Laminated Wood Veneer: Bubbled or Loose Veneer Home Repair - Dengarden - Home and Garden
Updated date:

Laminated Wood Veneer: Bubbled or Loose Veneer Home Repair

With these techniques, I restored an old side table so it could be used in our family room and not tossed into the garage-sale pile!

laminated-wood-veneer-home-repairs-for-bubbled-or-loose-veneer-video

Typical Problems With Veneered Furniture

Any piece of furniture that has a wood laminate or veneer finish is subject to a number of types of damage. As this material ages, the changes in humidity and temperature or damage from injury can cause the laminate to loosen (pull away) from the base wood it has been adhered to. Blistering—little bubbles that form under the laminate surface—is another likely trouble.

These two problems (or defects) are generally pretty easy to repair, but you want to fix loose and/or bubbled veneer as soon as possible and before the problem gets really bad. Today, we will be discussing how to repair these troubling veneer issues easily at home.

2 Common Wood Laminate Veneer Repairs

Because veneer is brittle and actually really delicate, any minor damage can quickly turn into a serious, and even an irreparable problem if not attended to right away. Loose veneer, as an example, is more likely to split and chip when it is lifted away from the wood base then when securely glued down. Let's take a look at how to repair the two most common veneer issues:

  1. Loose Veneer
  2. Bubbled (blistered) Veneer

How to Repair Loose Wood Laminate Veneer

Before we get started working on loose veneer, remember that this material is very thin and can easily be broken and needs some special precautions. So, the first thing you want to do before beginning ANY type of veneer repair is to get the veneer pliable before starting any of the work.

Place a damp cloth on top of the laminate area you will be working on. Next, place a hot iron on the cloth. This will force moisture into the veneer, which makes it more flexible and much less likely to split or crack as you do your repair.

Repair Loose Veneer

Use steam to get the veneer pliable again.

Use steam to get the veneer pliable again.

Scrape old glue out and replace with new white wood glue between the veneer and wood base.

Scrape old glue out and replace with new white wood glue between the veneer and wood base.

Place a piece of plastic on top of repaired area, use a piece of cardboard under a clamp jaw to prevent marring and hold the repair until the glue sets (about 8 hours).

Place a piece of plastic on top of repaired area, use a piece of cardboard under a clamp jaw to prevent marring and hold the repair until the glue sets (about 8 hours).

Repairing Loose Laminate Veneer

  1. After steaming moisture into the laminate, carefully scrape out the old glue from off of the base wood and the back of veneer using a small knife, working it back as far as you safely can get it to go.
  2. If the glue just won't come off, squeeze hot water from a sponge under the loose piece of veneer. The water will eventually melt the glue so you can then remove it using the knife. Wipe off any excess moisture.
  3. Re-attach the veneer by adding fresh white (wood) glue, then put a piece of plastic over the repaired area. This keeps any glue that squeezes out from sticking to whatever clamping device you use to hold the repair in place while the glue sets (about 8 hours).
  4. After the glue has set, wash off any excess glue from the surface using a hot water soaked sponge.
  5. If you don't have an actual clamping device, you can substitute by winding masking tape around the repaired area.
  6. If you don't have a clamp, and the tape won't work, simply use a weight—e.g. a sandbag or a toolbox—to secure the area until the glue sets. Allow the glue to set for about 8 hours no matter which bonding technique you use.

What Would You Do?

How to Repair Bubbled Wood Laminate Veneer

Just like with loose veneer, you will need to get the material pliable so you can work with it free of further damage. Here's a reminder: Get the veneer pliable before starting any of the work.

Place a damp cloth on top of the laminate area you will be working on. Next, place a hot iron on the cloth. This will force moisture into the veneer, which makes it more flexible and much less likely to split or crack as you do your repair.

Repair Bubbled (Blistered) Veneer

Place a damp cloth over the bubble, cut a slit in the bubble to release trapped air.

Place a damp cloth over the bubble, cut a slit in the bubble to release trapped air.

Squeeze white (wood)  glue into the slit and press veneer back into place.

Squeeze white (wood) glue into the slit and press veneer back into place.

Place a weighted object on the repaired area for about 8 hours to assure that the glue sets properly. Wipe off dry glue from repaired area with hot water. Dry area completely.

Place a weighted object on the repaired area for about 8 hours to assure that the glue sets properly. Wipe off dry glue from repaired area with hot water. Dry area completely.

Repair Bubbled Wood Laminate Veneer by Flattening It

  1. After steaming the laminate material to get it pliable, place a damp cloth over the bubbled (blistered) area. Then, cut a slit into the top of the bubble.
  2. Press on the bubble to allow any excess air to escape through the slit.
  3. Squeeze white (wood) glue into the slit, making sure to get the glue on both the underside of the veneer and the wood base.
  4. Press the veneer back into place.
  5. If you don't have a clamp, or masking tape won't work, use any weighted item (sandbag, tool kit, tackle box, etc.) to secure the bond.
  6. Let the glue set for about 8 hours.
  7. Wipe any excess glue off using a sponge soaked with hot water. Be sure to dry off any excess water so as not to cause further damage.

Veneer and Laminated Wood Home Repairs

I hope you found the simple techniques for repairing your own veneer promising. I was able to restore an old side table so it could be used in our family room and not tossed into the garage-sale pile! Although, it would have brought us a much higher price with the repairs completed . . . hmm. Maybe repairing veneer can be a money-making venture after all!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 India Arnold

Comments

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on January 30, 2012:

tillsontitan~So glad you found the info helpful. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and for the votes!

Cheers~

K9

Mary Craig from New York on January 28, 2012:

Outstanding, oh, and good information too. Seriously well done and very helpful. Video was great with music that kept you going, but you don't need me to tell you how great this whole hub is. Voted up, useful, beautiful. Thanks f or sharing!

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on January 24, 2012:

livelonger~ So nice to see you made it by today! (Smiling) Stoked that you found the video hub up to your high standards! Veneer is pretty easy to fix when you have even a little information! Thank you for sharing your thoughts my friend!

HubHugs and Shalom~

K9

Jason Menayan from San Francisco on January 24, 2012:

What a terrific guide to fix a vexing problem. We have plenty of veneered surfaces in our place, and I know that peeling and bubbled veneer can ruin the look of a smooth surface. You've demonstrated beautifully how these can be fixed without a whole lot of complexity. Thank you, HubHugs and Shalom!

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on January 21, 2012:

Simone~ I am so pleased that you find the veneer repair video worthy of mention. I enjoy making these guides and am so thrilled that HubPages is testing and will be offering video as an option! Than you for making it by and sharing your very uplifting thoughts!

HubHUgs~

K9

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on January 20, 2012:

WOW K9keystrokes! This guide is fantastic! I didn't even know it was possible to repair veneer- I had just assumed that was the end of a table or what have you. The video is stellar. You rock!

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on January 19, 2012:

I just adore a little HubLove, steph! I'm honored to have access to such a high quality link.

Cheers~

K9

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on January 19, 2012:

Steph~ You are too kind. I am really glad you find the work up to your high standards. I hope your hubby has a great time doing a few honey-do's for you!

HubHugs~

K9

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on January 19, 2012:

And thank you for the link to my interior paint hub too!

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on January 19, 2012:

You are amazing (bow, bow, bow) - I am awed by your video and illustrations. You might even convince me to convince my husband to try this DIY wood veneer repair project. :)

Rated up! Best as always, Steph

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on January 19, 2012:

Cardisa! Thanks for making it by. I appreciate the support and your kind comments. Bummed that you're not in this weeks WTI. But, I will be looking for you in next weeks topic! ;)

HubHugs~

K9

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on January 19, 2012:

LOL! Ain't HubLove Grand! I appreciate that you shared the laminate tips with your woodworking hubby, that is quite a complement I am happy to take. Thanks for sharing your fun comments, and I gotta tell ya, your Redneck Decoration Hubs are too funny! Great stuff!

HubHugs~

K9

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on January 19, 2012:

You are so awesome! This is a wonderful tutorial. I don't have veneer stuff but I enjoyed the reading just the same.

Tammy from USA on January 19, 2012:

HAHAHA! I had a comment all prepared until I seen the title of my hub linked here. Then I had a brain fart and had to stop and think. Thanks for the link!

These are some great tips. My hubby works with wood and has tried a few of these tricks. (I still told him your tips anyway.) I like how you added the video and instructions to your hub. It really helps for those of us...I mean me...to give it a whirl. Thanks again!

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on January 19, 2012:

dipless~ LOL! Too funny. Glad you found the veneer repair pointers worth the read. I sure appreciate you sharing your thoughts here.

Cheers~

K9

dipless from Manchester on January 19, 2012:

Such a great hub, with an excellent Video, I had U2 Elevation on at the same time and it added a new level of excitement to repairing laminate flooring. Using a wet cloth on the laminate to make it pliable is something which would have just completely escaped me, great tip, great hub. Thanks