Asked on Jun 03, 2016

Best way to clean, strip, and preserve veneer wood

by Maggie
I have three large Waterfall dressers given to my kids and they are just stunning. However, I want to fix some chipped places, clean them up and possibly strip them.
Would like to know best products to use since it's veneer. And any advice from folks who have experience with stripping veneer.
Front of dresser and handle
Tall dresser
Top of tall dresser
  10 answers
  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Jun 03, 2016
    You can strip veneer the same as solid wood, however be careful you may lose some of your wood detail (grain pattern) can actually be lost when stripping. I do not know what is called, some type of laminate patter?? Sorry that's my best description I lost some detail on a painted bed,,I had no idea what was under the be careful if you do strip. Yours may not be that way, but the strip between the upper and lower drawers makes me think that it is. Others will no better than me. But your pieces look so good I would try using ta Formby's product that will bring back the life to finish and color in any nicks and scratches. I am sorry I do not know the specific product may be the re finisher, But I am not sure, I have a shop full of it and can not think of the name.
    • Maggie Maggie on Jun 04, 2016
      Thank You Lagree Wyndham I may refrain from using a stripping agent and just go for a good cleaning. Thanks for the advice!
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 03, 2016
    If you want a non-toxic stripper I would use Citristrip found atHome Improvement stores. It is safe for an indoor environment.
  • Sarah Sarah on Jun 04, 2016
    I used a liquid sand paper (forget the name) from Home Depot. It was gentle enough to remove the shine so I could refinish.
    • See 2 previous
    • Maggie Maggie on Jun 05, 2016
      Thanks, it sounds like the product you're recommending is the way to go. Appreciate your reply as the last thing I want is to ruin these pieces!
  • Franny Monaghan Lathe Franny Monaghan Lathe on Jun 05, 2016
    I agree with the Homer Formby's . I have used it a lot . At my local Lowes it was $15.00 a can. I buy more than I think I would need so I don't run out mid work. I used 4 cans on a shelf set. If the piece as dried up varnish on it like the vanity I redid you may be able to get away with just lightly sanding it . but nothing rougher than 120 grit. You could find a small spot and try sanding it. If the finish comes off easy and is real powdery you may be able t tackle it that way . Take your time .
  • Tricia Jackson Jones Tricia Jackson Jones on Jun 06, 2016
    I have used Formby's as did Franny. Loved it and it did not damage the veneer. It just took off the darker bits of stain and varnish. Would not use anything else.
  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Mar 17, 2021

    Hi Maggie, this video will show you how to strip veneer - yes you can. This video tutorial will show you how -

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Apr 18, 2021

    There are lots of veneer projects here that may be able to help: Home and Garden DIY Ideas | Hometalk

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on May 15, 2021

    Your pieces are not in that bad of shape, considering they’re 100 years old.

    I would not go through the mess and potential risk of stripping them.

    I would buy both a bottle of Old English Light Scratch Cover and a bottle of Dark Scratch Cover. It has a conditioner in it too.

    Start with the Light and see how it’s working. Then go back with the dark In selected areas, if need be.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 08, 2021


    You could burnish the pieces and then re- finish.