Tips and Techniques for Veneering PSA Veneer

Here at Oakwood Veneer we offer 3M™ Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) as a backer option on all of our wood veneer.

Curious about how it works? Check out our video below. Have more questions? Call sales team at 248-720-0288.

Webisode #8: How-to Apply Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Application (PSA) to a Substrate


Surface Preparation

  1. Lightly scuff the existing finish on the surface using medium (120 grit) sandpaper. The goal is to clean and remove any defects, not to remove the finish completely.
  2. Remove all sanding dust and particles using a tack cloth or a clean cloth dampened with denatured alcohol or a suitable cleaning solvent. Ensure the surface is thoroughly clean and dry.
  3. If you're applying veneer over plywood, real wood, or any porous substrate, seal the surface with shellac, varnish, polyurethane, or any sealer of your choice. Allow 24 hours for the sealer to dry before continuing.

Applying Veneer

  1. Ensure the adhesive application temperature is within the range of 70°F (21°C) to 100°F (38°C). Do not apply if the surface temperature is below 50°F (10°C).
  2. Cut the veneer slightly larger than the actual size of the area you are covering. This will allow for easier placement without needing perfect alignment.
  3. Place the veneer on the surface, starting from the center, and apply pressure outwards to avoid trapping air pockets in the center.
  4. Use a stiff bladed scraping tool or a wooden scraping block to apply adequate pressure on the veneer. Bear down with as much pressure as possible and draw the scraper toward you in the direction of the grain.
  5. Repeat this pattern until you have covered every square inch of the veneer.

Trimming The Veneer

  1. Use a sharp razor knife or utility knife to trim the veneer to the finished size, cutting it back to the edge of the workpiece.
  2. Score your cut a few times before cutting through to prevent wood tearout, especially when cutting across the grain.
  3. After trimming the veneer, you may notice a sharp corner or edge. To smooth this edge, use a fine cabinet file held at a 45-degree angle and lightly run it along the edge. Alternatively, you can use fine-grit sandpaper to feather the edge lightly.

Finishing Veneer

  1. Start by sanding the veneer properly. Begin with medium-grit sandpaper and follow up with fine-grit sandpaper. You can use an electric sander if you're confident or do it by hand.
  2. After sanding, you have the option to stain the wood or apply a clear finish, just like you would with any hardwood.


Download our PSA Veneer Installation Guide 

If you are not using PSA veneer, nor contact cement or a press, a good choice might be installing via the iron-on method.