Antique Restoration of Veneer
Many antique furniture styles include the use of veneer, a thin layer of wood which is used to add a dash of color or a design to the surface of wooden furniture. Because the veneer layer is so thin, it can be damaged easily and therefore many antique restoration projects include the repair of a veneer surface.
A Small Repair
Large antique restoration repairs should be done by experts, but damage to a small area of veneer can be fixed. Find some veneer that matches that on the furniture as closely as possible. Use a utility knife to cut out the damaged area carefully, trying to cut along the grain a much as possible to make a shape that will be easy to duplicate. Make a paper form that is the size and shape of the area that was removed. Use the paper form to cut out a matching piece from the new veneer.
Use glue that is appropriate for wood on the furniture surface and on the veneer piece and put the piece in place. Press and roll to apply the veneer. If it is in a position where it can be clamped, put piece of waxed paper between the clamp and veneer. Once the glue is dry, the veneer patch can be sanded if necessary to match the level of the original.
Over time, furniture can dry out or be exposed to moisture. When this happens, the glue holding the veneer can become too dry to adhere while the moisture can cause the veneer to expand and bubble up. Your antique restoration project can handle this by slicing the bubble and applying wood glue to the underside of the veneer and the furniture surface. Press the veneer down, being sure to wipe any excess glue away with a damp cloth. Apply a clamp if possible or weight the veneer down using a piece of waxed paper between the veneer and clamp or weight.
Protect your successful antique restoration project by making sure that your furniture is placed from direct sunlight and any heating elements such as vents or fireplaces. To protect the veneer, use a humidifier or a dehumidifier as needed. Protect the surface with a doily or other barrier between the veneer and any decorative elements like candlesticks or vases. Some furniture can have a protective layer of glass added to the top surface for protection. Antique restoration is hard work. Follow it up with appropriate care.