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How to Fix Veneer Furniture Edges

Veneer is glued onto the surface of furniture after the framework and panels have been built. Sometimes, the glue comes loose and the veneer blisters or the edges loosen and lift up. It’s relatively easy to reattach the glued area, but you must work carefully so you don’t split or crack the veneer.

When an edge lifts, you can fix it by using a metal emery board and white glue that dries invisibly. You’ll also need a thin-bladed knife, a piece of wire or a single-edge razor blade, clean soft cloths to wipe up excess glue, and weights (heavy books will do). Here’s what to do:

  1. Use a metal emery board or your fingernail to lift the veneer just enough so that you can get under it to scratch out as much of the old glue as possible.

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    Be extremely careful not to pull the piece up too high or you may crack or break the veneer.

  2. Blow between the surface of the frame and the veneer to remove dried glue dust or flakes.

  3. Put some glue on a thin knife blade, a thin piece of wire, or the edge of a single-edge razor blade.

  4. Lift the veneer again and slip the utensil and glue underneath it. Then smear it around. You want to coat the underside of the veneer, as well as the furniture frame.

    If you use white glue, it will dry invisibly.

  5. Push down on the veneer to evenly coat the frame.

  6. Lift and press the veneer down gently several times so the glue coats all surfaces.

  7. Press the veneer down hard and weight it with a pile of books.

Don’t forget to wipe away excess glue that bleeds out from between the two surfaces. You want to clean it up before it dries. If you’re not sure you got it all off, dampen a cloth and wash the surface, then wipe it dry.

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