How to laminate wood furniture

Written by linda stamberger | 13/05/2017
How to laminate wood furniture
Laminating wood protects it against water. (littleny/iStock/Getty Images)

Wood furniture can last a long time if it is sealed with a laminate. If the furniture is outdoors, the laminate should be waterproof, to protect the furniture from rain and snow. Laminate wood furniture goes well in children's playrooms, kitchens and anywhere else with spills and messes. Restored wood furniture pieces such as tables often undergo a lamination process, because it seals in the new top surface and protects the beauty of the wood.

Strip any old laminate off the wood furniture. Take a chemical agent such as a cement solvent, and in a well-ventilated area apply it to grain edges of the wood furniture where laminate is attached. Use a paint brush and protective gloves. Scrape away the old laminate. This process may work only on small pieces of furniture with thin layers of laminate.

Use a heat gun to remove old laminate on furniture with large surfaces. Hold the gun 15 cm (6 inches) away from the glued surface. Wait for the top layer of laminate to lift. Place a chisel or a putty knife under the lifted part and pry the laminate off. If the laminate doesn't come off in one sheet, pull it off in sections, using the hot gun in each new area until the laminate is completely removed.

Sand the surface with 220-grit sandpaper to rough up the grain. Use an electric sander if you like. The sanding will remove any leftover glue and enable the new laminate to stick. Measure the old laminate and bring the dimensions to the store where you'll buy the new laminate. Have the new laminate cut to size. Bend the new laminate into shape if the furniture is curved. Use a heat gun to bend it, being careful not to crack the laminate.

Apply contact cement to the furniture in preparation for the new laminate. Go over the furniture surface with a clean, dry paint brush to remove any leftover dust from sanding. Take a 3 mm (1/8 inch) notched trowel and smooth the cement in a thin layer evenly over the entire surface to be laminated.

Securely press the laminate onto the glued surface. Apply clamps along the edges of the wood furniture to lock the laminate into place, and allow it to dry overnight. Apply one or two coats of wood sealant in a clear colour to seal in the edges of the laminated furniture.

Things you need

  • Chemical stripping agent
  • Cement solvent
  • Paint brush
  • Heat gun
  • Chisel or putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Contact cement
  • Notched trowel
  • Clamps
  • Wood sealant

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