Altering the color of black veneer furniture will be possible if you look closely at the veneer’s special needs. Veneer is a thin layer of grained wood adhered to a cheaper wood base, producing an attractive piece in a lower cost than solid hardwood furniture. Although refinishing techniques are much like solid-wood furniture, a lighter touch is imperative to avoid damaging the thin wood veneer. Whether you’ve got new veneer furniture or a salvage detect that reveals its age, then the very first step begins with analyzing your piece to find out its condition.

State of this Veneer

The condition of the veneer furniture determines the measures that you need to refinish it. Examine the piece carefully for cracks, scrapes, chips and peeling areas. Veneer that is fantastic condition is ready to refinish. Veneer with minor gaps can usually be repaired. But if the veneer is severely damaged with bubbles and significant peeling areas, it cannot be repaired. You may have the ability to eliminate the damaged veneer and then refinish and stain the wood under it, even if it is attractive enough.

Preparing the Surface

If the veneer has a masonry or other sealed finish, strip and eliminate it. Follow product directions for fluid paint or varnish remover, but be careful not to get the veneer too moist as this may loosen the adhesive holding the veneer to the base wood. When the finish was eliminated, fill in tiny cracks, chips or scrapes with a stainable wood filler material. Sand the surface with 150-grit sandpaper, with a sanding block and a light touch to avoid damaging the veneer, since the veneer layer is quite thin. Lightly sand in the direction of the grain. Remove dust with a tack cloth, then sand again with 220-grit sandpaper and remove the dust. Constantly mud veneer by hand. Using a sand block will help you to prepare an even surface, which is crucial to getting an even application of stain.

Black Stain Application

Apply black wood stain into the prepared surface as you would paint, with a natural bristle brush for oil-based stains or a synthetic brush for water-based products. You may also use a quality foam brush or a clean, lint-free cloth. Stir the product thoroughly after you open the can, then implement the stain with your brush or cloth working with the direction of the wood grain. Following the veneer has absorbed the stain — approximately 4 to 5 minutes — wipe off the excess stain with a clean cloth. Apply a second stain layer if needed to receive a really deep black stain. After the stain has thoroughly dried, apply a protective coating of wood oil or polyurethane according to product directions. Some stain products have been already mixed with polyurethane and do not require the upper coat.

Staining Over Black Veneer

It is nearly impossible to stain over black without removing the shade, and with veneer, this can be problematic. Wood bleaches are available to eliminate stain, however, the liquids and chemicals could loosen the adhesive holding the veneer. Also, bleach doesn’t change a wood’s natural color, therefore veneers made from ebony wood, for example, cannot be lightened. A safer alternative might be to change the veneer’s appearance by glazing with a lighter shade, which can create interesting distressed effects, or even to paint the piece with a faux wood technique. If you wish to bleach a mildly stained veneer, analyze your bleach product on a hidden area to see if it lightens the stain. After the finish was stripped and removed, implement wood bleach and neutralizer after the product directions. Once the stain is completely eliminated, complete the surface preparation and apply a new stain of your choice.