Tuesday, March 11, 2014

You don't have to let peeling veneer deter you from restoring a beautiful piece of furniture.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday prepping my furniture pieces to get them ready to paint and I ran into a few problems. After sanding and cleaning, a piece of decorative trim came off one of my beds, so I had to run to Hobby Lobby and get a decorative piece to put in it's place. This is so typical of of old furniture, they were dry from being stored away and the result is cracking and peeling. Depending on the piece, I don't let peeling veneer deter me from buying a piece of furniture that I want to paint, unless there is water damage and more than one layer is coming loose. Especially a bed or a table, usually those can be fixed simply by removing all of the veneer. These beds were a bargain so I wasn't going to let this stop me from restoring them.

Veneer is simply a very thin layer of wood glued to not so good wood. Years ago, they made fine furniture using veneer because they could use less wood and it kept cost down. A Mahogany dresser, for instance, is usually made using a thin layer of Mahogany veneer over a hard wood,like maple or birch. If a piece of furniture is well cared for the veneer will stay beautiful for the life of the piece.

All of the veneer was coming off of this bed and had to be completely removed, otherwise you would have an uneven surface and you'd be able to tell that the veneer was coming off.
Most of it was easy, I just used a putty knife to slip underneath of it and pull a large section off, some of it was not so easy! I am feeling it in my arms and my core today, I really had to give this bed "what for" to get it off! I did get a work out in though!

So far, so good, until I got to the middle, that's where it's going to be the toughest to remove.

So, to save my arms I tried sanding it with a 100 grit sandpaper

But it wasn't coming off that way either. There was yet another layer of veneer so I couldn't sand it too much or I would have started to take that off as well.

So I just started scraping, using the edge of my putty knife, being careful not to gouge the wood.

I finally got it all removed, but I did have a 4" x 4" section that was stubborn and would not come off so I wet it down just so I could soften it a little and it came right off.

The only section of the bed that had veneer was the head board piece that you see here. The rest was solid wood so all it needed was a good cleaning.

So, today, when I got back from running more errands, I got the beds ready to paint............Again!

Meanwhile, the other bed had to be repaired, I didn't want to leave it like this 

It lost it's little scrolly thing along the bottom center, where everyone will see.

This is what I'm using to fix it, not exact, but at least it won't be bare

They are all glued in place, now I just have to wait for it to dry good 

I took my fabric to the paint store and they color matched this green, so the 4-poster bed and the vanity and chair will be painted this color.........I'm excited! Boy, I hope it looks as good as it does in my head:)

And all of my skirt fabric, I think it will be pretty cute:)

If not, I won't be posting any pics!!!!


  1. Anonymous8:29:00 AM

    I can't wait to see it! It has all the makings of a really unique piece. Are you putting this in your home, or preparing it for sale?

    1. This is for resale Nancy! I'm getting things ready to take to Altered Relics, same place where I sold all my pillows:)


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