How to Repair Peeling Veneer on Particle Board Cabinets

Updated February 21, 2017

Particle board is less than ideal for cabinet construction but many of us are stuck with it due to budgetary constraints. How do we make the most of ageing particle board cabinets? Keeping the finish fresh by applying a new coat of paint or varnish every couple of years, not allowing handles or hinges to remain loose and keeping on top of repairs is the best plan. What do you do with veneer that has failed? There are several solutions that will help in most cases.

Use wood glue and masking tape for small sections of damage along the edges of cabinets, doors or drawers. Apply white carpenter's glue with a small brush or cotton swab to the particle board under the peeling veneer. Press the veneer firmly into place. Tape the pieces snugly down until the glue is dry.

Slice veneer bubbles with an x-acto or utility razor knife. Apply a small amount of glue into the affected area with a syringe, which can be purchased in most paint departments, and press the veneer flat. If possible lay the damaged piece flat and add weight to press it into place. On vertical surfaces that cannot be removed, a piece of wide masking tape can be used to hold down the veneer.

Use wood glue and clamp boards over the damaged area to keep the veneer flat in larger repairs. If pieces of the veneer are missing cut a new piece of veneer in the same grain pattern the size of the entire panel. Apply contact cement to the existing panel and to the back of the veneer. Follow manufacturer's instructions for wait time and carefully smooth the new piece on. A J roller or heavy rolling pin can be used to apply pressure to the veneer to press it into place.

Use a router with a flush cut bearing bit to trim the excess from flat edges. A serrated steak knife makes another great tool for cutting off the excess veneer. Avoid using razor knives to trim veneer. They cut inconsistently and can cause damage or injury

Allow contact cement to dry and sand edges. Apply matching stain and finish to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood glue
  • Masking tape
  • C clamps
  • X-acto or razor knife
  • Veneer
  • Contact adhesive
  • Router or steak knife
  • Paint syringe
  • J roller or heavy rolling pin
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About the Author

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.