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How to Smooth Veneer After Sanding

2012-10-12   Views:3

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Veneers provide an effective way of beautifying a woodworking project made from inexpensive or less attractive materials. Covering the surface with a wood veneer gives an object a solid wood appearance at a fraction of the cost. However, treating ven

How to Smooth Veneer After Sanding

Veneers provide an effective way of beautifying a woodworking project made from inexpensive or less attractive materials. Covering the surface with a wood veneer gives an object a solid wood appearance at a fraction of the cost. However, treating veneer can present a challenge. Veneer is a delicate material and must be sanded carefully if it is to retain its flawless appearance. After sanding the veneer carefully with sand paper, fine steel wool can help to create a silky sheen.

Skill level:Moderate

Things you need

Soft, clean rags220-grit sandpaperDenatured alcoholFine steel wool

Instructions

1 Run a soft, clean rag along all of the surfaces and edges to see if it catches on anything. Sand any remaining rough areas (places where the tack cloth got caught) with 220-grit sandpaper. Wipe down the veneered object with a dry rag to remove dust and sand particles.

2 Dip a rag in denatured alcohol. Rub the solvent-soaked rag across the veneer to pick up remaining dust particles that weren't removed with the dry rag. Allow the alcohol to evaporate from the surface.

3 Smooth the surface with the fine steel wool. Work your way gradually across the face of the veneer. Rub the steel wool across the surface until the area you are working feels smooth to the touch.

4 Wipe away excess dust with a dry rag. Dampen the solvent rag with solvent once more. Use the dampened rag to pick up any remaining particles. Pay particular attention to whether any remnants of the steel wool remain on the surface and remove them. The smallest bit can leave a rust mark over time.

5 Use a dry rag to check the surface for snags and rough spots once more. Repeat the smoothing process with fine steel wool, if needed. Continue to smooth until you have achieved the texture you desire. Be mindful, however, that you do not over-sand the surface. Over-sanding results in a need to completely replace the veneer.

Tips and warnings

Take your time as you sand, and use only moderate pressure while smoothing the veneered surfaces. Taking it slow will allow you to repeat the process fewer times by creating a smoother surface with each pass.

Always wear safety glasses, ear plugs, and a dust mask when working with wood.

Do not use coarse sandpaper or steel wool to smooth veneers. Coarse materials can result in over-sanding, which can create unevenness, holes and frayed edges on the thin veneer material.

Sand veneers by hand. Because of the thinness of the veneer, it is easy to damage the surface of the object with an electric sander.

Always sand with the grain on wooden surfaces. Sanding across the grain results in a scratched finish.

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