How to apply self adhesive wood veneer

Written by cheryl torrie
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Applying self adhesive wood veneer is a great way to learn the art of veneers. You don't have to worry that you are applying too much or too little adhesive and ruining the veneer application. You don't have to squeeze out the excess adhesive and wonder how you are going to clean it up. Self adhesive wood veneers are easier to work with than wood on wood or paperbacked veneers and they still give you the look of solid wood for a fraction of the cost of solid wood when applied properly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Substrate (material to apply the veneer to)
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Clean cloth
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Polyurethane
  • Paintbrush
  • Utility knife
  • Stiff bladed scraping tool

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  1. 1

    Sand the substrate that you will be applying the self adhesive wood veneer to a with a sheet of 120-grit sandpaper.

  2. 2

    Remove the sanding dust by wiping the surface with a cloth that has been dampened with denatured alcohol. Allow the surface to dry for 30 minutes.

  3. 3

    Seal the substrate by applying one light coat of polyurethane to its surface with a paintbrush and allow it to dry for 24 hours.

  4. 4

    Cut the veneer to a 1/2-inch larger dimension than actual size of area you are covering with a utility knife.

  5. 5

    Remove the paper backing from the self adhesive veneer and centre it on the substrate. Apply pressure against the veneer, from the centre out, with a stiff bladed scraping tool.

  6. 6

    Trim the veneer with a sharp razor knife.

Tips and warnings

  • Finish the veneer like any hardwood. Sand it with a 120-grit sandpaper, then again with a 240-grit sandpaper. Clean the sanding dust with a damp cloth and then stain it and apply a clear finish.
  • Self adhesive veneers can be applied to plywood, real wood or any other porous substrate if it is prepared properly.
  • Check the manufacturer's warnings regarding room and veneer application temperature. Too cold or too hot can have negative effects on the adhesive.

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