I intend to replace a built in, 20+ year old refrigerator. There is
currently a 3/8 inch (?) oak veener plywood panel, on an appearance
side of our current unit. Over thiose many years, some of that oak
veneer has developed a darker color. The oak veneer has remained well
"adhering", to the underlying base plywood panel.
Before installing the new refrig, I would like to refinish that oak
panel. I am sure that the veneer surface is real Thin ! Bbeing an over
20 years old panel, it may be thicker than current veneers?
Is there a best way to refinish veneer? I sure would prefer to keep
that existing panel, as that wood grain does closely match our
existing oak cabinets etc.
Thanks for any advise -dave
On Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 12:45:13 PM UTC-4, Dave C wrote:
I would look for a new piece of veneer at HD, etc. I recently did
similar when replacing my ovens. I had to make a matching panel
and did it by buying oak veneer and staining it. I guess you could
try sanding and staining the existing veneer, IDK how well that
would work, but replacing it is a backup option.
You can't sand down very far, so your only option
is probably to sand a bit and then stain darker,
assuming the stain doesn't just come off. It's hard
to tell from your description what the discoloration
Another option might be to veneer over it or replace
the panel, then stain that to match. I buy both from
They'll ship anywhere. They carry oak plywood, both
rotary cut and plain sliced. (The former looks like fir
plywood, with wide, looping grain. The latter looks
like boards.) They also carry oak veneer attached to
kraft paper, for use with contact cement. I'm not sure
about doing that on top of old poly, but I'm just
explaining that option because I don't really know
what you need. If it's a panel trimmed by chrome
or some such, that you can easily take out, I'd go
for replacing it and matching the color with stain.
I'd bet the dark is dirt/oils from folks' hands over the years.
It's amazing how many places people "drag their hands" that you'd
not consider without video evidence of their actions!
You might first try a good furniture cleaner.
When I took woodworking classes in high school, I recall them talking
about bleaching wood to lighten it. I believe that just involved wiping
bleach on the wood. Maybe someone can clarify this. Of course I know
this is for bare wood, not wood which is sealed with a finish. A paint
stripper might be a better bet than sanding it. Try it in a small spot
I kinda agree with Don Y that the darkening may be just crud. If it is,
naptha (lighter fluid) would remove it withott harming any finish. Ditto
As mentioned, oxalic acid will bleach wood but any finish has to be removed
first but your veneer won't take much sanding. Time was that 1/16" was
standard veneer thickness but that was decades ago; now, 1/42" or less.
Other options include replacing the panel or adding new veneer to what is
there. Both options have "gotch yas": is the existing red or white oak?
They look different. Was the existing stained? Good luck matching the
color if so.
Additionally, adding new veneer on top of the old and it isn't hard...unless
you have never done it before. If you want to tey that, I'd suggest peel
and stick veneer , a piece large enough to cover the entire panel without
having to piece it together. Such can be had at Constantine's...
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.