How to Repair Veneer Cabinets


Veneer is one of the most common wood products on the market because it's easy to manufacture and low-cost for consumers. Veneer, though, is easily damaged by heat, water and extreme changes in temperature. If you have a veneer cabinet with visible damage but do not want to get rid of it, consider repairing it instead. In most cases, you can make the fix with a little wood glue and other household tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Razor blade
  • Putty knife
  • Wood glue
  • Veneer piece
  • Towel
  • Iron
  • Sandpaper
  • Cardboard

Loose Veneer

  • Place a towel over the loose piece of veneer and put a hot iron on top of the towel. Allow the iron to sit for 20 to 30 seconds to reactivate the veneer glue.

  • Apply wood glue if the veneer is still loose. Pull up the loose piece slightly and put the glue between the veneer and the underlying wood.

  • Place a heavy object on top of the veneer and allow it to dry for six to eight hours.

Blistered or Buckled Veneer

  • Cut a narrow slit in the middle of the buckled area with a razor blade. Use a knife blade or the edge of the razor to gently raise one edge of the slit.

  • Squirt wood glue into the hole and allow the wood to fall back into place. Wipe away excess glue from the top of the veneer.

  • Place a heavy object on the veneer and let it dry for six to eight hours

Replacing Badly Damaged Veneer

  • Cut a piece of cardboard into a square that is slightly larger than the damaged area. Lay the cardboard on top of the damaged area and cut around it into the veneer using a razor blade.

  • Slide a putty knife under the damaged veneer section to pop it off the counter.

  • Sand down the section of the counter that was under the veneer to remove as much of the old glue as possible.

  • Use the cardboard square as a template to cut a section of new veneer, which you can find at a home improvement store. Put the new piece on the cabinet and trim with a razor until it fits perfectly.

  • Apply wood glue to the bottom of the new veneer and press it into place. Wipe away excess glue and place a heavy object on top of the veneer as the glue dries.

Tips & Warnings

  • When replacing a section of veneer, always cut with the grain so that the cut lines will not be as visible once applied to the cabinet.

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