Use a Stiff Scraper
It's absolutely critical to use maximum pressure when smoothing out the veneer.
Do not use a "J" roller to smooth out flexible veneer. Instead, use a scrap piece of wood approximately 12" long and 6" wide as a veneer scraper. Lightly sand the 6" edge to take the sharpness away and create a slight radius, the smaller the radius the better as it will produce the greatest pressure. A 1/16" radius will produce 4 time more pressure than a 1/4" radius. Holding the scraper with both hands and using it like a wooden squeegee smooth out the veneer from the center outward to the edges.
Have an Iron Ready
A warm iron (set between wool and cotton) may reactivate the cement and put “bubbles” down tight if enough contact cement was applied in the first place. If cement is too scant, the bubble will pop back up.
When you put the iron on the veneer, be sure to use a piece of grocery bag-type Kraft paper under it to keep the veneer face clean.
Keep the iron in motion. If veneer should come loose under heat then reheat and scrape hard until the area cools down again.
Shine on It!
Shine a light cross the wood grain and quickly deal with any imperfections you see. Be satisfied all is okay before proceeding with finishing steps.
Stick to It!
When applying contact adhesive remember that MDF and plywood require different techniques. With MDF, one coat on the substrate and one coat on the veneer back is all that is required. However, on plywood, you must apply two coats to the plywood because plywood is much more porous and that will dramatically influence the glue line. What is necessary is to apply one thin coat and let it dry completely, then apply a second coat and that becomes your "tack coat". One coat is all that is necessary on the veneer. For more information, don't forget to check out our Wood Veneer Frequently Asked Questions page.