Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Dresser Fix-up: Veneer Removal Tutorial

Meet my newest addition to the furniture family I have been collecting and reviving. This particular piece has a beautiful structure but is crying for a little cosmetic beauty and a few fix ups. 

In this post I will take you along as I begin transforming this oak serpentine dresser into that stunning lady no one can take their eyes off of. Get ready for a little lesson on.............. 
“Veneer Removal”!

Oh doesn't that just sound exciting!!!!! I'm a nerd for this stuff.

After picking this up I was unaware of the damage to the veneer on the top of this dresser. It was cracking, chipping and bubbling all over the place. A severe case of furniture acne….. Oh did I just write that! Anyway I had no choice but to take it off.

Here was my list of supplies for this DIY Mom's "Veneer Removal Project":

  • A Metal Kitchen Spatula
  • A Chisel
  • A Wet Rag
  • An Iron
  • A Vacuum
  • 4 Little Kids *** (optional)  

I was reading somewhere along my research to use a hot iron and a wet rag to steam the top of veneer you are trying to remove. Essentially it is supposed to water damage the wood making it soft and pliable. I tried it a couple of times but it didn't pan out like I thought it would.

So I set aside the iron to cool off and picked up the handy chisel my husband used all winter to carve with and put it to some good use.

With a very slight angle I worked the chisel edge under the first layer of veneer careful not to gouge the wood underneath. With a gentle force I would work it in and pry the veneer up a little at a time. 

Pictured  below I am prying the first layer up. It is important that you DON'T work your chisel in at the angle pictured below to avoid chunks and nicks taken out of the bottom layers. You never know if it will be good wood to just sand and  stain over.

I  tried to work up a good size chunk and peel it off all at once. The wood was so dry and damaged from water that it came up really pretty easy. I used the kitchen spatula once I got a separation between the first layer of veneer and wood underneath to  pry up a big piece. Don't worry I'll wash it before I serve company brownies. He He!

Once I removed most of the first layer you can see that there was another layer underneath laying the opposite direction as the  veneer. There are usually two pieces to veneer to help with the laying process. 

If you look close just below the iron there is a hole in the second layer. I cut out that piece of bubbled wood hoping I could just patch it with wood filler and put a new veneer top on. But I saw some beautiful wood under it so I chiseled away at the next layer too.

This round I was super careful not to gouge the pretty wood underneath.

It was actually really fun taking it all off! 

Here you can see the second layer being taken off. Note the knot hole in the wood. 
I'll let you know how to take care of that problem.

There were fibers everywhere from the second layer. This is where the vacuum came into play.

I ran the chisel over the wood fibers and loosened them to make the surface as smooth as possible before sanding.

This is half of the top without the two layers of wood veneer. Besides that water spot I am liking the wood grain but we will have a better idea after it has been sanded.

Now I need my Man's muscles home to take it outside to sand. Stay tuned for the rest of this makeover there is a lot more to do.  
I finished a quick project the other day with this black lantern I had stored with my trade out decorations. Watch to see how I gave it a quick makeover to brighten it up with an aged look.

P.S. I have been featured on Start At Home! Go to her blog and take a look!!!

Hoping you the best with your projects at home. YOU CAN DO IT!


1 comment: