Restoring Antiques and Veneer Repairs DIY

This antique buffet/sideboard had seen better days. It was severely damaged from years of someone smoking and had veneer damage. I wanted to restore it and knew a few of my favorites could help.
I started by fully degreasing and scrubbing down with JR Watkins cleaners.
Then stripping with Soy Gel Stripper.
For the veneer damage I started by using wood glue to secure any loose pieces.
Then using wood putty, I filled the chips and missing pieces.
Once that was dry I grabbed the Three Trees set of colored stains by Unicorn SPiT. Using Rustic Reality first and layering on Squirrel to match the grain pattern and color.
Some spots I also used Midnight's Blackness as well.
You can see once I had layered the colors and went with the grain patterns, the patched veneer was like new.
I went over those areas first with Daddy Van's wax and then the entire buffet with about 3 coats.
Now it's all finished and there was no need to remove the veneer.
You can't even see the veneer repairs with Unicorn SPiT and a little patience.

Suggested materials:

  • Daddy Van's  (Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company)
  • Unicorn SPiT  (Renaissance Lady - Connie Hill)
  • UnicornSpit  (
See all materials

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Jen Burns

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 24 questions
  • Catherine
    on Jul 22, 2019

    I have nearly same piece. Did you have any white stains? I don't know made them. If so, how did you rectify?

  • Jjqq
    on Jan 8, 2020

    I can't find Soy Gel Stripper anywhere. Could you please provide the brand name or where to get it? I did try looking at blog for more info - but it wouldn't come up .


  • Lorraine
    on Aug 6, 2020

    I have an identical buffet that has been urethane on it. I was wondering if in stripping off the urethane finish, if you used any special tools on the routed areas and on the grooves in the legs. Also, did you sandpaper the whole thing before using the Unicorn Spit? What about removing the gel stripper?

Join the conversation

2 of 193 comments
  • Joanie
    on Apr 6, 2020

    Yay! She cleaned up my strong bones of grain wood and I LOOK beautiful......the old dragon that I am.......I LOVE IT!!!

  • Shelly Moore
    on Jun 19, 2020

    I have a vanity with beautiful veneer, great hints! Love to see nice wood sometimes. Painted pieces are nice too, but love seeing nice wood!

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