Refinish Furniture

Veneer Repair

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Veneer repair will sometimes be necessary on antiques left in a storage area which will allow the furniture to dry out and cause all sorts of blemishes to occur in the veneer.

Veneer is very sturdy and generally will last as long as the solid wood that it's bonded to, but some times we'll set something too warm or too damp on it and cause a bubble to form or an edge to curl.

Information below tells how to repair veneer problems.
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Veneer repair

Question. . How do you repair Veneer that is split and curled?

First try the easiest veneer repair.

First and easiest method of veneer repair you might try laying a piece of clean white paper over the split in the veneer, parchment paper works real well and seems to stick less, then go over it with a warm iron (clothes iron). There is a slight chance that the heat may reactivate the glue and stick the veneer down. Be sure to have the paper on any part of the surface that the iron touches and don't heat it too much or the finish will soften and stick to the paper. Don't have any water in the iron at all, because the steam could make white stains in the finish.

Hopefully this easiest veneer repair will do the trick, but if it doesn't don't despair, just go on to the next method.

Tape edges of split to protect veneer.

If you have a bubble apply a couple of layers of masking tape over the whole width of the bubble and down the center in the direction of the grain of the wood, then take a very sharp razor knive and make a slit down the center of the length of the masking tape following the direction of the wood grain.

If the veneer already has a split apply a couple of layers of masking tape exactly at the edges of the split on both sides for protection of the veneer while you work on it.

Clean dust and old glue crystals out of the crack.

Next clean out all the dust and any glue crystals or other foreign things under the veneer on both sides. A toothpick is a good tool for this operation. A real fine crochet hook is another good tool. Scrape it out the best you can, but don't push too hard or you can go through the veneer at the back of the split. Slide some masking tape gently under the veneer to pick up more chunks. Don't press down on the veneer while the tape is under it or it can be the dickens to get loose.

Next veneer repair step is apply glue and remove excess.

Next veneer repair step is apply some yellow carpenters glue to the whole surface under the veneer on both sides of the split, then work as much excess glue out as you can by pressing down on the veneer. Wipe the excess with a damp cloth. Very carefully remove the masking tape from the edges of the split and press down on the veneer again to see if more excess glue will come out. Wipe with a damp cloth.

Apply weight to the veneer repair.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the split to keep any glue that might ooze out from sticking your work to the weights you're going to apply. Put a narrow strip of wood or anything else flat and narrow, like a flat ruler or yardstick directly over the plastic wrap over the split to localize the weight, then pile on lots of weight, like a pile of books or anything else heavy.

Let the glue cure overnight with the weight on the repair, even though the directions will probably say that the glue will set in an hour. That should take care of the veneer repair problem.
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