How To Repair Veneer Damage

If you know me, you know I hate removing veneer. There isn't a perfect solution and if it is really damaged you will end up having to paint it in order to save it at all. If you are lucky, you can glue it down. If you are a little less lucky, you only have to remove part of it and if you are a lot less lucky then you have to remove all of it. Today, I am addressing the inbetween lucky times.
This blog post is for when you have a dresser that looks like this :(
If the piece is in rough shape like this, painting will be your best option. But first, you will need to repair the veneer. I don't mind painting over some damage...i think it adds character. But most of the time there are necessary repairs. 
Step 1) Take a putty knife and remove all the loose veneer that easily comes off till you get to where it is stuck down. This will leave you with a larger area like this:
Step 2) Grab your bondo! This has become my new secret weapon! It is made to repair vehicles and works better than wood putty on on wood. It lasts longer and sands better. 
Step 3) Put a mask on! This stuff is unbearable! Mix the hardener into the bondo...do this on a paper plate or a little container. You want to mix it in so its like a greyish maroon color.  My super professional measuring is like this.....a tablespoonish of the grey stuff and about 3/4" to an inch of the red stuff. 
Step 4) Take your putty knife and smooth it on the damage. You want to put it on thick enough so you can't tell where your damage is. That way when you sand down and paint you will NEVER know. 
ALL DONE! This only takes a few minutes and works wonders! It is ready to sand in a few hours and you can start your other prep work! If you have had to gunk it on it will take over night to dry. 
A few other things about bondo....you can use this in place of wood filler for dings and scratches and you can even use it to carve appliques out that have gone missing from old furniture. Have fun playing with it!! 
Have you tried using bondo before?

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9 comments
  • Looks like good idea but I don’t see a finished product???? Show results please!!!

    Cheryl Allen on
  • Gary- if it was me I would cut it out and repair it the same way Or remove it entirely and sand if it is nice wood underneath. Just depends on your piece :)

    Nicole @ Rescued Furnishings on
  • I have an old desk with the vernier warped but not gone. How canI repair that?

    Gary on
  • Yes thanks again for leaving this information!! I used it to repair some old school chair with veneer. Otherwise I would have just passed on such a great deal as they were being sold for two dollars! We bought all nine and bondo sealed the deal!!

    Leah on
  • You can absolutely build and carve with bondo. We do it all the time. Sometimes you may need to do it in layers to achieve the correct depth but I think bondo rocks for this!

    Rescued Furnishings on

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