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Wood Veneer FAQ

Wood Veneers: FAQs

By Bob Morgan, Pres. Veneer Factory Outlet.com


Q. What is a wood veneer?

A. A wood veneer is a thinly sliced sheet of real wood from a wooden log. All of the veneers that Veneer Factory Outlet.com sells are real wood.


Q. Paper Backed Veneer. What is a paper backed veneer and how thick is it?

A. A paper backed veneer is a wood veneer that is permanently bonded to a tough paper back that adds strength and stability. The overall thickness is approximately 1/64”.


Q. 2 Ply Veneer What is a 2 Ply wood backed veneer and how thick is it?

A. A wood backed veneer (also called “2 ply veneer”) is a wood veneer that is permanently bonded to a wood veneer back. The wood back adds more strength, thickness and stability than a paper back. The overall thickness is approximately 3/64”.


Q. PSA veneer.  What is a peel and stick veneer?

A. A Peel and stick veneer is a paper backed veneer or a wood backed veneer that comes with a self stick adhesive.


Q. I’m a beginner. Can an inexperienced novice do a good veneering job?

A. Absolutely! Most of our customers have no veneering experience whatsoever. We’ve been in business since 1974, supplying wood veneers to people just like you. In the old days, people purchased “raw” veneers from us, straight off of the log, and joined them into larger sheets themselves. But it is so much easier today!


Nowadays we do all of the hard work for you. We join the veneers into standard size sheets. Then we run the veneer sheets through our finishing sander. These factory joined and factory sanded veneer sheets make it real easy for you to do a professional veneering job in your home.  Veneering is fun and easy. And it is rewarding!   If you’re smarter than the average bear, you can turn out a beautifully veneered project quickly and easily!


Imagine how proud you will be when you show off your newly veneered treasure to your friends and family. They will be amazed and you will be the star!


You can turn a beat up piece of furniture into a museum piece in an afternoon! What are you waiting for?!! Get started today.


Q. Thickness of Wood Veneers:  What sizes and thicknesses do wood veneers come in?

A. Our wood veneers come in several sizes ranging from 2’ x 2’ up to 4’ x 8’, with some sizes up to 5’ x 12’ or even larger.   Our paper backed veneers are about 1/64” thick. Our wood backed veneers are about 3/64” thick.


Q. How are wood veneer sheets shipped?

A. We roll them up and ship them in a box.


Q. Which is better, the paper backed veneers or the wood backed veneers?

A. Our customers like both types.  Sometimes, such as for curved surfaces, the paper backed veneer would be the best choice.  Sometimes, such as for areas that get a lot of wear and tear or for uneven surfaces, the wood backed veneer would be the best choice.  Overall, we think that the wood backed veneers are the best.


Q. When should I use a paper backed veneer vs. a wood backed veneer?

A. Our customers have successfully used our paper backed veneers on all kinds of projects since 1974.   The paper backed veneers are more flexible than the wood backed veneers. The paper backed veneers are more suited for curved surfaces than the wood backed veneers.     However, the wood backed veneers are sturdier and thicker. We think that the wood backed veneers are a little easier to apply. They lay flat and the extra thickness adds an extra margin of reliability. The wood backed veneers also help to reduce the telegraphing from uneven contact cement or uneven surfaces.   You will get good results with the paper backed veneers or the wood backed veneers, but we like the wood backed veneers the best.


Q. Gluing wood veneers:  What are the most common ways to glue a wood veneer down?

A. The 3 most common methods are: Woodworker’s glue (such as Titebond 2) and clamps, contact cement, peel and stick adhesive backed veneers.   Most people use contact cement or the peel and stick veneers.  Check out our written tutorials and our videos on gluing methods.


Q. Gluing wood veneer with contact cement. What kind of contact cement should I use to glue wood veneers with and where can I purchase it?

A. Get the best quality of solvent based (not water based) contact cement that you can find. Check your hardware store or home center for availability. Follow the directions on the can. Be sure to work in a well ventilated area and where there is no fire hazard. You can apply the contact cement with a brush, a roller, or a wide blade putty knife. Some contact cements come in a spray can. We think that the old fashioned, hand applied contact cement is the best. Two of the best brands are Better Bond Titan Dx and Dural. These may be hard to find! Just get the best contact cement that you can find.


Q. PSA Veneer.  Using PSA Peel And Stick Veneers: How do I use a PSA peel and stick veneer?

A. Simple! Just peel off the release paper and stick the veneer down to a clean surface that has 2 or more coats of paint or varnish applied to it. Apply pressure to the surface using a blunt piece of wood or a wallpaper seam roller to help the adhesive bond tightly.  For more information on the peel and stick veneers, check out our video on using peel and stick veneers and check out our written tutorial on gluing methods.


Q. What is better, peel and stick adhesive or contact cement?

A. We think that the peel and stick veneers are superior. Peel and stick veneers lay down flat, whereas it is more difficult to apply the contact cement evenly.   The peel and stick veneers are fast, easy, and simple to use. We use only the best 3M peel and stick adhesive on our peel and stick veneers. It is resistant to solvents and there is no mess, no fumes, and no cleanup.   Our customers have used the peel and stick veneers since 1974 and we get almost no complaints.



Q. How do I cut wood veneer?

A. The wood backed veneers and the paper backed veneers can be cut with a scissors or a razor knife.


Q. How do I fit the veneer perfectly to the surface that I’m veneering?

A. For most surfaces, cut the veneer a half inch larger than the area to be veneered. Glue the veneer down. Then trim off the excess with a razor knife. Chamfer the edges with sandpaper if necessary.



Q. Wood Veneer Grain Direction.  Which direction does the grain run on a sheet of wood veneer?

A. The grain always runs in the direction of the second dimension. The grain runs the 8’ way on a 2’ x 8’ sheet of veneer. The grain runs the 4’ way on an 8’ x 4’ sheet of veneer.


Q. What do the terms “f/c”, “q/c”, and “rift” mean?

A. These terms describe the method that was used to slice the veneer from the log. f/c is the most common slicing method and it produces cathedral grains and moving grains. q/c and rift slicing methods produce parallel, straight lined, striped grains.  Check out our written tutorial and our video tutorial on this.


Q. What does “figured” mean?

A. “Figured” means that the wood surface exhibits a shimmering effect, as if the light dances and glows from the surface of the wood. The figure usually goes at an angle to the wood grain itself.


Q. What is “tiger oak” veneer and what does “flake” mean?

A. Tiger oak veneer (sometimes called “q/c tiger oak veneer”) is an oak veneer that exhibits a “flake” pattern. The flake pattern is caused by the medullary rays of the tree. The medullary rays are revealed when the log is sliced in a certain way. The tiger oak flake patterns show up in various degrees of prominence, ranging from small flecks to large, heavy bands and flakes. This characteristic is more apparent on old growth timber and large diameter logs. Tiger oak was used extensively in the early 1900’s but is less available today due to the availability of old growth and large diameter logs.


Q. Finishing wood veneer.  How do I apply a finish to a wood veneer?

A. You can stain and finish a wood veneer the same way that you would stain and finish any wooden surface. All of the veneers that Veneer Factory Outlet.com sells are real wood.  Check out our videos and written turorials on finishing and staining methods.


Q. Sanding wood veneer sheets. Should I sand the veneer before I apply a finish?

A. Our paper backed veneers and wood backed veneers are pre sanded at our factory. Further sanding is usually not necessary. However, if sanding is necessary, you may do so. It is surprising how much you can sand the veneer, but be careful not to sand through!


Q. Should I apply veneer to both sides of a substrate?

A. We recommend that you apply veneer to both sides of your work. If you apply veneer to only one side of a substrate, stresses can be induced that might cause movement or warping of the work piece. Some of our customers break this rule and get away with it, but not always. Applying veneer to one side of a table top that is fastened down is one thing. Applying veneer to one side of a cabinet door is a whole different matter. You can use a less expensive veneer on surfaces that don’t show.


Q. Re veneering old surfaces.  Can I apply a new veneer to a surface that already has veneer on it?

A. Yes, if the old veneer is still viable and is still adhered to the substrate.


Q. Removing wood veneer.  How do I remove old or damaged veneer?

A. Use a wet towel and an iron. Apply heat to the old veneer through the towel using the iron. Use a putty knife to get underneath the veneer to help loosen it.


Q. Should I repair holes and gouges in a surface before I veneer it?

A. Yes. Use Bondo (available at automotive parts centers) to fill the damaged areas.   Sand the repaired area smooth before applying the veneer.


Q. What complaints do you get from your customers?

A. Almost none. We get maybe 1 complaint a year and it is usually related to something that the customer is doing wrong. Always work with clean, dust free surfaces. When using contact cement, you must use 2 coats on each surface, not just one coat. Pay attention to the outer surfaces of the veneered area. Be sure to get good bonding and enough glue/contact cement on the outer surfaces. If you use contact cement with a paper backed veneer, and you apply a lacquer (especially if sprayed) or a solvent based oil finish, be careful not to apply the finish too heavily. (Our customers break this rule all the time and get away with it. But we don’t recommend it.)   Note: This applies to the paper backed veneers, not the wood backed veneers.


Q. Do you guarantee your wood veneers?

A. Check our guarantee here.



Q. What’s the easiest way to check the prices, sizes, and availability of the wood veneers that are offered by Veneer Factory Outlet.com?

A. Go to our home page and use the “choose an option” software described below.  You don’t have to actually place an order to get the answers to your questions. You can vary the size, type, species, paper backed, wood backed, peel and stick options and the price will be automatically updated on the screen.



Q. Buy wood veneer.  How do I order my wood veneer from the Veneer Factory Outlet.com?

A. Easy!   Go to the home page and click on the photograph of the species you want.   Our “chose an option” order entry software will walk you through the process in 3 easy steps. Just click the “choose an option”  button to get started. The software guides you as you go.


There is no risk. You can start your order and see how it goes. You pay nothing and you commit to nothing until you click the final button to actually place your order. You are in control. You can abandon your order at any time. The ordering process is easy and the “choose an option” software makes it painless.


Don’t hesitate. Don’t wait one more minute!  Get going on your veneering project right now. We have been supplying wood veneers to beginners, novices, hobbyists, woodworkers, cabinetmakers, furniture factories, restorers, and people just like you since 1974. Our wood veneers have been featured in magazines, press releases, governors’ mansions, Broadway theaters, museums and oil sheik’s airplanes. We value our reputation and we guarantee our wood veneers. If you don’t like what you get, send it back within 15 days in the same condition as received for a replacement or a refund. Shipping and handling are not covered by this guarantee.


Q. How soon will my order be shipped?

A. Most of the popular veneers are shipped within 1 or 2 work days. The exotic species may take several days to ship. The peel and stick option may add 2 days in some cases. Ordering veneer is easy. Our “choose an option” ordering system is designed to walk you through the process step by step.



Bob Morgan, Pres.

Veneer Factory Outlet.com