VENEER REMOVAL - working smart not hard

Here is the final article of the much anticipated VENEER series.

The first article explained how to deal with edge gluing loose veneer
The second article taught you how to rebuilt an area of missing veneer on a painted piece.
The third article showed you how to get bubbled veneer glued back down.

So I have shared with you many possible fixes now
I will be going over how to easily remove large sections of veneer.

Why does veneer start to lift from furniture anyway?
Hands up ... any guesses?
The ladies who have taken my workshop are not eligible so put your hands down.

The answer is

Veneer is typically adhered with water based glues and
when water gets under the edges of the veneer it softens the glue and starts to lift.
damp basement,
on a porch in bad weather,
moisture under a potted plant or vase

Once you have made the decision to remove the veneer
set up your furniture so the surface to be worked on is facing up.

Go get a towel big enough to cover the area of veneer and soak it with water.
You do not need hot water but make sure it is saturated but not dripping.
Spread out your wet towel over the veneer to be removed making sure the water
can get absorbed under the edges and open areas to soften the glue.

Here is the
** work smart not hard part **
Time to watch a movie, go to the grocery store, or do the laundry.
In other words leave it alone to do the work for you,
for at least an hour.

When you come back to the project you should be able to
easily lift and peel the veneer away.

The photos I have used for this article were taken over an hour and a half from start to finish.
There is no need to use heat guns, belt sanders, or nasty gauging tools from now on.

some veneers are covering up pieced together wood and wood with gauges and holes,
but for the most part the decision should be made to remove it because the alternative is worse.

Here is a quick look at some of the new hardware available in the Etsy Shop .

There are 1000's of pieces of up-cycled hardware to choose from at 
firstfinds hardware store


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  1. Oh, my gosh!! That is all there is to it???!!! I have a wonderful old cedar chest that has horrible, cracked, bubbled and missing veneer. I am dying to redo it, but I could only imagine how hard it would be to remove the veneer--I was, indeed, picturing heat guns, stripper, sanders, scrapers, etc. I have been waiting until I have a HUGE chunk of time before tackling this "massive" undertaking!!! Thanks to you, I can now turn this monster into a beauty!

  2. I am sort of giggling because you are right, that is really so simple yet we sure never thought of it. Will now!


  3. Thanks for all your tips, I was reviewing what you have posted and I have a question for you...what types of clamps do you use? I see posts and pictures of clamps but I don't know what the different ones are for. Thanks so much for all the time, effort and consideration you put into your posts, I am impressed with what you create and your attention to detail.

  4. Really, really, really, it is this easy????? I am laughing because I say this to myself all the time, "work smarter not harder". This is definitely smarter!!!!

  5. Smart gal...and I have learned to work smarter now harder over the years! Great tutorial! xo Diana

  6. Bloody hell, that's all there is to it?? Wish I had known that years ago! Thanks for the quick lesson. Going to get ice now for my forehead because I actually smacked my own forehead.
    Yeah, go figure.

  7. Thanks for the great tip! I've never removed veneer yet, but now I know how!

  8. yes indeedy! it is so much easier to remove veneer when it's humid outside! i love to do it then. :)

  9. I just paid $40 for an ancient sewing machine base set-up with a complete working sewing machine still in place! I was resigned to thinking I would be removing and discarding the machine and damaged veneer case. Now I will definitely use your method to remove that veneer and try to keep it all intact. Thanks much!

  10. Nice tip! My front door is peeling like mad... i was about to grab scrapers & all that other junk when i thought i should see what others are saying. So glad i ran across this post! Thank you SO much!



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