How to Strip Veneer - no fumes, no power tools, EASY!

furniture 05.13.15
So simple, so easy! I have been trying to tackle the messy job of chipping veneer off pieces to re finish them and what a pain in the hiney! I thought of an idea, and while I was testing the theory, I asked our lovely facebook followers their favorite method. Well, pretty much everyone said either using a wet towel and an iron ( which wrecks both the iron and towel) OR use a heat gun - (which would then have the fumes from the adhesive floating up in your face - or house and then requires use of masks and such) SO Here you go. Very easy - SOAK a towel so it is dripping wet in a mixture of half water and half vinegar. Place it on the veneer. Have a girls night out and let it soak over night. Make sure it is SOAKING wet. I even went back later and used a water bottle and just poured it right onto the towel to make sure it was soaked! Come back in the morning and use a putty knife or chisel and it will peel up like butter! #StrippingVeneer

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Difficulty: Easy
  • GR
    Having tried every method under the sun to strip veneer, I will definitely be giving this one a go! Thanks very much.
  • Denise
    Denise Las Vegas, NV
    I am so new to this so I hope this is not a dumb question. After the veneer is taken off do you put new on or do you just sand and paint the wood underneath. BTW it is beautiful. Thanks for the help.
    • Linda Buzard-Moffitt
      Linda Buzard-Moffitt Franklin, PA
      Ddpa I'm pretty sure they did not add new veneer but you could do either The piece I am going to try this on I will not be putting on new veneer I'll will just stain the wood underneath
  • Beth M
    Beth M Plymouth, IN
    Perfect timing on coming across this. I've read many posts on removing veneer, but they didn't sound all that great. I found a gorgeous headboard in someone's trash & all the ornate trim is in tact (odd, right?) but the veneer is all peeling away. Not
  • Jennifer Harvey
    Jennifer Harvey Bland, VA
    After removing the veneer, do you just paint, or do you put something else down in its place before paining?
  • Lucy
    Lucy Las Cruces, NM
    Super tip! I hate using chemicals. Now to find the
  • Sherrie
    Sherrie Nixa, MO
    I use a heat gun. It's the simplest method I have ever used.
  • Bonny Wikle
    Bonny Wikle Glennallen, AK
    Isn't it wonderful what vinegar can be used for? I waited till winter and let the veneer freeze and it pops off but this tidbit will have me ahead of schedule! THANKYOU!!!
  • Robynevans4463
    Hi, just wondering if this would work on a veneer curio cabinet? I would like to refinish it to give it an antique look. Could you please describe the steps that you would take if doing so. I am afraid I will ruin it. Thanks!
  • Terrie Goodson Henderson
    I've seen old pieces like this before and never thought I could do anything with them. So after you peel off the veneer what do you do then?
  • Sybil Glass-Costello
    Do then replace the veneer or sand and paint? I have a vanity dresser with veneer damage and would like to paint it when the veneer is repaired. If l can get it off, painting is a good option.
  • Kim Hermanson
    Kim Hermanson Story City, IA
    Thanks for this tip... I do use a heat gun even though I know it isn't a great idea. Love that just using vinegar & water & time can accomplish the same thing! Kim at Antiques Iowa
  • Patti
    Patti Loganville, GA
    So what is usually underneath the veneer? Plywood or something? I suppose that could be sanded and painted and you'd never know what it was, but I wonder how thin and durable the piece will be after removing the veneer? Any thoughts? Your project
  • Sharon Russell
    Sharon Russell Imperial, NE
    I bought a teeny little ( 10 ft) vintage camper out of a cornfield where it'd been sitting for years. Previous owners "doctored" the cattle out of it and had spilled veterinary meds and it dripped down the little drawers. Some of the veneer was damaged
  • Sharon Reynolds
    Sharon Reynolds Little Rock, AR
    I have done this and it works like a champ!!!! easy and stress free...
  • Beatrice Tangeman
    Beatrice Tangeman Leander, TX
    Interesting...I've always used wood filler in chipped areas and sanded them down before primer & paint.
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