The Right Way of Applying Veneer with Wood Glue

There are misconceptions that furniture with wood veneer is cheap and low quality. Many woodworkers and furniture makers rely on the use of veneers to make their products appealing and more durable. In fact, it can be found on many expensive and high-quality furniture items. 

What is Wood veneer?

Wood veneer is a thinly sliced sheet of natural wood. It is attached to the surface of a piece of substrate like plywood, particleboard, or MDF (medium density fiberboard). 

Why use Veneer?

There are several advantages to using wood veneer:

  • It can make a piece of cheap wood look more expensive. For example, it is cheaper to cover plywood with a walnut veneer than to use a solid wood made of walnut.  
  • It is eco-friendly, as it is made of very thin slices of wood as compared to a big chunk of timber. Wood veneers help in conserving lumber while still maintaining that natural wood aesthetic. It can also be recycled.
  • Wood veneer costs much less while still achieving the natural wood look for furniture and cabinets.
  • It is also more durable. Solid wood has the tendency to warp due to changes in temperature. By using veneer on a long-lasting substrate, this problem can be eliminated or at least avoided. 

One disadvantage to using wood veneers is they need to be monitored for maintenance since they can be easily scratched compared to laminated wood. However, laminate is not real wood, unlike veneer. It may be the more durable of the two, but if it is that natural wood feel that is needed, then the wood veneer is the better option.

How to apply wood veneer using wood glue?


Gluing wood veneer is quite simple, but you also need to choose the right glue. The LePage Pro Carpenter’s Glue is the ideal choice with its strong bond and easy-to-use bottle. You could also use the LePage Express Quick Dry Wood Glue if you’re looking for quicker dry time and a translucent white finish. Now that you have the wood glue of your choice, you can now begin applying veneer.

  1. Prepare everything you will need. Estimate and prepare the number of veneers, how much glue is necessary, and the tools needed to apply the glue.  
  2. Clean the surface of the substrate by wiping with a damp cloth or even sanding if necessary. If there are any holes, fill these up first. 
  3. Next, apply glue on both the veneer and the surface of the material. Apply a thin layer of glue and make sure to cover all the way to the edges. A paintbrush or a roller is perfect for this task. 
  4. Clamp it. Wait until the adhesive completely dries out. 
  5. Clean and trim. Cut away any excess wood veneer using a pair of scissors or a blade. Sand the edges if necessary. 

What Are the Other Types of Adhesives that Can Be Used?

There are a few commonly used adhesives for applying veneers: wood glue, super glue, and contact cement. 

Wood glues are typically PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glues and are a favorite among woodworkers. This is the sensible choice if the veneer will be attached to a wood or wood product.  

Super glue can also be used; however, it sets quite fast, and it gives little time to make any corrections or reposition the veneer. The LePage Super Glue Ultra Control is recommended for extra precision. Use it if you are already experienced in gluing wood veneers.  

Contact cement can do the job very well. It is best used on an MDF substrate. However, avoid using it on hardwood. It usually takes 24 hours for the adhesive to fully dry. 

Wrapping It All Up

Wood veneers can last for an exceptionally long time if properly taken care of. Keep them away from direct sunlight. Heat can loosen up the glue through years of exposure, so it is best to keep any veneered furniture away from heat sources or moisture.