I’ve always heard there’s a danger of sanding through veneer yet I’ve never had a problem… until today… grrrr!
I was working on this night-table and I wanted to stain the top and paint the bottom.
Apparently Walt and I (aka DeWalt) were a little too zealous and we sanded through the veneer exposing the MDF at the edge of the table.
Staying calm and carrying on… (in my case I believe this is called being-in-denial), I went ahead and stained the top anyway. I was hoping the stain would miraculously cover my mistake but no such luck.
Not the best pic but I hope you can see the exposed MDF prior to staining.
Admitting my defeat, I came upstairs to my office and Googled how to fix this sand-through.
Here were my options~
- Find A Really Good Re-Finisher
- ‘Draw’ the Grain Back on with Artist Color Pencils
- Conceal with Artist Oils, Graining Pens or Furniture Markers
- Camouflage with Tinted Shellac
- Re-Veneer the Entire Top
- ‘Patch’ Veneer the Sand-Through Area
- Tile the Top
- Decoupage The Top
- Just Paint Over It
[box] Older pieces of furniture have a standard veneer that is approximately 1/16″ to 1/20″ thick. Today’s veneers can be as thin as 1/28″ to 1/40″. The specialty Maple, Oak, Walnut, Cherry, and Mahogany veneers can still be purchased in thicker sheets which is what M-M-M uses.[/box]
I opted for the quickest and easiest option which was to paint over my mistake. It’s not at all what I envisioned for this night-table but it turned out super cute!
I’ve sanded furniture like this before so I know veneers can take a moderate amount of sanding. But after today, I’ll definitely make an effort to be more careful.
Have you ever sanded through veneer? If so, did you paint over it or use another method to fix it up?
Looking forward to hearing your take.
I guess my question is , do I have to remove all the old venneer when I’ve sanded through on a couple of about 2 inch diameter spots on both table leaves? Of can I just go ahead and sand down well , then use contact cement to adhere the veneer ?
Hi Tim! If your existing veneer is SECURE all over and you give it a good sanding, your new veneer should adhere just fine. 🙂 A really good glue to use is Titebond Cold Press Veneer Glue and apply it on with a glue roller so it’s distributed evenly. Hope this helps. 🙂
Yup!! I sure did, doesnt take much to sand though.
I Did it with my coffee table. However I didnt want to give up the vision I had and went ahead and stained the top any way and the front of the drawers. Then I painted a mandala over the spot I messed up on (sanded though). It Turned out amazing!! Sometime you just have to tweak your vision a bit
I love mandalas… and what a great idea!
Tim Ross says
I have a very similiar situation myself. To make a long story short , I had rescued a dunkin phyfe dining room table from the side of the road and striped and sanded the entire table. AMAZING ! Grain in this wood ! Anyways sanded through veneer on the top of both center pieces. Sooo f@#$% upset!! I’ve tried to stain and hope for the best and … NOPE… what should I do ?? I have a roll of walnut venneer and can just reveneer the entire table top ?!?! Ughh
blah blah says
We found 2 really nice wood night stands. One had a big scratch on the top. The other had bulges from water damage. I knew they were veneered, b/c there was a pattern on the top. I sanded the first one (scratched) and it turned out beautiful, just needs staining and finishing. The other one.. sanded right through the veneer in the water-damaged spots. The veneer is like paper-thin on these things (I did some research and contacted manufacturer, and they were made in the early 21st century, so they’re modern furniture, just expensive high-end furniture that looks old-english).
I just don’t know what to do now. I REALLY love the inlaid pattern on the one veneer that turned out nice. But, the other one I sanded right through, and think painting is my only option. (Figured I’d do a dark mahogony decoupage with really dark cloudiness softly blended over). But, I REALLY love the veneer on the other. I’m stuck in “analysis paralysis” right now trying to decide the fate of both. Figure it would be stupid looking to have one stianed on top and the other painted. But… I don’t know.
Stupid veneer! (Actually, stupid previous owner, for letting thousand dollar furniture get water-damaged on top. ugh)
I hear ya! It’s a tough choice for sure. They do sell sheets of veneer that you could apply to the sanded through top one but that said, I’m not sure if you could find one with the same pattern/style. ??? Good luck to you. It sounds like a really nice find and project. 🙂
Thank you , it was covered in that old dark varnish they used to use on old furniture ( I dont know the name of the treatment they used on that old stuff lol .. duhhh) lol
However I did manage to get it down to a beautiful grain and the base of the table is solid maple . Unfortunately I got a bit crazy with the orbital sander ( which I’ll never use again on an antique piece of furniture !) . Too bad I couldnt send a pic of it , wouldnt have to explain soo much lol
I just sanded through the veneer on my dining table (in 2 spots!) . Guess I have to change up the plan. Painting over it will be easiest. Oh well. Thanks for this post.
Simmy Bookal says
I just did this today! Sanded right through the veneer. 🙁 I’m super bummed because I want to restrain the table with a dark stain. I’ve decided to paint the table instead along with the chairs. Lessons learned I guess!
Melissa B Swan says
I’m newly widowed. So I thought with all this time on my hands, I would start a project. My mother’s old cedar chest had seen much wear on the outside but still pristine inside. I’m in the process of stripping the veneer off. I will definitely apply some of your tactics. Wish me luck, it’s a gift for my granddaughter. P.s. if it turns out well,xi will do a small matching wardrobe.
Good luck Melissa. I’m sure your granddaughter is going to LOVE it! <3
I also sanded through the veneer on a dining table I was refinishing. It was going to be dark wood on top and chalk paint on the legs. I painted a stencil on the top that covered the areas that had been sanded through and would not hold stain.
Frustrating when your vision changes mid-way because of a mishap. But hopefully your dining table looks equally gorgeous with the stencil Michelle!
Ellen LaPenna says
I can’t believe how cute that nightstand turned out! I wouldn’t have looked at that original piece of furniture twice and now, it’s just great looking. Glad you were able to salvage and learn from the over sanding. Thanks for sharing.
Tiana M says
I love the knobs you used! Where did you get them?
These knobs where salvaged off another piece of furniture I had Tiana 🙂
Oh my did I feel for you. Recently did a diningtable after I told client she should NOT buy new. Stripped and stripped and then sanded through in places. So many layers of lacquer on that I could not see that it was veneered. In the end had to put a thin glaze on, sanded again and then sealed. Clients loved it.
So glad to hear everything turned out and your clients loved it Linda! 🙂
Elizabeth J says
What kind of glaze did you use?
Just Judy says
Well again I too have a night stand similar to this that is over 30 years old. It is solid wood with dark stain and I plan to one day sand the top down and re-stain dark and maybe do the bottom in a medium grey. Your piece turned out fantastic. Thanks for all your inspiration Denise!
Thanks for dropping by Judy! 🙂
I love this! Can you please share the color of paint you used? I love the antique white but I can never find it in the store!
Thanks Ashlee! The top was painted in Annie Sloan's "Old White" and the body was painted with a HMCP mixed with a $3 can of Oops Paint. The Oops Paint color is a dead ringer for Sherwin Williams SW6121 "Believable Buff"
Love this little night stand, very cute.
Thank you Lee-Anne 🙂