Sanded though veneer on a bench seat! Help! Please!

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Forum topic by Woodworker101 posted 06-30-2017 02:42 AM 1706 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 2642 days

06-30-2017 02:42 AM

I don’t usually take on jobs like this but I desperately needed it for cash. Anyhow It’s made oht of plywood and my friended wanted me to sand it back and re oil it. I wasn’t sure how thin the veneer was but the film finish previosly had been pretty thick so I started sanding it at 120grit with an orbital. But there are quite a few spots where I’ve sanded through the venner and cross grain in now showing. How do I fix this?
My intial though was to buy some veneer and re veneer of the top of these area, what are your thoughts?

Many thanks. Jackson

-- Jackson, Australia,

15 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4418 days

#1 posted 06-30-2017 02:47 AM

Apologize and offer to paint it.

If it was just one or two little areas I would
tell you to dry brush with acrylic paints to
match the grain, but in your present situation
there’s so much veneer gone, you’re really
up a creek with no paddle.

View bondogaposis's profile


5784 posts in 3121 days

#2 posted 06-30-2017 03:28 AM

Yah, paint it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CharlesNeil's profile


2501 posts in 4640 days

#3 posted 06-30-2017 11:39 AM

ya know it might just be me,but this looks more a case of you sanded the finish off.. not sure you went thru the veneer, i dont see a glue transition line
also on veneers especially your better to use a stripper to remove the finish , even on solid wood , it removes anything that could contaminate as well.. and you dont risk sanding thru .

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3066 days

#4 posted 06-30-2017 11:49 AM

I agree with the above – do you FEEL the difference in the thickness of the wood at those spots? If you wipe on some finish what does it look like? You may be panicking over nothing.

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1361 days

#5 posted 06-30-2017 12:55 PM

1. Never ever sand veneer with a power sander.
2. Take some chemical stripper and remove the previous finish.
Then you can lightly sand by hand just to give the surface smooth touch.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7538 posts in 1482 days

#6 posted 06-30-2017 02:31 PM

my question is ….WHY did you keep sanding ….its all over the chair

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View richardchaos's profile


583 posts in 1149 days

#7 posted 06-30-2017 02:33 PM

I guess you could add another sheet of veneer! if you can get it.. If you have a good table saw one should be able to cut a very very thin piece of wood and glut that over it!

-- “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell

View ClammyBallz's profile


449 posts in 1906 days

#8 posted 06-30-2017 04:37 PM

I wouldn’t sweat it, that chair looks uncomfortable anyway.

View builtinbkyn's profile


3009 posts in 1710 days

#9 posted 06-30-2017 04:40 PM

I don’t imagine it’s an heirloom piece. It’s a plywood chair that’s screwed together. Just make a new one. ;)

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View HokieKen's profile


14002 posts in 1908 days

#10 posted 06-30-2017 04:51 PM

I’m guessing that anyone who thinks that piece is worth paying someone to refinish isn’t likely to notice the change in grain orientation. Of course pictures can be decieving but those pics don’t look that bad. Wipe it down with oil to even out the tone and I doubt it will ever be noticed.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Lazyman's profile


5384 posts in 2157 days

#11 posted 06-30-2017 08:23 PM

I agree that from the pictures, it doesn’t look like you’ve sanded through the veneer but it is hard to tell sometimes from pictures. I would try wiping some paint thinner on it to see what it will look like with a finish on it. That will give you a preview of what it will look like with a finish on it without actually adding one. If the grain appears to continue through the “bad areas”, you didn’t go through the veneer.

Do you know what kind of finish you are stripping? Once you know what kind of finish you, have, you may be able to simply rough the surface (by hand not a power sander) and put a new coat of the same kind on it, depending upon how damaged the surface is to begin with (and now that you may have gone too far).

Here is a quick overview of determining what type of finish you have and some strategies for refinishing.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Rich's profile


5607 posts in 1359 days

#12 posted 06-30-2017 08:37 PM

Interesting article, Nathan. Thanks for sharing that.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3066 days

#13 posted 07-01-2017 11:03 AM

“I don’t imagine it’s an heirloom piece”

Unless it was made by Hermann Miller for Knoll or is a Thonet (although I doubt it). There were probably caps over the screw heads.

View JCamp's profile (online now)


1179 posts in 1320 days

#14 posted 07-01-2017 12:07 PM

I’ve sanded through veneer before An to me it doesn’t look like u are all the way thro it Might just try staining a small portion An seeing what it looks lik. If there’s no grain showing once you’ve finished it u might take some coloring penciles and draw some grain on

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Kelly's profile


3006 posts in 3714 days

#15 posted 07-04-2017 03:05 AM

Older veneers were thick. As much as 1/16” inch or so. New stuff, well, they’ve gotten good at stretching pennies.

Add to the foregoing, many pieces are done with a stain type varnish or the equivalent.

As others say, where are you in this? If you were to scrap a bit, would you remove some more finish, or would you break through to the next layer.

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