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TIP: Stripping Veneer

Jul 6, 2016 | Expert's Corner | 0 comments

Stripping veneer is no different than stripping solid wood, with a few exceptions.

First, avoid using lye or a stripper that contains water. Because of the thinness of the veneer, these might work through and loosen the glue bond. Solvent-based strippers shouldn’t cause any problem that didn’t already exist.

Second, if you sand after stripping, which is usually a good idea to check that you have removed all the finish, do so lightly and with fine sandpaper. Otherwise, you might sand through, and a sand-through is almost impossible to fix.

I recommend doing this sanding by hand with just your fingers backing the sandpaper. Using a hand-held sanding machine is more risky because it is more aggressive and you can’t see what’s going on under the sander. Using a flat block to back the sandpaper, even on supposedly flat surfaces, can also lead to sand-throughs if there is any unevenness, which is common on old surfaces.