How to Glue Veneer on Plywood

Written by cheryl torrie
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Veneer, a very thin cut of quality wood, glued to plywood can help make a nice looking finished piece for a low cost. Plywood, which is actually constructed of thin sheets (plies) glued together, is available in various grades and woods at a lower cost than a solid sheet of wood like cherry, maple or ash. Using the plywood as a core panel and a high grade veneer as a top surface can help you create a quality, long lasting wood working project.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Resin emulsion veneer sizing agent
  • Paint tray
  • Paint roller
  • Plywood
  • Kraft paper
  • Press roller
  • Fast setting PVA wood adhesive
  • Wood clamps

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  1. 1

    Apply a moisture retardant and penetration barrier to the plywood to smooth the finish and allow the veneer adhere properly. Pour the resin emulsion veneer sizing agent in a small paint tray and roll an even, light coat on the plywood with a paint roller. Coat the entire sheet of plywood including the end grain edges.

  2. 2

    Let the sizing dry on the plywood for 24 hours.

  3. 3

    Cover the plywood with Kraft paper and press the entire surface with steady pressure, using a press roller, to smooth the resin and remove any air.

  4. 4

    Remove the Kraft paper and apply a thin, consistent coat of fast setting polyvinyl acetate (PVA) medium-viscosity wood adhesive on the plywood with a small roller.

  5. 5

    Line up and set the veneer on the plywood.

  6. 6

    Place Kraft paper on the veneer and press the air out by applying steady pressure with a roller press from the centre to the edges.

  7. 7

    Add an equal sized piece of dry plywood to the top of the Kraft paper to weight the veneer and seal the air out.

  8. 8

    Clamp the plywood, veneer, Kraft paper and weight plywood assembly every 4 or 5 inches, with wood clamps placed around the edges, from the centre out, to force any remaining air and excess glue out as the glue dries.

  9. 9

    Wait 48 hours before removing the clamps, weight and paper.

Tips and warnings

  • Edging veneers can be applied with contact cement to avoid weighting.
  • Pressure sensitive veneers do not require the application of adhesive.

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