How to Glue Raw Wood Veneer

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood veneer refers to very thin slices of wood, often boiled or steamed before being cut from the log so that they don't split or crack when cut. Wood veneer provides a stable covering and allows more people to purchase rare types of wood. It's easier to use in highly ornamental and curved pieces. Raw wood veneer is one of the most common types of veneer, because it's the cheapest and comes in all grain patterns and species. There are various application methods; an efficient method of attaching veneer to the substrate is ironing it on.

Set a clothes iron on medium heat and run it gently across the surface of the raw wood veneer. This will allow the veneer to adjust to the heat and pre-shrink, minimising the odds that the veneer will crack or splinter later.

Sand the item to which you plan to attach the veneer with 100-grit sandpaper. This will open it up to absorb the glue. Dust the item thoroughly with a feather duster.

Dip a small foam glue roller into adhesive and roll it across the item being veneered. Apply two coats of glue.

Turn the sheets of raw wood veneer over and attach the edges to a work surface using painter's tape. Apply a single coat of glue to the underside of the veneer with the roller. Allow the glue to dry for 30 minutes.

Set your iron to high heat. Remove the painter's tape from the wood veneer and place the veneer on the surface you plan to attach it to. Place a heavy cotton shirt on the veneer and run the iron across it. The heat from the iron will activate the glue, forging a strong bond. Make sure you run the iron across the entire surface area of the veneer.

Press your fingers across the surface of the veneer once it has cooled, checking it for spots that may not have bonded properly. You can reapply the iron to those spots.

Things You'll Need

  • Clothes iron
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Feather duster
  • Small foam glue roller
  • Veneer glue with heat lock
  • Sheets of raw wood veneer
  • Heavy cotton shirt
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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."