How to Fix an Oak Veneer Table That Has a Chip


Oak is one of the most common hard woods used in the manufacture of wood veneers. An oak veneer is a thin layer of true oak hardwood that can be applied to wood or other substrate, or base material, to give the look of solid oak. Fixing veneers is typically a simple procedure. If the chip is more than ¼-inch across or in a clearly visible spot, you will need to purchase a piece of oak veneer with similar coloring and grain.

Things You'll Need

  • Solvent-based wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Paint brush
  • Finish
  • Drawing paper
  • Utility knife
  • Oak veneer
  • Wood glue
  • Wax paper
  • C clamp

Repairing Small Chips

  • Fill chips that are less than ¼-inch across with a professional-grade solvent-based wood filler in an appropriate oak color. These solvent-based fillers dry faster and harder than traditional water-based wood filling products. They are also designed to absorb stain much the same as wood grain for a more even finish.

  • Mix a small amount of filler thoroughly with a flexible metal putty knife to mix in any solvent that may have risen to the surface. Apply enough filler, using the putty knife, to fill the chip in the table. Smooth the filler off with the putty knife level with the surface of the veneer. Allow the filler to dry for one hour before continuing to complete the repair.

  • Gently sand the filler down with 220-grit sandpaper by hand, limiting your sanding to the area of the chip as much as possible. Brush on a coat of oak-colored stain with a small artist's brush, and allow it to dry according to the label recommendations.

  • Add a coat of clear finish in the same gloss level as the table. Finishes are available in a variety of glosses from matte to high gloss. Allow the finish to dry completely before returning the table to normal use.

Repairing Large Chips

  • Draw a diamond a little larger than the chip on a sheet of paper. Cut out a square around the diamond and tape it to the table with the diamond covering the chipped area. Cut along the edges of the diamond, through the paper and the table veneer, with a utility knife.

  • Lift the cut veneer with the chipped area out of the table veneer with a wood chisel. Use the paper diamond as a template to mark a diamond of the same size on the repair veneer. Set the veneer on a scrap of lumber, and cut the diamond shape out of it using the utility knife to create a patch .

  • Glue the patch into the diamond cut out of the table with wood glue. Place a piece of wax paper over the repair, cover that with a scrap of plywood, and clamp the plywood firmly to the table with a C clamp, or weight it down with heavy bricks. Allow it to dry overnight, and stain and finish as for wood filler repairs.

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  • Photo Credit wood texture image by Aleksey Bakaleev from
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