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Veneering Stairways

Oct 28th 2015


I just bought a new house and want the stairs to look 100% wood. At this point, each step is made of ash, but the riser is just painted white on an unknown type of wood. In all your products, what type of veneer should I get to give the riser the look I want? What about the side? Can I apply a veneer there too? Bruno


You have a couple of options here: You could use Bubble Free Veneer (BFV) or veneer with a phenolic backer and apply it with contact cement. The only real drawback you’re faced with is the messy application of the contact cement.

The other option, which might work out better, would be to use the PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) veneer. You already have the 3M adhesive on the veneer so the mess is minimalized.

Neither method requires any special tools or skills. The key to success is getting a good bond by making sure you apply enough pressure once the contact is made. The best way to do this is with a veneer hammer or a simple stiff scraper like what is described on Oakwood Veneer’s Helpful Hints Page in the User Tips section.

You can do risers and stringers all the same way, if you wish. Once the veneer is installed, it will need to be finished to your personal preference. This doesn’t have to be a difficult project and with a little time and patience anyone can do it. We wish you luck!

Follow-Up Questions:

How do I finish the joint between the riser and the stringer?
How thick is the PSA veneer?
Can I just order online or do you have retailer in Montreal that carries it?
If I don’t like how it looks, can it be remove?
Will the glue cause any problems if I have to remove it? Bruno


About the best you can do at the joint and the stringer intersection is a good tight butt joint. The veneer isn’t very thick, approximately 1/32″, so any visible edge is barely noticeable.

Anyone can order through our online shopping cart or directly from us by phone or mail. We don’t sell or distribute through retailers because we don’t feel our customers would get enough information to have good success with our products. The whole idea is to get this veneer securely bonded so it doesn’t come off easily. Removing it can be dificult, but it’s possible. If the veneer is removed you will no doubt have adhesive residue to clean up.

Oakwood Veneer Tech Support