If you are asking yourself “Can you stain wood veneer?” The answer is yes! Staining veneer furniture is a great alternative to paining veneer, and allows you to restore the beautiful wood. This is a step by step tutorial teaching you how to stain a veneer table top.
Have you made a plan to stain your furniture, only to realize its veneer?
You’re not alone. A common question I receive is can you stain wood veneer? Great news, most veneer is thick enough to stain.
In this project I will show you how to stain a veneer table top, dresser top or any other smooth veneer surface.
What is Veneer Furniture?
Veneer furniture is a thin layer of real wood. Veneer has been very popular in different eras, and some of my favorite furniture styles are often veneer.
Its actually an ancient art that dates all the way back to the Egyptian time period! You can read even more about veneer furniture, and why it’s used in woodworking here.
I picked up this Veneer buffet table, and I knew I wanted to stain the top.
This tutorial only works on real wood veneer. For information on staining fake wood laminate, read this post.
Heres what you’ll need:
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- Veneer furniture
- Furniture Stripper, I use Klean Strip
- Minwax Stain, Gel Stain for Repairs
- Sandpaper, 150 grit
- Stainable Wood Filler
- Wipe on Poly
- Putty Scraper
- Carpenters Glue for Repairs
Repairing Veneer Furniture
The downside to Veneer is it is damaged easier than solid wood. It can peel, crack or warp. If your veneer doesn’t need repair, move on to the next step!
My veneer had some lifting on the edges. I carefully applied carpenters glue underneath and put a weight on to hold it down.
Sometimes entire pieces of veneer come off. One option to repair it is to find a piece of matching veneer, cut it to size and glue it on. It’s challenging to find the right size and glue it perfectly. So unless you are restoring an antique, I recommend an easier method.
I fill the missing veneer with wood filler, let that dry and then sand smooth.
Removing the Finish
To start, apply furniture stripper to remove the finish. I use Klean Strip 15 minute Stripper.
After you let it sit, scrape off the stripper in the direction of the grain. This will be a lil messy!
If the finish is really thick, you may want to do another coat of stripper. Since the veneer is very thin, you want to sand as little as possible. The stripper is used for removing the finish and stain – the sanding is just to smooth the any scratches.
Using 150 grit sandpaper sand in the direction of the veneer grain. You want to be very careful not to sand through the veneer, so don’t sand over one spot for too long.
Apply the Stain
The process for applying stain is the same as staining any other wood. I apply the oil based stain in the direction of the grain with an old lint free rag or T-shirt.
Read the instructions on the can of your stain to see how long to leave it on. It’s usually only a few minutes because the stain is harder to remove once dried.
Remove the stain with another rag in the direction of the grain.
Staining the Wood Filler
If you had to add wood filler, it may have not stained properly. To darken it up and make it match the rest of the veneer, use Gel Stain in the closest color.
Paint on the Gel Stain with an artists brush. You may need to do a few coats because the wood filler likes to absorb the stain!
Sealing the Stain
After you stain the veneer, you want to protect it! I use Minwax Wipe on Poly with a lint free rag. Pour the stain onto the rag and wipe it on with the direction of the grain.
Heres the Stained Veneer Top all Finished!
Interested in Painting Veneer?
Check out this post where I paint the rest of this veneer buffet table in a fun, mustard color!
I hope this post answers your question can you stain wood veneer, and walks you through the process. Staining veneer furniture is so easy and it’s a great alternative to painting!
Here’s a little graphic to pin this for later!
How do you feel about veneer furniture? Do you snatch it up, or pass? Let me know below!