Can You Refinish Veneer Table [Here’s How]




Veneer furniture has a thin layer of real wood on top of a less expensive wood material. Although refinish a table that is not real wood is different. However, over time, veneer tables can become worn, scratched, or discolored, leading many to the question- Can You Refinish Veneer Table?

In short, the answer is yes. The process includes cleaning, sanding block dust, chalk paint, staining, and sealing to restore. The table’s original beauty or transform it into a new look that matches your décor.

However, that’s not the whole picture, and there is more to learn and apply-

Can You Refinish Veneer Table

That’s why, in this article, I am going to clarify the confusion about whether you can refinish a veneer table or not, along with the step-by-step guide.

So, without further ado, let’s get right into it-

Can You Refinish Veneer Table ?

Yes, You can refinish the veneer table. But it requires careful preparation and attention to detail for the best results.

Veneer is a thin layer of real wood. Usually, it is applied to a base material. Often particle board or plywood to make the appearance of solid wood. 

But what do you get when you refinish your veneer table? let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages first-


  • Cost-Effective:  It’s often more cost-effective than buying a new table.
  • Customization: It allows to decorate the best look of your table.
  • Cost Savings: It can be cheaper wood than replacement.
  • Matching Existing Furniture: Allows for cohesive decor.
  • Personal Satisfaction: You can complete the project for your personal reward.


  • Lack of experience: There’s a risk of making mistakes. That could damage the table’s appearance or structure.
  • Cost of Materials: While refinishing can be cost-effective compared to buying a new table, the cost of materials, including paint or excess stain, clear finish, grit sandpaper, dining table tools, gel stain, and chalk paint etc.
  • Lack of Warranty: When your veneer table lacks warranty. Then you won’t have the benefit of a manufacturer’s warranty.

What To Look For Before Refinishing a Veneer Table?

There are different natural wood veneered furniture and laminates. You need to identify what is yours. Let’s take a look at raw wood veneer and laminate furniture-

For wood veneer, Veneer means a layer of natural wood applied to a substrate that can be of any number of materials. 

For laminate, Laminate means a layer of man-made material applied to a substrate.

 What To Look For Before Refinishing A Veneer Table

The thickness of the veneer typically ranges from about 1/40th to 1/120th of an inch (0.6 to 0.025 millimeters). It’s incredibly lacquer thinner. Its primary purpose is to provide an attractive wood surface layer. While conserving the use of solid wood pieces.

The condition of the existing finish on a piece. Solid wood furniture makeovers are a critical factor to consider. When refinishing or restoring it. This condition can vary widely. It plays a significant role in determining the steps and level of work needed for the project.

Can You Refinish Veneer Table

How To Refinish Veneer Table Step-By-Step?

You can refinish any veneer wood grain piece of wood. It’s important to refinish all veneer of the previous smooth finish.

To successfully refinish a veneer table legs. You’ll need a set of essential materials and tools

Materials include paint stripper or solvent for removing: The existing finish, wood grain filler for repairs, the grit sandpaper of varying grits to achieve a smooth surface, clean tack cloth for wiping down wood surfaces, and optionally, steel wool, real wood stain piece of wood, or paint for stain color enhancement

This depends upon the desired end result. If one wishes for a uniform, flaw-free durable finish. It is definitely going to be necessary to remove the old finish.

So how to restore oak veneer table top? If one wishes a distressed finish a thorough sanding is needed, but it should not be a full strip. To get the best finish for veneer table, purchasing the best finishing materials is essential.

This is my trick for getting stains out. It is especially good for greasy stains but it also works on others.

Spray, weathered oak for 24 hours, wash in warm water, and check the stain. If necessary, repeat.

How To Refinish Veneer Table Step-By-Step

Refinish a table with paint is a critical final step of the refinishing process. It helps protect the real wood and preserve the newly applied stain or paint.

Sealing the refinished table with a clear finish not only protects the real wood. But it also enhances its appearance. Properly applied, the finish provides a durable and attractive veneer surface for years to come.

Read Also :- How To Polish A Veneer Table Top

What If The Refinish Veneer Table Isn’t Possible?

Refinishing a veneer table isn’t possible due to extensive damage or various constraints. 

Firstly, if only a small section of the veneer is damaged veneer. You may explore veneer repair, a delicate process involving the removal and replacement of the damaged portion. It’s with a matching veneer patch. 

Alternatively, if the damage is more widespread, painting the table can be a viable option. 

Tips And Tricks For Refinishing Veneer Table

You can hire an industrial table polisher or DIY to polish the veneer table top and use a touchpad. First to clean the table and then a stained polish. You can use the machine with a polish/buffing pad. 

This is the method I use and it really works. It is how wooden refinish tables are maintained. You can also apply these methods to refinish hardware table. Just think of the abuse that they go through without refinishing.

However, the best results are obtained with hard effort and by hand. Below are a few suggestions for steps to take:

Step 1: Cleaning

Get a table cleaner (purchase advice in-store) to remove the table from any dirt. It is best to do this by hand as the cleaning is more effective. 

If you use a buffer machine. You can miss the lows and burn through the highs of the hand-scraping-regardless of the number of pads you put on the buffer plate.

Step 2: Sanding

Use a pad between 150 and 180 grit. If you’re applying a water-based finish. You may want to consider using a 180- to 220-grit pad or paper. 

 Note that sanding will have a better result if the surface of the table is well-cleaned.  

If you use a sanding machine, be careful of the pressure. You may risk removing too much of the table and ruining the nerves of the wood. A tip about sanding is to identify the wood grain in the wood and sand in the direction of the gains.

Step 3: Applying Finish

Use a foam brush (4- to 6-inch thick) to apply oil-based finish. Divide the surface into sections and make sure. You apply the finish section after section and always apply in the direction of the grain. If you need to use a T-bar, pay attention not to flood the table with wood finish.

 If you’ve done the proper hand-sanding, hand-rubbing, and cleaning of the table-all hard labor. The refinished table should look as good as “new.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Worth Refinishing Wood Veneer Furniture?

It depends on how damaged the veneer is. If there is a chip out. Then you need to carefully cut out the damaged area and replace the area with a matching veneer. It isn’t easy, and the match is difficult.

Can You Sand Off A Veneer Finish?

Yes, you can sand off a veneer finish. However, it requires careful sanding to avoid damaging the thin veneer layer.

Last Words

I hope you understand about ‘Can you refinish veneer tables’. Already I put my blog article on how to polish a veneer table top.

I think you are reading my step-by-step guidelines so you can easily refinish your veneer wood table. I am also adding my article about Preliminary Checks Before Refinishing a Veneer Table. It’s important for refinishing veneer wood.

Especially If you want to know about tips and tricks then you have to go to my tips and tricks steps. To learn more you can pay a visit to Restore Journey


Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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