How to Strip Veneer Furniture

These days, many people are on the hunt for unique pieces to add character and charm to their homes. Vintage furniture with a classic look is one option that more and more people are flocking to. Unfortunately, these types of pieces often wear faulty veneer due to age- or climate-related issues. But don’t worry— stripping back this superficial layer is easier than you might think!

How to Strip Veneer Furniture

In this post, we’ll be discussing how to strip Veneer furniture using just a few key tools in order to bring life back into your favorite piece of heirloom furniture!

Tools and Materials You Will Need to Strip Veneer Furniture

  1. Heat gun
  2. Wire brush
  3. Putty knife
  4. Sandpaper (coarse and fine grits)
  5. Wood stain (optional)

Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Strip Veneer Furniture

Step 1: Heat the Veneer

The first step in stripping veneer furniture is to apply heat. Use your heat gun and carefully direct it at the surface of the wood, ensuring that you are not applying too much or too little heat. You should be able to see the veneer start to curl away from the wood after several minutes.

Step 2: Remove Veneer

Once the veneer has been softened by the heat, you can use a wire brush to remove it from the surface of your furniture. Make sure that you are working in small areas at a time and applying enough pressure as you go. While removing the veneer, be sure to wear protective gear such as gloves and a mask.

Step 3: Sand Away Excess Glue

Use Your Heat Gun

Next, use a putty knife and coarse sandpaper to remove any lingering glue from the surface of your furniture. Once you have scraped away most of the excess glue, switch to fine-grit sandpaper to finish the job. This will ensure a smoother surface for staining if you choose to do so.

Step 4: Apply Wood Stain (optional)

If desired, you can apply wood stain to your furniture in order to bring out the natural grain of the wood. Make sure that you are following all of the instructions on the product label and applying even coats across the entire surface. Let the stain dry for several hours before applying any sealant or wax to finish your project.

Now that you know how to strip veneer furniture, you can give life back to those heirloom pieces and create a beautiful space in your home! It’s time to get crafting!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Strip Veneer Furniture

1. Before you begin stripping your furniture, make sure to wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses.

2. To avoid damaging the wood underneath, use fine-grit sandpaper after stripping off the veneer. This will help smooth out any rough edges and make the surface of the furniture look more even and polished.

3. For hardwood furniture that has a thicker veneer, it’s recommended to use a chemical stripper. However, be sure to wear a respirator when using this type of product as the fumes can be toxic.

4. If you’re using an electric sander, make sure that it is set on low speed so that you don’t damage the wood underneath the veneer and that you are using the right grade of sandpaper for the job.

Use a Chemical Stripper

5. If you’re looking to stain or varnish the furniture after stripping, make sure that all traces of the previous finish have been removed. Even a small amount of leftover residue can cause discoloration and ruin your work.

6. To help protect the newly stripped wood from future damage, it’s recommended to apply a coat of protective wood sealant or polyurethane. This will help keep your furniture looking new for longer!

7. If you want to strip paint from your veneer furniture, make sure that you use a chemical stripper specifically designed for the job. Paints and varnishes can be more difficult to remove than just the veneer.

8. After stripping and sanding, make sure to apply a good furniture wax or polish before you use your newly stripped piece of furniture. This will help protect it from dirt and dust as well as make it easier to clean in the future. 9. Finally, be sure to properly dispose of any chemicals or strippers used during this process – never dump them down the drain or in the trash!

Following these tips and tricks can help you successfully strip any veneer furniture and restore it to its original beauty. With the right tools, techniques, and knowledge, you’re sure to have a beautiful piece of furniture that’s ready for use! Good luck!

Things You Should Consider to Strip Veneer Furniture

Clean the Surface of the Furniture
  1. Determine whether the furniture is actually veneer. This can be done by looking at the grain pattern or inspecting the underside, which will typically reveal a thin layer of wood glued atop a thicker one.
  2. Make sure that you have proper ventilation in your workspace to minimize exposure to fumes. Solvents used for stripping furniture may contain potentially hazardous chemicals such as methylene chloride.
  3. Choose the appropriate stripping chemical for your piece of furniture. Many types of furniture veneers require a stronger solvent, such as methylene chloride, while thinner veneers may need only denatured alcohol.
  4. Clean the surface of the furniture thoroughly with a mild detergent and warm water to remove any dirt, dust, or debris that may interfere with the stripping process.
  5. Use a paintbrush to apply the stripping chemical to the furniture in an even coat, making sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before attempting to scrape off any remaining veneer.
  6. Scrape off any remaining veneer with a putty knife. Depending on the type of veneer, a heat gun may be necessary to soften the glue holding it in place.
  7. Once all of the veneer has been removed, clean off any remaining residue with denatured alcohol and sand down any rough spots with fine-grit sandpaper.
  8. After you have finished stripping your furniture, apply a wood stain or finish of your choice in order to protect it and bring out its natural beauty.
  9. Finally, enjoy the results of all your hard work! Your beautiful piece of furniture will look better than ever with its new, refreshed look.

Following these considerations and steps can help ensure that you strip the veneer from your furniture properly, safely, and successfully. With the right tools and techniques, you can restore a piece of furniture to its former glory in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Veneer Furniture?

Veneer furniture is a type of furniture that has a thin layer of wood (called veneer) attached to the surface. This layer can be applied as either an overlay or inlay and it often provides additional decoration to the piece. The veneer can also serve to protect the underlying wood from scratches and other damage.

How Do I Know if My Furniture is Veneer?

One way to tell if your furniture is veneer is to look at the edges of the piece. If you see a thin line of wood grain running around the edge, then it’s likely that your furniture has a veneer layer attached. You can also often tell by the look and feel of the piece itself. Veneer furniture usually has a very smooth, even finish that is difficult to achieve with solid wood.

Use Wood Veneers From Hardwoods

What Type of Veneer Furniture Should I Buy?

When buying veneer furniture, it’s important to choose pieces that are made from high-quality materials. Look for pieces that use wood veneers from hardwoods like oak, walnut, or mahogany. These types of woods are strong and durable and will stand up to wear and tear better than softer woods like pine or cedar.

Is Veneer Furniture Easy to Strip?

Stripping veneer furniture can be a bit of a challenge, especially if the piece is old or has been painted multiple times over the years. However, with the right tools and techniques, it’s possible to successfully strip the veneer layer from furniture and reveal the beautiful wood underneath.

Are There Special Steps for Stripping Veneer Furniture?

Yes, there are certain steps that should be taken when stripping veneer furniture. Start by heating up the veneer with your heat gun until it starts to blister and bubble. Then, use your paint scraper to carefully peel off the veneer. Finally, sand down the surface of the wood with sandpaper until it is smooth and even.


Stripping veneer furniture is not always easy, but with the right tools and a bit of patience, you can give any piece of furniture a makeover. Whether you’re looking to modernize a traditional piece, or simply bring back the beauty of an antique, stripping away the veneer will open up a world of possibilities for transforming your furniture.

Make sure to arm yourself with protective gear and masking tape to protect surrounding walls or fabrics from any over-spray or residue.

Finally, take your time when sanding to avoid significant damage to the underlying wood that may result in costly repairs or refinishing work. If you’re still unsure where to start your project, seek out local professionals who are experienced in stripping veneer furniture and get some advice before tackling this task yourself. With these tips on How To Strip Veneer Furniture in mind, now go tackle that transformation!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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