Gluing Veneer to the Back of a Mirror

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Forum topic by BenInDallas posted 12-10-2014 02:05 AM 1144 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1259 days

12-10-2014 02:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: veneer application glue mirror glass advice question

I’m an amateur at this, but working on a freestanding (“cheval”-style) mirror frame as a christmas gift for the girlfriend.

The mirror itself will be about 2ft x 6ft (rectangular) and fully enclosed in a solid walnut frame. Given the style, the back (of course) will be visible. So, I bought some raw (un-backed) walnut veneer to match my lumber …before I had fully thought through how to attach it. Oops.

In any case, I’d rather not add to the weight and thickness of the piece with an extra sheet of masonite or mdf, if I can help it. So, is there any reason why I couldn’t glue the veneer directly to the back of the mirror?

And if so, what kind of glue would do the trick?

And if not, what’s the best solution for substrate, glue, and application technique?

4 replies so far

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2432 days

#1 posted 12-10-2014 02:44 AM

Welcome to LumberJocks!

You mirror glass should be free floating in the frame with a separate backing. The mirror needs to be supported from behind with a solid piece of some type to prevent the mirror from flexing. Only specialized mirror adhesives should be used on a mirror or you risk damaging the silvering on the back and having the glue bleed through to the glass in front. None of these adhesives are any good for attaching a wood veneer. I would use a piece of quality 1/4 inch ply for the back and apply the veneer to that.

Good luck with the project. I’m sure your girlfriend will love it.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View BenInDallas's profile


2 posts in 1259 days

#2 posted 12-10-2014 03:50 AM

All good points. Hadn’t thought about the silvering, especially.

So, any advice on applying veneer to such a large surface? Would you use Titebond, or something else? And as for clamping, think I can get away with weights on top of a sheet of 3/4” plywood, or do I need something stronger?


View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4981 posts in 2488 days

#3 posted 12-10-2014 12:11 PM

I think you’ll have a problem gluing the veneer to the mirror. The silvering requires special adhesives (as mentioned), none of them (AFAIK) are suitable for veneers….they are designed to hold the mirror to a way or such. You might give Joe Woodworker a call and see if he stocks something that can be used, but I think you’ll have to use a backer, 1/8” hardboard should work though it may be a little “floppy”, but it will save some weight. Some of the “1/4 inch” underlayment plywood is only 3/16” thick, that may be another option. The last option may be to get some of the safety backing for mirrors (this is a layer of some kind of polymer on the back to keep all the shards together if it breaks), and put the glue on it…I would think contact cement would work for this (PSA veneer would have been better), but I’d ask at the glass shop first.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bondogaposis's profile


4722 posts in 2346 days

#4 posted 12-10-2014 02:59 PM

I wouldn’t recommend gluing veneer to the back of a mirror. Recipe for disaster. The mirror needs support not just covered up. I think Fred’s suggestion of underlayment is an excellent idea and won’t add much weight.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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