How to Stain Wood Veneer:
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Veneer is made from hardwood sliced from logs for use mainly in the furniture industry that allows a craftsman to finish woodworking projects with beautiful exotic woods that may not otherwise be affordable or attainable. To bring out a variety of styles of wood veneers, one can stain the veneer any number of shades. Staining wood is one of the ways of finishing wood in a woodworking project. Staining wood, as you probably already know, is the process of applying a darkening agent to untreated wood to darken its colour and tone. Since veneer is made from real wood, it is stained in basically the same way as a solid piece of wood.
Staining wood veneer brings out a variety of styles that don't appear in wood naturally. There are many stains and finishes to choose from and they all will give you a different result. Some veneers are already so attractive it makes no sense to stain them, such as burrs. The natural colours and patterns in the burrs are usually so beautiful that some woodworkers would consider it less attractive to apply a stain. An exception might be walnut burr, whose colour can be enriched with stain without dramatically changing the tones. Curly, mottled, quilted, pommele, and bird's eye figures often display their shimmer best with no stain applied. Some stains will really bring out the chatoyance, or the illusion of a three-dimensional surface of a piece of wood.
Start the staining process by preparing the surface with sanding by hand or with a power sander, or by scraping or planing. You can use wood putty or wood filler to fill in nail holes or large pores. Pine, cherry, and some other woods do not take stain evenly, which results in blotching. To avoid blotching, woodworkers can use shellac or wood conditioner as a barrier coat before applying the stain. Gel stains can also work well on the wood to avoid this blotching phenomenon.
Some wood species are rather oily such as bubinga, wenge, teak, and rosewood. This poses a problem for water-based finishes. Consider using an oil-based stain and finish with these species. There are lot of good water-based stains and top coats you can use, but mostly you'll find that oil-based stains and finishes provide better colour and durability, and bring out the grain in a more pleasing way.. If you decide not to use stain and just use a top clear coat, note that oil-based and lacquer-based finishes provide a good natural colour without hiding the grain of the wood. These finishes are great for visually "popping" the grain in figured woods.
It is always recommended for you to test a sample piece of wood veneer to ensure you know how the stain and top coat will react with the wood. Always be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and allow ample drying time between coats. After you stain the wood you will want to finish it with a coat of wax, shellac, or drying oil, or perhaps lacquer or varnish. To finish the project, you can polish or buff the surface using pumice, steel wool, rotten stone or other polishing and rubbing compounds, depending on what kind of shine you desire. You can also add a final coat of wax can over the finish to add a little extra protection.
The possibilities are endless when working with wood veneer, and you'll find over 200 varieties of wood to work with on Oakwood Veneer Company's website. Order online or call us at 0-800-012-4201 to place an order.
Helpful Application Hints
Spray Adhesive Coverage Chart
Special Installation Reminders
Contact Cement Troubleshooting
Pressure Sensitive Veneer Application
Our one page document describes the best methods we've found for this veneer:
PSA Veneer Application Guide
Iron On Veneer / PVA Glue Method
10 mil and even raw veneer can be applied with white or yellow PVA glue and a standard household iron. Here's how to do it.
Iron On Veneer / PVA Glue Method
How is Veneer Made and Matched?
Many visitors wonder how veneers are created so we have included information for you. If you have other questions, contact us and we will cheerfully answer them.
How Veneer is Cut
Veneer Matching Techniques
Glossary of Veneer Terms
If there's a term you don't understand, here's the place to look it up:
Glossary of Veneer Terms
Learn how wood veneer is made
Watch a two minute movie to learn more about the veneer process. Play
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Download our Installation Guide
Much of the information on the above pages is contained within our Installation Guide, a 274k Portable Document Format (PDF) file which you are welcome to download and print. This file can be opened by most Browsers and Acrobat Reader™ which is available free from Adobe Systems.
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Information on some of our other veneers:
Alder Veneer, Beech Veneer, Birch (Red) Veneer, Birch (White) Veneer, Bubinga Veneer, Butternut Veneer, Cherry Veneer, Cypress Veneer, Douglas Fir Veneer, Carpathian Elm Burr, Hickory Veneer, Jatoba Veneer, Lacewood Veneer, Madrone Veneer, Makore Veneer, Maple Veneer, Padauk Veneer, Pearwood Veneer, Purpleheart Veneer, Red Oak Veneer, Sapeli Veneer, Sycamore Veneer, Teak Veneer, Walnut Veneer, Wenge Veneer, White Oak Veneer, Zebrano Veneer