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Veneer Answer Base

Veneering on Plywood

Veneering on Plywood



I am planning to apply veneer to a wall unit that is constructed of 3/4″ pine stock. The wood is very solid, and I don’t expect any problems. However, there are several areas that are 32″x 32″ of 1/4″ plywood. I cannot get to the back of the plywood. Will I have any problems applying 10 mil paper backed veneer over the plywood with contact cement?



There are things you didn't mention that present some red flags. It sounds like you are veneering over solid pine. The questions this raises are:

  • A) Is this finished or unfinished?
  • B) Are you planning to veneer both sides of this?
  • C) What method are you using to glue your veneer?

The next concern I have is I’m assuming the 1/4″ plywood is backing material in the back of the cabinet: You have to apply a great deal of pressure when using contact cement on veneer and you might end up pushing the back right out because these back panels aren't usually held in by anything more than a few small finish nails.

Also, we never suggest using 10 mil paperbacked veneer with contact cement.

We've brought up more questions than you originally had, but these are things that should be addressed or before you start your project. You can always call the tech support guys at Oakwood to answer these and any other questions you might have.

Oakwood Veneer Tech Support
Your source for veneering information

Follow-up by melfont:

Thanks for the response. The pine is finished with stain and polyurethane that is about 15 years old. I am planning to wash the surface with TSP prior to applying the veneer. I was planning to use contact cement for the 10 mil paper backed veneer and 2″ glue backed edge banding for the narrow surfaces. The 1/4″ plywood sections are on the font surface of the cabinet. What do you suggest I use to apply the veneer to this surface? I cannot get to the back of the panels.


Because of the fact that you are going to use contact cement you should at the very least use a 22 mil veneer. However also due to the fact that you have different materials along the same plane in the solid pine and plywood, they will expand and contract at different rates, which may cause other issues like getting a telegraphing line where they meet, as well as possible checking in the veneer if the movement is significant. I would use a phenolic back veneer for two reasons with this project, 1. This backer will in most cases prevent telegraphing. 2. Phenolic backed veneer is very stable and much less likely to exhibit checking from a less then perfect substrate.

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