How to Bend Veneers


Veneers are thin sheets of fine wood applied in layers to the surface of another wood. The purpose of veneers is to cover an inferior wood with a superior wood, sometimes for a decorative effect and sometimes to protect the piece underneath. Depending on the piece you want to cover with veneer, you may need to bend the veneers to completely cover the piece of wood underneath. Before you bend the wood, you should go to the hardware store and pick out veneers that you like.

Things You'll Need

  • Heat source
  • Container
  • Hose
  • Box
  • Fittings
  • Clamps
  • Laminating glue
  • Saw
  • Buy molds and forms before you begin to bend veneers. The reason is that newly bent veneers must be put into a form or mold immediately after bending. This is the only way to get the bend or shape to stay. You can purchase a variety of forms and molds in a variety of sizes at any hardware store.

  • Acquire a steam box to steam bend veneers. The best steam boxes are constructed from wood. Connect a rubber hose to the circular opening on the container and the other end to a heat source. An ideal heat source to make steam is a tea kettle. You can purchase a steam box kit at any hardware store. The kit will come with the box and the rubber hose.

  • Fill the box with steam through the connecting hose. As the steam box heats up, allow the steam to cover the wood veneers. Slowly bend the veneers to the shape you want using your hands, and clamp them into place in the mold.

  • Bend laminated wood veneers using a form. Buy thin pieces of wood that will look good with your furniture. Spread glue on the pieces, and press two strips together. Wait three hours, and place the wood in the form. Then clamp the pieces in place. Trim the pieces of wood to the desired length using a saw.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves when working with heat and hot surfaces.
  • Be willing to experiment with bending wood veneers, varying the time and amount of heat to get the results you want.

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  • Photo Credit wood image by Marvin Gerste from
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