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If the veneer is still in tact and I can’t slide something under it, I leave it alone! I used a razor blade to cut a slit in the raised veneer then carefully peeled it back until I reached a point of stability. I have a table with a veneer top that someone tried to sand and it must have been too thin of veneer and now I have to (about the size of a quarter) dark brown spots on the top of the table.
Gerry and I recently returned from a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, where we first learned of the Koa tree, and immediately fell in love with the wood. Around the 1970′s furniture makers began using thinner veneers on particle board, medium density fibre boards (MDF) and plywood cores. In our experience, veneer over solid wood is easier to repair, because wood can be patched and even glued back into shape. Yes, it does matter what’s underneath the veneer, especially if it is damaged and needs to be repaired. Veneer has gotten a bad reputation over the years (and some for good reason.) Many people think of wood veneer as inferior and cheap. Veneer is a thin layer of wood that is cut or peeled from a log, then bonded onto other surfaces to create a visually pleasing pattern. On older and finer pieces of furniture, the veneer is glued onto pieces of other wooden boards.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, furniture makers began using veneers to make the more beautiful and valuable pieces of wood go farther.
Around World War II, fine wood became scarce and lesser wood veneers were used to create quality, affordable furniture. It is very difficult to determine the thickness of the veneer unless there is some sort of blemish or the veneer has chipped off. This early 20th century drawer was inlaid with 2 different veneers to create a beautiful design. The veneer on this newer table was beautiful, but it was so thin, it was difficult to sand when the customer wanted it refinished. A friend of mine recently purchased a dining table from a high end furniture store, after being told by the salesperson that it was solid wood.  While it is true that the table was made mostly from wood products, it was not solid wood. The salesperson might have thought the table she sold my friend was solid wood because it was so well made, and the particle board cores were covered with beautiful wood veneer. Please refer to Part 2 in this series about wood, wood products & veneers for more information about veneer and the history of veneer.


I’ve probably tried them all and had success with each…well, except for patching with more veneer! There are several wood fillers on the market that claim to be stainable but I’ve not found one that accepts the stain evenly or looks like the rest of the piece. Some of the benefits of using particle board, MDF and plywood are that it is cheaper, saves trees, and does not warp like solid wood can.
Even high end plywoods can be repaired in most cases because it is made with several layers of wood and glue. If a part of the piece is crushed, dented or broken, it cannot just be glued back into place like wood can. Some think it’s only on new furniture, and is not really wood, but a manmade product. It is usually the finest grain of wood from a tree, with the most interesting grain or pattern. Today, some veneers are as thin as a piece of paper, making them difficult to repair if damaged. Beautiful veneers of mahogany, walnut, or quarter-sawn oak were often glued to birch or regular cut oak. Around the 1970′s, manufacturers began using thinner veneers and adhering them to plywood, particle boards, and medium density fibre boards.
I am not going to say that she was purposely misled or lied to, because most furniture store workers are salespeople and not wood experts. We want even the damaged parts to be pretty and you just can’t do much to pretty that up! If your damage is as extensive as this one was, the filler required would be too large and would look totally different if stained. We never actually saw a tree because we basically stayed at sea level (hey, it’s Hawaii with an ocean and sandy beaches, and we live in Arizona!) but we did visit several galleries and even a lumber yard to purchase a block of wood for a wood-turning friend.
But veneer has been around for a long time, and historically has been used on the finest furniture.
During the Renaissance era, tiny pieces of exotic wood were used for marquetry on the finest pieces of furniture. The lack of good quality craftsmanship and inferior adhesives since then has resulted in veneers getting a bad reputation. Table and chair legs are often made of solid wood, although less expensive ones are made of particle board and covered with veneer.


If the grain from the top surface is not the same on the underside, it is most likely not solid wood. If there is a seam or a band where the grain does not continue over the edge, then it is most likely veneer. Since veneer is usually rolled from a tree, the width of the veneer can be much wider than a wooden plank. For this post, I chose my go-to route for repairing missing and damaged veneer on a bed and a chest.
The dry, brittle wood will also absorb the paint and topcoat differently, leaving a blotchy area. Hold down the stable part of the veneer with your free hand then snap the loose veneer to that point.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the finest furniture makers used exotic wood veneers to create beautiful and intricate patterns on their finer pieces. That being said, there are still some fine furniture makers today who make quality furniture with thicker veneers bonded to wooden surfaces. Before we jump into the pic heavy post, let me answer the most asked question about damaged veneer.
But what is so beautiful is the wood itself; it can have a variety of grain, ranging from plain to curly to fiddlestick.
Solid wood can sometimes warp, shrink or expand depending on humidity, causing veneer to crack. In those days, veneers were used as a piece of art and you will find many of these pieces of furniture in museums. My clumsy, left handed attempt at removing it with tweezers led to breaking the brittle wood off.
If you don’t put enough filler on, you will be sanding into the existing veneer later. Finally, that tiny amount of veneer poking out will eventually get caught on everything that dares brush by it!



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28.05.2013 | Author: admin



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