How do I remove or fix veneer?


I have an antique cabinet that has decorative trim piece covered with a thin veneer. It has drawn moisture and is starting to peel off on one side.If not fixable, I would like to just strip off, since at this point in plan to paint or strip/stain.How do I loosen it to remove from the entire trim piece to leave a flat surface?Thanks!

  6 answers
  • Lynda Garrison Williams Lynda Garrison Williams on Nov 30, 2018

    I recently had to do this on an antique desk. I put a cloth over the piece and then held a hot iron on it for about 15 seconds at a time. If there is old adhesive on the veneer it might reactivate it but, in my case, it loosened it and I was able to remove the strip in one piece.

    • Queendork76 Queendork76 on Nov 30, 2018

      Thank you!

      I've read about clothing steamers, but wanted to know from experienced people.

      The piece has alot if sentimental value for me and I'm afraid I'll ruin it.

  • Natalie Natalie on Dec 04, 2018

    It would be best if we could see a picture of what you're talking about.

    If most of the veneer is loose, it can usually come off with a very thin putty knife, a straight edged utility knife that you can scrape with, and/or a small chisel, and some heat. If you live in a warm climate, leave it out in the warm sun to make the glue get soft. Otherwise I have used my hair dryer to warm up the metal on the tools, and then I was able to get between the wood and the wood veneer easier. Hope that helps some.

  • Fixing veneer is not that easy, you do need some skill. You can fill in missing veneer with wood filler if you are going to paint afterwards. I have removed veneer in past projects using a heat gun to softner the glue and then use a paint scraper to remover the leftover residue. Mine turned out great as a feature.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Dec 04, 2021

    Hi there, this tutorial will show you how to fix damaged veneer -

  • Dee Dee on Dec 04, 2021

    If you are going to paint the item, you can fix the veneer with wood filler or Bondo, sand down and paint. I have use a plastic scraper, the kind you use on automobile windows and a steam iron to remove veneer, and I have also just used a sander and sanded the veneer off. The easy fix for painting is the wood filler option.