Veneers are thin wood sheets that are glued to a surface. Veneer damage is a common type of damage that happens to wooden furniture. When exposed to harsh conditions or rough use, veneer is susceptible to damage.

Carpenter marking wooden desk with measuring tape

Moreover, high humidity and long-term exposure to water can cause the deterioration of the adhesive’s bonding strength. When you see veneer damage on your furniture, you might be tempted to throw it out. However, minor damages and blemishes on wood veneers can be easily repaired.

The following post has a guide to repairing damaged wood veneer and preventing it from going to landfills.

Step 1: Preparation of the Piece

The first step is to remove any loose or bubbly veneer. The loose bits can be pried away with a putty knife. Using a sanding block, lightly sand the area after pulling off all the loose pieces. It knocks off any little splinters that are still attached. After sanding, wipe the surface down to remove dust.

Step 2: Filler Mix

The filler needs to be measured out on a paper plate. Add an appropriate amount of hardener to the filler. A putty knife can be used to mix the hardener and filler. Use less hardener until you get a sense of how the product works, since the more you use, the faster the filler will set. Be sure to work in an area with plenty of ventilation since some people may find the smell unpleasant.

Step 3: Filler Application

Once the hardener and filler have been mixed into a homogeneous consistency, it is ready for spreading. The filler should be smoothed into the missing section with a putty knife. Make sure it’s higher than the existing veneer so you have room to sand, but don’t overfill it.

When you spread it on really thick, it dries to a very hard finish and you have to sand a lot of it off. As soon as it starts to harden, you won’t have much time to smooth it out. You should clean your putty knife immediately after using it.

Step 4: Sanding

Carpenter in the process of renovating and making a wooden table
A carpenter in the process of renovating and making a wooden table

The filler mix should be allowed to dry for about an hour. After it’s dried, you can sand down the filled areas with a palm sander. You don’t want to sand down the veneer too much. You want to get the filler flush with the veneer. To avoid breathing this stuff in, wear a mask during this step.

Step 5: Painting

When the dried filler is sanded smooth with the existing veneer, it’s time to paint. Since you cannot stain the filler mix, you can only paint it. If you intend to distress the piece, spray paint the filled areas so the distressing process does not reveal the filler color under the paint, but rather the spray-painted color.


Follow the above steps for a reliable way to repair damaged wood veneer and bring your adored furniture pieces back from the edge of disposal!

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