable damage. If there are depressions under them, then they need to be well putty and allowed to dry completely. The veneer will not stick to the wet putty.

Cut suitable patches from the new veneer. They should not only ideally match in size, but also the direction of the drawing. Therefore, before gluing, you should attach a patch, look at it from different distances, from different angles. It should not stand out against the background of the canvas.

Grease the door leaf and pieces of veneer with PVA glue, attach a patch, press it well.

Wipe off any excess glue immediately. For better fixation, you can press the new veneer with a small weight and leave it there for a day. Do-it-yourself repair of veneered doors with varnish is being completed. It will help even out the tone of the coating, hide minor abrasions, and add shine.

How to varnish or paint veneered furniture?

If you want to completely update the interior veneer doors, you can cover the door leaf and frame with varnish or paint. In the first case, both shellac varnish and cellulose varnish are useful. There are few differences between them. Painting is more suitable for doors covered with natural veneer. It is carried out according to the following scheme: 

Remove the canvas from the awnings. 

Before updating a veneered door, you need to prepare the paint, brushes for the box, and the end of the canvas, as well as a roller for painting the main area. It is better not to use brushes on large surfaces, otherwise, stripes will be visible. If there are deep scratches on the canvas, then they need to be cleaned and puttied. If the canvas is repainted in a completely different color, but you need to cover it with a layer of primer. If the primer is not expected, the surface must be sanded and degreased.

After the primer has dried, you can start painting. Only nitro paints are not suitable for veneer; from such a composition, the coating turns out to be spotty. Water-dispersed or polyurethane can be safely used. 

Painting can be done in one or two coats, but the paint must be completely dry. Depending on its composition, this may take from several hours to 2 days. If you paint in two layers, then one of them is performed in the horizontal direction, and the other in the vertical direction. This approach will provide even coverage without gaps, without sagging.