Veneer Handling and Finishing

Like any serious building material, wood veneer not only requires specific steps for installing, as shown in our extensive "Installation" section, it also requires specific actions to be taken before and after the actual installing takes place. The "before" steps involve handling, which includes storage, acclimation, sanding, and trimming, while the "after" steps include finishing, staining and dyeing.

For example, although veneer is generally shipped rolled into a box, it is important to unroll it and let it sit in the same environment where it will remain after installation. This helps to ensure that sudden changes in humidity don't lead to fast contractions or expansions that could result in cracking. More information is available on the acclimation page.

Sanding is another question that comes to us often. Our veneer is production sanded only to remove handling and production marks.  That being said before staining and finishing, for best results a final sanding with 220 grit is necessary.

Trimming veneer is generally an easy process, as a simple utility knife can get the job done. However there are certain points to take note concerning which directions to make the cuts, cutting for veneers with varying backers, and cutting with tools other than a utility knife.

Finally, finishing, staining, and dyeing veneer are each complex topics that require much care to be taken in order to perform the best possible job. 


When finishing veneer with two-part catalyzed finishes, be careful not to make  your finish too thick. Some finishes will crack or check when they are more than  4 mils thick. Check with your finish manufacturer. Vinyl sanding sealer is a good  choice when sealing your furniture, as it has excellent moisture and vapor  resistance.  


Check finish instructions to make sure that you have the proper time and  temperature for your veneer to dry. (Example: catalyst finish should dry at  68-75-degrees for six to eight hours.) It may be a good idea to take a short  course on stains and finishes. Some companies offer these courses for little or no  money. They can be most helpful. M.L. Campbell is one such company. 


Water-born stains and finishes are not recommended for finishing veneer unless  you seal the veneer with a vinyl or acrylic sanding sealer first.  

Finally, finishing, staining, and dyeing veneer are each complex topics that  require much care to be taken to perform the best possible job.