Veneer: Gluing It, Painting It
Issue: Issue 343
Posted Date: 1/14/2014
Gluing Question from Woodworking.com
The original poster in this issue's first discussion had a question about veneer -- specifically, about gluing it. - Editor
"My dad has a project where he will be gluing, I believe, pieces of old veneer back on their original surface and using a piece of flat wood to clamp the pieces securely to the surface. The question I have is: what can be used or done to keep the glue bead that may squeeze out between the pieces of veneer from gluing the clamping wood to the veneer and ruining the whole project? My Dad heard a friend mention using wax paper between the glued veneer and the clamping piece, but when Dad tried using the wax paper in an experiment on two pieces of wood glued together, all it did was stick to the glue and tear. The wax paper did not help." - Ann
She received advice on a few different options, other than the wax paper. - Editor
"Use clear packing tape (the stuff that looks like Scotch® tape), and tape the edge of the clamping board, where it meets the veneer." - retr8flyr
"You can also use polyethylene (like Visqueen) or even Saran™ Wrap. A little paste wax on the packaging tape will add to the 'easy release.'" - Jerry M.
You can also learn about gluing veneer in this lesson on Woodworking.com (where blue masking tape is the suggested option). - Editor
Paint Over Veneer from Woodworking.com
This second discussion was also about veneer: this time, the focus is on painting it. - Editor
"I have a dresser that is finished in veneer. I want to paint over it. The veneer is a lighter color than what I'm going to paint. My thought was to lightly sand the veneer first just to rough it up a bit, then put two coats of oil base primer (KILZ®) on it, lightly sand, and paint with latex paint. Finish coat with varnish or shellac. Has anyone painted over veneer? Since I have not done this before, I have no idea how the finish will look." -raydawg
Other forum participants had some experience to share, and also chose to share some advice. - Editor
"I have, and found it no different than painting solid wood. You didn't ask, but I'd differ considerably on your schedule. Starting with the last thing: topcoating a soft finish (latex) with a hard finish (shellac) is usually a bad idea. The hard finish will crack whenever the soft undercoat gets flexed, like if someone hits it in a spot. Varnish isn't as hard as shellac, but if it's a polyurethane formula, it may develop adhesion problems and separate from the latex.
"But on to latex: if that's as in 'latex wall paint' as opposed to 'acrylic latex,' it's a bad idea for furniture. It has a property called 'blocking' (maybe that's why you wanted to top coat it?) which makes it stick to stuff that sits on it. Then when you lift it up, the paint can peel right up with the object. Lastly, the primer. Actually KILZ oil-based is a good one, and should work well. But if this is a previously finished piece, it may also have some surface contamination from silicone (furniture polish), and even the KILZ won't stick to it without having 'fish eyes.' A good cleaning with mineral spirits (again, if this is a previously finished piece), then primed with Zinnser B-I-N® will solve all those problems. The B-I-N is a shellac-based primer, dries very quickly, and adheres/seals any contaminants. Then simply top coat with a good acrylic latex paint. It will be plenty durable and not have the problems of a latex. Regardless of what you choose to do, I wish you the best with your effort. The acrylic latex paint is at least, or more, scratch-resistant than shellac. It's very hard, and scratches easily (of course, it's easy to repair as well). Varnish is more scratch-resistant than the acrylic, but even so is still a bad idea over the top of the paint." - Fred H.
"Sanding the veneer surface with light pressure gives excellent finishing on painting. But avoid sanding hard and use a tack cloth to remove dust particles periodically. Then paint a coat of primer and resand the surface to make the painting smooth and unblemished. Apply at least two coats of your chosen paint to the veneer surface, painting over the dried primer. Do also apply a few coats of varnish to your painted surface to seal and protect your paint job." - leenamark