Should you sand veneer?

Author: Prof. Marty Connelly PhD  |  Last update: Tuesday, September 19, 2023

When refinishing veneer furniture, it's important not to over-sand a project, otherwise you'll break through to the plywood below. Too little sanding won't remove all of the scratches and dents. We recommend having a variety of grits, 100, 120, 320. The lower the number, the more abrasive the grit.

Does veneer need to be sanded?

Sanding Wood Veneers

Most of our veneers are pre sanded at our factory, so for most of our veneers, no sanding is necessary. If sanding is necessary, it's surprising how much you can sand without sanding through the veneer. Just proceed with some caution.

What happens if you sand veneer?

Remember that veneer is really thin. With aggressive sanding, you will sand through the veneer very easily, causing irreversible damage. Always start sanding with fine-grit sandpaper (120-grit).

Should I sand or strip veneer?

Conclusion: Chemical stripping is your better option for a veneered piece. If you have sanded veneer and feel comfortable doing, it can certainly be done, just be patient, start at 100 or 120 rather than a 60 or 80 grit. Don't press hard with the sander, let it do the work.

Do I need to sand veneer before painting?

You will still need to sand down the substrate as this will provide a key for the paint to adhere to. Before sanding, ensure the surface is clean and free of any grit or grime. Once it's clean, abrade with 180p or higher sandpaper.

Sanding a veneer table top for furniture flipping beginners

Can you paint directly on veneer?

Whenever you're painting veneer furniture, it's highly recommended that you sand beforehand. Veneer tends to be on the sleeker side, and sanding adds friction to the surface, which allows the paint to adhere to it better. If you're using oil-based or acrylic paints, sanding is an especially important step.

Can you just paint over veneer?

Veneer is a decorative wood layer that's overlaid on a different surface. Veneer can be primed, painted, stained, and treated just like any other wood surface.

What is the best way to sand veneer?

In preparation for a new top coat, you'll want the surface to be super smooth. Use 240+ grit sandpaper and sand by hand. Apply gentle pressure at all times - remember veneer is super thin! Follow the direction of the grain whilst sanding.

What is the best way to finish veneer?

Water Based Polyurethane varnish is a good choice for finishing wood veneers. It dries quickly and it gives a lasting, durable, finish that resists stains, abrasion, water marks and some chemicals. The clean up is with water, there are little to no fumes, and you can work in a closed area.

What grit should I sand veneer with?

How to Sand Veneer. Practice patience when hand sanding small veneered pieces. For most veneer types, we recommend starting with nothing coarser than a 100-grit and slowly working your way up to a 220-grit or finer, depending on the piece and desired outcome. All increases and changes should be gradual.

How do you hide sanded through veneer?

Here were my options~
  1. Find A Really Good Re-Finisher.
  2. 'Draw' the Grain Back on with Artist Color Pencils.
  3. Conceal with Artist Oils, Graining Pens or Furniture Markers.
  4. Camouflage with Tinted Shellac.
  5. Re-Veneer the Entire Top.
  6. 'Patch' Veneer the Sand-Through Area.
  7. Tile the Top.
  8. Decoupage The Top.

Can you sand and repaint veneer?

If the veneer is damaged or has chipped off in some places, but isn't loose and flaky… you can either fill it with wood-putty and sand it smooth, OR you can embrace the character and prime and paint right over it.

Does veneer scratch easily?

Because it's made from natural wood, wood veneer is prone to scratching and gouging, which can quickly make it look weathered and worn. And unlike solid wood, when wood veneer gets damaged it's not easy to repair by sanding away scratches because the top wood layer is thin and easy to cut through.

Can you sand off old veneer?

Use a Power Sander

Use 60 grit sandpaper and an orbital sander to sand through the veneer and to the wood underneath. Most furniture has two layers of veneer, so if you try the power sander, get ready to be sanding for a long, long time.

How do you restore veneer?

How To Rejuvenate Wood Veneer
  1. Step 1: Clean the veneer. ...
  2. Step 2: Remove attachments. ...
  3. Step 3: Strip the veneer. ...
  4. Step 4: Scrap off the finish. ...
  5. Step 5: Sand down the veneer. ...
  6. Step 6: Remove the dust. ...
  7. Step 7: Removing imperfections. ...
  8. Step 8: Stain the veneer.

How thick does veneer need to be to refinish?

The thickness of the veneer layer:

If this layer is too thin, it will be difficult (or even impossible) to sand down and refinish your flooring. If they had 1/8″ of veneer when new, they can usually be refinished twice, and 3/16″ options can be done three or four times before replacing becomes the better option.

How do you make wood veneer shiny?

Mineral spirits can help to remove layers of dirt that build up over the years. For grimy wooden furniture, Murphy's Oil Soap is also an option. Always test before you do the surface of a piece. Once the piece is clean, you can use a small amount of mineral oil to shine it up.

Do I need to prime veneer before painting?

But you need to make sure to prime. Veneer can be a very smooth surface, so chalk paint alone will probably scratch off. Make sure the veneer doesn't have cracks. If needed, remove any sections of peeling veneer.

How do you prepare a veneer surface for painting?

Sanding the Veneer Surface

If you do not sand the surface, you may find that the new coat of paint you applied will start to chip and peel off within days. Take some fine sandpaper, about a 220-grit, or a sanding block and sand the veneer surface to remove any old finish it may have or to remove the gloss.

What is the difference between laminate and veneer?

The main difference is that veneers comprise thin layers of wood that are pressed on a plywood base while laminates are manufactured by pressing together layers of flat paper and plastic resins under high pressure.

Can you shabby chic veneer furniture?

Shabby chic offers a design theme where furniture is aged, chipped, worn and rustic. Painting a piece of furniture in the shabby chic look involves two coats of paint and a little sanding. You can finish almost any type of furniture to look shabby chic including wood veneer furniture that is made of particle or ...

Can you paint high gloss veneer?

The key to painting over high gloss furniture is a good scuff sanding to break up and dull the shiny finish and an excellent BONDING PRIMER! Also, a big question is what type of paint to use on high gloss furniture? Once your shiny piece of furniture is prepped properly — ANY type of paint will work.

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