need help with veneering

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Forum topic by ScottN posted 02-25-2011 03:28 PM 907 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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261 posts in 2677 days

02-25-2011 03:28 PM

I’m building a set of hickory cabinets, the cases are white melamine and normally I build side panels for the end cabinets but I would like to try some veneering.

Anyone ever veneer to melamine? I’m guessing you would have to scratch up the surface with some sandpaper so the glue would have something to hold to.

What type of glue would you recommend?

-- New Auburn,WI

5 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1755 posts in 2857 days

#1 posted 02-25-2011 10:06 PM

If you’re going to veneer it, why not use MDF instead of melamine? If you want melamine surface on interior, use 1/4” melamine inside the casings.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

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2600 posts in 2994 days

#2 posted 02-25-2011 10:49 PM

I’ve tried contact cement and white carpenter glue. Both “failed” after awhile. Perhaps I didn’t scuff the melamine enough.They do have some good epoxies and resins now, maybe you will have better luck than I did. Keep us posted about 6 months from now, how yours turned out.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2652 days

#3 posted 02-26-2011 03:59 AM

I would not try to veneer to melamine. There is one sided melamine available with the plastic on one side and exposed particle board on the other. The exposed particle board can be veneered.

As far as glues, I have used polyurethane glue and plastic resin glue with great success. Polyuerthane can be a b&$*(@ to clean up but you get enough open time to make it work. Plastic resin glue (DAP Wood Weld) gives you over an hour of open working time so complicated glue-ups are a breeze. The down side is it is a two-part glue (powder and water) mix and DON”T BREATH THE POWDER!!!! With this glue you will need some sort of vacuum clamp or something that can hold the sandwich for at least 12 hours at 70 degrees or more (use a heating blanket if necessary). With ploy glue you can clamp it for about 4-6 hours and go.

Like Herb said, take a look at MDF and sandwich the inside with a piece of 1/8” melamine if that is the look you want.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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10385 posts in 3645 days

#4 posted 02-26-2011 05:01 AM

I sanded the heck out of melamine a few times and veneered over it with
contact cement. That melamine is really hard to sand! It worked
but it was a lot of work.

If I did it again I’d probably use melamine glue and vacuum bag it,
or maybe let the glue try and apply with an iron.

Just speculating. It recommend you take a sheet of one sided white
hardboard and glue it to a piece of ply or mdf or whatever and put your
veneer on that. Cutting back the melamine is not a good way to
go – lots of work and an uneven surface will show irregularities through
the veneer.

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2677 days

#5 posted 02-26-2011 04:24 PM

I could take the sides off the panels that would be covered with the veneer and run them through my wide belt sander using 80 grit. I’m assuming 1-2 passes to get to the particleboard.

I don’t have a vacuum press so I would have to flatten it with a weighted source or possibly iron or…?

-- New Auburn,WI

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