How to remove veneer from furniture
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How to remove veneer from furniture



I am in the process of decorating the house at the ranch and I want the fine furniture of my dreams but alas, my pocketbook is not able to handle those purchases.  So I am buying not so gently used antique furniture and spending the time to bring these lovely old pieces back to life.  
   This chest of drawers was badly in need of a makeover and the top was covered with veneer that was chipped and could not be saved.   


Now comes the dilemma on how to remove the veneer without damaging the wood underneath.   
I have heard of removing the veneer by using a iron to heat the glue and then the veneer can be safely removed.  Concerned this process would destroy my iron we made a trip to the dollar store to buy a $9 iron and a $2 hand towel.    Prior to leaving to the dollar store we laid paper towels two layers thick on the top of the chest of drawers and carefully poured water on the towels and left them to soak the veneer.  
Upon our return we  filled the steam compartment of the iron with water and completely wetted the towel with water.  We laid the soaked towel on top of the veneer to be removed and heated the iron to the "cotton" setting and placed it on top of the wet towel for 15-20 seconds. 



 Then we removed the iron and towel and with a wood chisel (or a paint scraper could be used) we carefully scraped the veneer off.  I was amazed, it peeled right off.  I believe the trick is to work in small areas and remove the veneer while it is still hot. 
 Continue until all the veneer is removed, pouring more water on the towel as needed and you may have to go over it a second time to completely remove the glue and fibers.




 We continued this restore by sanding the entire piece just past the prior stain.


Then stained it and covered it with a two coats of poly:)



Done! 



Don't forget to Pin!  





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30 comments:

  1. I had no idea! Thanks for sharing the technique!!! :)

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  2. What a great tip! I've always wondered how to do that. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Great tutorial! We actually have a piece that needs the veneer fixed. Maybe I'll just take it all off and redo it. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. I am always looking for great ways to upcycle furniture and this is a great tip for the veneer pieces that are missing some veneer.... Thank you for the instructions - I am pinning this for future reference....

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  5. Great tips Evelyn! I will be looking at those....um...less lovely furniture pieces at the thrift store with new eyes ;-) It turned out gorgeous buddy!

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  6. What a great tip! I'd never heard of this method before, but I'm definitely filing it away for future reference! :)

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  7. Gorgeous Evelyn. Great post. Pinned and sharing!
    Hugs,
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

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  8. Wow Evelyn! It's beautiful. I had no idea veneer came off like that. Thanks for sharing this and enjoy that lovely chest!

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  9. Wow! What a transformation! We have a good quality dresser that was bought in the late 70's and looks it! It's in decent shape, but the veneer is starting to come off one corner on the top. If I can convince my hubby to refinish it, I know where to go for guidance now. :-)

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  10. That's a great tip. I have a house full of antiques and am sure that will come in handy at some point! :)

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  11. Oh, wow! Who knew? I'm going to pin this, too, for future reference.

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  12. Great tip…an old piece of furniture with damaged veneer can be bought very cheaply. Your restored dresser turned out great.

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  13. I had no idea you could do this! I sometimes find great pieces at thrift stores or yard sales, but don't really know how to restore or transform them. This is definitely a keeper tip! Thanks for sharing. I'm pinning, and will be back when I bring home a piece I won't have to leave behind now! :)

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  14. Wow! I had no idea how to do that. I'm glad you showed us; I'm pinning for when I need to remove veneer...my wallet won't allow me to buy expensive furniture either ;-) Thanks for showing us your Creative Ways!
    Blessings,
    Nici

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  15. Who knew?! Good call on getting a cheap-o iron for the project! :) I think this turned out super great!

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  16. We have an antique Lane ceder chest that the top got wet on years ago and it is awful looking. I am sure it is now just valuable to us. Your "show and tell" has given me the nerve to try to remove top veneer and make it pretty again.. thanks

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  17. I've often looked at old furniture, wishing I knew how to make it beautiful again. This is a great tutorial!
    Thank you so much for sharing at this week's Super Saturday Afternoon Tea!!!

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  18. Evelyn, It turned out gorgeous! I never knew that you could remove the veneer and have such a beautiful piece. Repinning it.

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  19. Oh wow! If you knew how many tables and chests I have passed up because I didn't know this...uggghhh! I am so glad you shared this!

    If you have time I'd love for you to come join me and share this at the Table It Link party that just got started. If not, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and I loved your post!
    http://www.rustic-refined.com/2014/05/table-it-link-party-01.html

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  20. Wow! What a fabulous trick! I will have to give it a try..... :)
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

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  21. I have a dresser that the veneer is coming off the front of it... need to give this a try. Thanks. Pinning this.

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  22. Great make over, Love what you did :)

    Thanks for sharing over at Creative Mondays...

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  23. I didn't know. Thank you for sharing!

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  24. Evelyn, amazing! I had no idea and trust me, I've got some furniture around here that could definitely use some TLC. Love this! Thanks so much for sharing at Best of the Weekend and pinned! Hope you're having a great week and hugs!

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  25. Okay, this just gives me more reasons to pick up furniture with rippled veneer. :) My husband is going to thank you.... Linda

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  26. How clever! Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

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  27. Definitely a helpful tip! I think we have some old furniture that could use some work! Pinned!

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  28. I've never done any furniture makeovers, but you make it look pretty easy. =0)

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  29. What an awesome tip, Evelyn! I had no idea you could do that! Pinned this one! :)

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  30. That is a great tip. It will have me looking at furniture a little differently.

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Thank you so much for your sweet comments:)))