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Applying Veneer On Cement

Aug 17, 2007
What is the best way to fix wood veneer? Ideally, you should use a veneer press. This could be a cold, hot or vacuum press as the case may be and you would use either yellow or white glue. Though this is the method of choice to fix veneer, you could also do it with contact cement. Make sure it's of good quality, though. You should get one that has a very high level of solids and you should follow the instructions down to the last letter. You could also ensure that what you buy is flammable and not inflammable as the former works better. Remember that it is the adhesive that makes the veneer so do not compromise on this. It will stand you in good stead to use the best and will probably be economical in the long run. The adhesive or contact cement must cover both surfaces completely.

Once you get down to the actual doing of it, make sure that the adhesives are very well stirred each time you use them, with the solvents and the solids being mixed well together so the best contact is formed. A lot of users seem to neglect care at this all-important step. Then make sure it dries well. This step requires patience. Do not start till it is completely dry. Store your cans of contact cement in shelves that are off the floor. This is very necessary especially during winter.

It is very critical to apply a great deal of pressure, as much as you possibly can when you smooth out the veneer. Instead of a "J" roller, you could try using a piece of wood a foot long and 6" wide instead for better results. Sand the 6" edge so it isn't very sharp and make a small radius to exert maximum pressure. For example, you will get four times as much from a 1/16" radius than from a 1/4" one. Hold this piece of wood and use it like a squeegee to smoothen the veneer, starting at the center and working outward to the edges.

Veneer that has a paper-backing is usually used only for interior applications, not for exteriors. It can be used, however, with if you use an epoxy application. Do not use veneer directly on concrete or plastered walls or on dry walls or cardboard surfaces. When you want to cover these surfaces, you should apply it to an MDF substrate (medium density fiberboard) and then fix it on. MDF is the most stable of all the substrates while the least stable is hardwood. You could also try using veneer core plywood or industrial particleboard. Do not fix it onto substrates that have been treated with fire-retardants.

If you want to put veneer over plywood that bends, laminate the surface with a 1/8" thick MDF. Before installation on any surface, let the veneer with the substrate be allowed to stand for two days. When you do install it, ensure that the surfaces are absolutely clean and free from dust, grease or grime. Try and do it when the humidity level is below 51% so there is no risk of later shrinkage.
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