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Veneer Answer Base

Veneering over Raw Veneer

Veneering over Raw Veneer



I have unfinished veneer on the side of a dresser and want to put new birch veneer over it. What would be the best method of applying the new veneer given that it is going over unfinished veneer: hot melt, peel and stick, or the paper-backed with which you have to use contact cement? We don’t have any complex tools, so the simplest method would work well for us. Thank you!


There are two methods that will work for you:

The peel and stick can be used easily but it is suggested that, on raw wood or wood veneer substrates, you seal the surface first with varnish, shellac or some type of poly.

The other option is to use Bubble Free Veneer and contact cement. Again, this method is quite simple and straight forward. The key to success with this method is getting adequate pressure on the veneer when smoothing it down. You can’t get enough pressure with a j-roller. We suggest using a veneer scraper or block which can be fashioned from a piece of regular 1″x4″ lumber. You can find more in depth applications on our web site. I hope this gets you started in the right direction.

Follow-Up Question:

Thank you very much for the response. So the hot melt would not work in our situation, correct? If I use the PSA (peel & stick), would Zinsser SealCoat be an adequate product to apply to the existing veneer to create the sealed surface? Thanks again.

Oh, just to mention, the Zinsser Seal Coat is a dewaxed shellac, sanding sealer. I don’t know if that will work to properly seal the unfinished veneer that I have in order to apply the new veneer over it. How long do I need to let the sealer dry (whether the Seal Coat or some other product) before applying the PSA veneer? We live in FL where it’s in the high 80′s now and high humidity. Thanks again.


The sealer you mention is just fine for sealing the side of your dresser. If you decide to use this method and the pressure sensitive veneer, you should allow the sealer to dry for 24 hours before applying the veneer.

In my previous post I didn’t mention the hot iron method with standard wood glue or PVA glue. This is a good way for applying a 10 mil paperback veneer to a substrate and getting a superior glue line. I don’t know why I didn’t mention this before. It’s a great way to veneer smaller areas. To find out more about this method of veneering go to the User Tips section on our website.

Follow-Up Question:

Thanks for the information. We've decided to go with the PSA veneer. We have already applied the Zinsser SealCoat. Do we need to do any sanding to this before applying the new veneer?

Do we actually apply the adhesive; actually stick it down, before cutting? Or is it best to cut and get the size just right before applying the adhesive? We will be applying Zinsser SealCoat to the new veneer before we stain it in order to prevent blotching. What grit should we sand it with prior to applying the SealCoat? Thanks again.

Follow-Up to the Follow-Up Question:

We have decided to go with the PSA veneer and are getting ready to cut and apply it. Can the peel & stick veneer be applied with a laminate roller (rubber roller)? You had mentioned above “we suggest using a veneer scraper or block which can be fashioned from a piece of regular 1″x4″ lumber”, but I take it you were referring to the paper-backed veneer? If not, can you let me know how we would go about making this veneer scraper or block? We couldn’t find anything like that in the store so would have to make it ourselves if the rubber roller won’t work. Thanks again for your help.


The best method for applying pressure to a veneer surface is always with a stiff edge scraper or veneer block. You can find a detailed description of how to make a veneer scraper in the User Tips section of our website.

See “Tips for veneering with contact cement“ and “Special installation reminders.“ You will find a good tutorial on how to make an effective scraper.

Oakwood Veneer Tech Support