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


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!
To see more creative ways to tackle repurposing projects - visit us at http://www.facebook.com/gypsybarn
Before I came up with the simple solution - I was one of those people chipping away and cussing out loud! This way takes forever! you get slivers, its a MESS!
Laying the towel down.it Was a very thick towel and dripping wet when I put it on the pieces
one or two test runs in the morning reveals - very little muscle power at all and it was peeling right off!
Slicing through that crud like a hot knife through butter!
Here is the piece that I finished using this technique
Here is another piece I finished using the same technique

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Betty Ann
    on Nov 27, 2015

    Did you replace the veneer or just refinish the top? Thanks for posting.

  • Kelly Severson
    on Jun 10, 2016

    Silly question. But i have a floor steamer that i put vinager and water in. It gets hot and was wondering if that would work. Any advice? By the way your photos motivate me. So beautiful

Join the conversation

2 of 101 comments
  • JerichosDad
    on Oct 10, 2016

    I accidentally removed veneer with stripper. I left in on too long and it softened the glue under the veneer and it practically slid off.

  • Lorraine
    on Oct 31, 2016

    I have 2 dressers that I was just going to toss out....think I'll make them a winter project now....thank you

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