Tips for Working with Wood Veneer

Information Courtesy of Edgemate, Inc.

Proper Handling and Storage

Veneer Application - Tips of the Trade

Contact Adhesive Problem Solving Guide

Veneer Application Instructions



Proper Handling and Storage of Veneer

Surface Preparation

Veneer Application - Tips of the Trade

  1. Veneers should be applied with a vacuum, cold or hot press, using yellow or white glue.  Be sure to use white glue with a low filler content because some may not work with these types of products.  If a press is not available, use a contact cement with a high level of solids.  No matter what method is used, make sure to follow the adhesive manufacturer's instructions. 

  2. Water base finishes are not recommended for finishing veneer

  3. Veneers are not intended for structural use.  Veneers must be bonded to a substrate of reliable quality.  MDF is recommended above others followed by particle board and then plywood. 

  4. Quality Plywood and its suppliers do not recommend direct application to drywall, plaster walls, concrete walls or cardboard substrates, as delamination may occur. 

  5. It is important that when the veneer is laid out for preparation for laminating that it be completely covered in plastic at all times.

  6. Wood veneers rely 100% on the adhesive for bonding strength.  Both the veneer back and the substrate require 100% adhesive coverage.  In most situations, a second coat is needed on the substrate because the first coat may be partially absorbed into the substrate. 

  7. Make sure to allow the proper drying time between adhesive coats.  Normally there is a generous window of time.  Glues should be completely dry before applying veneer. Anything less creates the risk of a weak bond between the two glue lines.  Rushing can lead to solvent pockets appearing as bubbles.

  8. When using contact cement, a pinch roller is recommended for pressing veneer to the substrate.  A flexible wood scraper tool  may be used when a pinch roller is not available. 

  9. After laminating of veneers, the adhesive should be allowed to dry for 24 hours before applying any finish products.  Apply finish in light even coats.  Allow 24 hours drying time between stain and sealer coats. 




Contact Adhesive Problem Solving Guide

If the following occurs What to look for Possible solutions
1. Edge lifting from substrate a. Insufficient adhesive coverage

b. insufficient dry time

c. not enough pressure when applying

a. apply more adhesive to veneer and substrate

b. increase drying time for adhesion

c. apply more pressure

2. Bubbles in the Veneer a. trapped solvent

b. edges bonded first

c. uneven adhesive coverage

d. uneven pressure

e. ineffective glue

a. increase dry time

b. apply pressure from center outwards

c. review application procedure NOTE: spraying is the best method, rolling is good, brushing is OK.

d. review pressure procedure

e. use glue with more solids

3. Adhesive failure on both substrates a. insufficient pressure

b. insufficient adhesive

c. contamination of adhesive surface

d. wrong substrate

a. increase pressure

b. go over surface with an iron at about 200-225 degrees

c. keep work area clean NOTE: MDF board is recommended over particle board and particle board is recommended over plywood

d. do not apply veneer over substrate with laminate on

4. Weak or no contact bond a. exceeded life of contact bond

b. trapped solvent

c. adhesive surface has been contaminated by moisture

a. check to see if glue is old

b. increase drying time

c. check spray equipment for moisture in line and increase dry temperature during high humidity

5. Adhesive releases from one substrate a. contamination of substrate surface

b. contact adhesive is not dry

a. clean substrate thoroughly

b. increase drying time

Before using any products in full-scale production, tests should be made to determine the acceptability of the product under existing conditions. All statements, technical information, and recommendations contained herein are based on tests we believe to be reliable. The accuracy or completeness is not guaranteed. All statements, technical information, and recommendations contained herein are not guaranteed.
All statements, technical information, and recommendations contained herein are not guaranteed. Veneer products are warranted to be free from defects in workmanship and material upon delivery. If, upon inspection, a defect is found, it must be reported within two (2) days of delivery date. The only obligation on manufacturer shall be to replace the quantity of product proved to be defective. Claims for damage or error in shipment will not be allowed aftertwo (2) days from receipt of products. The distributor or manufacturer is not responsible for poor application procedures or practices. This warranty shall not apply to product which has been subject to misuse, neglect or accident.



Veneer Application Instructions


Pressure Sensitive Backed Veneer Application Instructions

Step 1 -- Measure Application surface and cut veneer to 1/2" oversize with release liner in place

Step 2 -- Align sheet on surface and pull back about 2 inches of release liner. Make contact with surface and make certain alignment is correct. Slowly peel back release line while applying pressure on finish side of laminate. Firm, even constant pressure must be applied to eliminate all trapped air bubbles.

Step 3 -- Trim excess veneer.

Contact Cement Application Instructions

Step 1 -- Measure application surface and then cut veneer to 1/2" oversize. Follow contact cement manufacturer's instructions exactly. Only when these instructions have been followed exactly, should you continue to step 2.

Step 2 -- Align sheet on surface. Make contact with surface and make certain alignment is correct. Slowly apply pressure on finish side of laminate. Firm, even, constant pressure must be applied to eliminate all trapped air bubbles.

Step 3 -- Trim excess veneer.

Finishing Instructions

Due to the thickness of the veneer, it may require special care. A light coat of sealer should be applied to guard against moisture and to stop penetration of finish coats. The sealer coat should be allowed to dry completely before applying finish coats. If a sealer is not used, several coats of light finish should be used. The first coat should be allowed to dry completely.

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