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Wood Veneer

What Is Wood Veneer?

The term “veneer” refers to a thin sheet of wood that's been sliced, peeled, or sawn from a piece of lumber from some of the most exotic and beautiful woods in the world. Highly figured wood veneer can turn simple woodworking projects into works of art or breathe new life into your cabinets or furniture. We offer a large selection of wood veneers at Rockler, as well as the tools and accessories you'll need to complete your project.

Key Things to Know About Wood Veneers

  • Sequencing - Sequencing describes sheets of veneer cut from a log in succession and kept together in order. This allows the craftsperson to arrange the sheets to create stunning symmetrical patterns.
  • Faces - Typically, one side of the wood veneer appears smoother than the other. Whenever possible, glue with the rougher side down.
  • Substrate - The under surface to which the craftsperson glues the veneer. For large surfaces, the substrate typically consists of a dimensionally stable material, such as plywood, MDF, or particleboard.
  • Backer veneer - On panels, you'll need to apply veneer to both sides to balance the stress caused by seasonal wood expansion and contraction; otherwise, your panel will warp. The backer veneer can be a less expensive species if it won't be visible.

Veneering Supplies

  • Cutting - A sharp utility knife works, or a special veneer saw can be used. A straightedge also will come in handy.
  • Glue - Regular yellow wood glue works well, but hide glue works well, too. Some veneers come with a peel-and-stick adhesive backing already applied. When gluing sheets of wood veneer next to each other for a large panel, use special veneer tape to keep the edges together.
  • Smoothing - A veneering tool like a roller or a veneer smoothing blade can be used from smoothing to make sure you have tight adhesion between the wood veneer and the substrate.

Rockler’s Introduction to Veneering Guide

This Rockler exclusive guide contains additional tips and advice to help you learn more about veneering.