Today’s Quick-Tip-Tuesday idea comes from a conversation I recently had with the talented and witty Dee at Deeconstructed. Dee has noticed that many people use the words veneer and laminate interchangeably.
I thought this was a great topic for Q-T-T because when I first started painting furniture, I didn’t know the difference between veneer and laminate furniture!
Here’s a quick explanation of the difference between the two:
Wood Laminate is a manufactured layer of plastic, paper or foil that has been printed with a wood grain pattern. It’s like a ‘picture’ of wood that is bonded onto less expensive wood composites; usually MDF or particle board. With proper preparation, laminate CAN be painted however laminate can NOT be stained.
Here’s an example of a wood laminate dresser drawer that has been lightly sanded.
Below is another close up of a wood laminate dresser leg. On both these examples, you can see the wood composite underneath the sanded off laminate. A sure way to recognize wood laminate is when the grain does NOT follow through your piece.
Wood Veneer is a sheet or thin layer of ‘quality-natural-hardwood’ that is adhered to a lesser quality wood surface. Wood Veneers give the impression of a more desired quality wood without being as costly. Veneers also make it possible to create designs and match grain patterns. With proper preparation, wood veneer CAN be painted OR stained.
Here’s an example of a badly water damaged wood veneer that I removed for a re-style. The layer of veneer is lifting up from the desk along with a larger piece that has already come off.
Below is a perfectly good piece of wood veneer… until I botched up the left side by sanding through the veneer to the wood composite below!
Although laminate may be considered a sub-par product in the furniture world… wood veneer is not. A good majority of fine furniture is made with a combination of solid and veneered wood. I hope this quick-tip helps you next time you’re out shopping for your next re-style.
If you have a question, opinion, or story on your experiences with veneer or laminate furniture, I’d love for you to chime in!
Also, feel free to catch last weeks Q-T-T here … and have a terrific Tuesday!
Take care and see you soon 🙂