Gluing veneer on exterior door

Oct 28th 2015


I’m restoring a pair of exterior glass panel doors from a Manhattan brownstone. They’re about 100 years old and the veneer on the exposed side needs replacing. I don’t have a vacuum press and was going to use contact cement. If the doors are finished well will this suffice?

Is flammable contact cement more durable than the non flammable? Many thanks for any words of wisdom. Although a carpenter for many years, I’m new to veneering.


Applying veneer to an exterior door with contact cement isn’t adviseable. The nature of this flexible bond won’t withstand the constant change of conditions to which it will be exposed. The veneer will contract and expand on an ongoing basis which will stress the glue bond to the point of certain early failure.

The best glues for this application would be urea formaldehyde or a Type 2 PVA glue. In both cases, an application with either of these glues requires clamp pressure on all surfaces while the glue reaches initial cure. Sorry, but there are no shortcuts in this application. Anything less is doomed from the beginning.

Oakwood Veneer Tech Support