My parents have a wooden kitchen table that has a very durable white
veneer glued onto its surface. The nice finished wooden edges extend
out from the veneer and thus, the veneer only sits on the actual flat
area of the table.
I have a kitchen table that we really like and is fairly new but had
gotten some water damage from a leak we had to fix a year ago. I'm not
wondering if there's a way to add a veneer, after market, to such a
table and where I'd go to get it done. I called my local furniture
store and they said no way, that it had to be done at the factory.
You think it's that easy to cut it such that you wouldn't be able to
see screwed up edges? You're braver than I am. I know I wouldn't be
able to cut an edge anywhere near as cleanly as what I saw on my
parents table. It was flawless.
If I can find a place that can cut it cleanly I might try that. I
certainly wouldn't do it with a knife. I could rent a router but even
that would be a possible problem. I could C-clamp it to the table (I'd
hate to glue it before I know it's right) and then cut it up to the
center breaks (including the leaves) and once done, glue it in place.
Certainly worth thinking about. Thanks!
I have a few router bits that would do the edges of Formica as clean as its
from the factory assuming I don't screw up. As for a sharp knife on Formica,
no way I could do this. I've seen people use belt sander or a file to trim
the Formica edges but that requires some high skill level for a factory like
finish. Router is the best bet for mortals.
As for veneer there is a hand trimmer that would put a nice finish edge on
If the present top is wood, you can replace it with new wood, or get
The cost of the materials will not be that much different.
Using a router takes a bit of practice.
But it's not an impossible skill to learn.
There are a few good "woodworking" shows on tv that you can watch, one on
PBS called "router workshop" is usually on weekends.
If you never tried a router before, you may want to practice a bit on some
sacrificial projects, and expect to screw a few things up.
Once you learn all the ways you shouldn't do things, you should know what TO
But as routers and bits can get quite expensive, (even for rentals) for
only the one project, you may be better off to bring the top to a
professional "furniture restorer/refinisher" for a quote first.
The "pros" will even have planers to take off the old veneer first.
And they can show you finished jobs to let you see if you want to trust them
to do your job properly.
Most should be more than happy to cut the price a bit if you are willing to
do the finishing (stain urethane) yourself, or they can do the whole job.
And if you can find an honest one, they will even tell you if it's just
cheaper to buy a new table, or completely replace the top, unless it really
has sentimental value.
Or just ask a neighbor or friend who can show you finished work to prove
they know what they are doing, to do it and give them a few bucks for their
BTW, make sure if there is a leaf, to get that done at the same time.
1. The laminate is cut over size
2. It is applied to the substrate
3. The excess is trimmed with a router bit that has a bearing so that it
follows the edge and trims the laminate flush to it. Flawlessly.
If your table is wood - real and solid wood - forget laminate.
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If the wood is oak and the stain is black try some oxalic acid to
reverse the stain. Suggest use a polyurethane for the top as it is
tough. Also tough to touchup small scratches.
On Sun, 04 Sep 2005 21:37:38 -0400, Rich Heimlich
I have a table that was handed down from my parents. It was bought new
around 1970 (the manufacture date is on the bottom of the table). It
has a dark wood appearing laminate surface and after over 35 years of
daily use (and abuse) it is still in awesome shape. The bottoms of the
legs are faded from mopping around the legs but it the surface is still
good looking (no scratches or nicks) and it doesn't wobble at all. I
still am using the original chairs that came with it and they are all in
excellent shape, too. They don't wobble and never have. The table's
look is outdated but I am scared to replace it because I doubt I could
find a table that would be good!
From your follow up post we can assume that you don't have the tools or the
experience to do this to a satisfactory degree. Afterall, the laminate or
veneer is *not* cheap and a screw-up while learning could be pricey. So,
get it done professionally at a cabinet shop. This would be the folks who
build kitchens and not the furniture people who know very little about the
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