Can this table be 'saved'? I think it's chipped wood veneer.

GCortezJuly 13, 2012

I posted this under the furniture forum but have only gotten one response and I'm still confused as ever.

The picture below is of a table I found for free on craigslist. The original plan was to paint it but once I sanded down a leaf (by hand) I decided to stain it instead.

The problem I'm coming across is that there are several chips on the ends of the pieces. When I came online to do some research I came to the conclusion that it's the veneer chipping off. They are not large pieces and I figured I would fill them in with wood filler and then stain the table - but I'm worried the filler won't take the stain the same as the rest of the table top.

Should I:

1. Remove all the veneer and hope the underneath is in good enough shape to then stain that?

2. Fill with wood filler and stain?

3. Use veneer edging tape to fill the chips?

Any information/advice/tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!

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Not the best picture, but below you can see the picture I took of the sanded leaf (against the table which I have not sanded yet) and the chips I'm finding...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Forgot to link the picture..

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 11:54AM
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The better question is:

Is this table worth saving?

First, sanding commercially applied veneer is a very bad idea. Reason? It is very thin and extremely easy to sand through. That means either patching the bad spot---very difficult, or replacing the entire section of veneer---very expensive.

Neither option is a DIY job.

There is one other option. Fill the chipped areas, lightly sand the entire surface to be painted, primer, and paint. Spraying will provide the smoothest finish, but sanding and buffing can smooth a brushed on surface. To get the best wear surface, oil based alkyd paint is the toughest. That is best sprayed by a pro.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 1:45PM
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Look around Constantine's for repair veneers.

Anyhting from large sheets to smaller pieces for patching in.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:13AM
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Have you considered refinishing the base, which is lovely, BTW, and painting the top?

It's a different look, but you could get the best of both worlds. A beautiful wood look underneath, and a clean top on top.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:10AM
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I think CEFreeman has a very good idea!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 3:01PM
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I save tables like yours everyday. Do not remove the veneer, the wood underneath has a 1% chance of being good. It can be repaired three ways. The way I use most often to save people money is to use an epoxy filler that is colored close to the color of the stripped veneer then use colors to finish matching low lights and grains. This takes skill you probably should practice with before doing it. Videos and materials are available from Mohawk finishing group in N.C. The second way is to replace the missing veneer with veneer patches. This technique, I only use on expensive antique restoration projects and is extremely hard for a non professional. The third way is to replace the veneer. Only let a professional do that as it is an expensive process and you don't want to lose that new hundred dollar sheet of veneer.I refinish veneered furniture all the time, yes the veneer is thin and you have to be careful not to sand through, but don't let that stop you. To refinish a table like yours, I charge in the range of $350.00 including the repairs.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 8:45AM
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