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JLHomeOwner
Removing veneer from lovely solid wood cabinets?

We just bought our first house. We love the kitchen layout and don't want to change anything except for the awful, dark, grey-brown veneer cabinets that were built on site and installed in 1949. They are solid, no cracks or buckling or water damage. Someone suggested refacing, but I hate to waste the fabulous solid wood that is sitting under the dark veneer. Is there any way to peel off the veneer? It is already peeling away from the wood underneath in some places. If I can get rid of the veneer I would whitewash the cabinets.
Would it be easier to just sand them and paint over the veneers? Either way we want white cabinets or a whitewash.
Thank you for any advice!
I tried to post a picture but for some reason it will not upload from the iPad.

ordjen
Re: Removing veneer from lovely solid wood cabinets?

JL,

I doubt that you actually have "solid" wood under the veneer, but rather an edge glued board. If you look at the top or bottom edges, you will probably see small sections of wood that have been glued together. This is done because it is much more dimensionally stable than one piece of board would be, if such wide pieces were even available. It you should be able to get the veneer off, which I doubt you can short of with very aggressive sanding, your stained finish would show all these pieces of glued board.

You could try to chemically strip the veneer, but I doubt you would be able to get it clean enough to take a whitewashed stain without showing traces of the old color.

By far the easiest and least expensive change would be to prime and paint the existing cabinets.

JLHomeOwner
Re: Removing veneer from lovely solid wood cabinets?
ordjen wrote:

By far the easiest and least expensive change would be to prime and paint the existing cabinets.

OK, what do you recommend as primer, and do I need to sand the crud out of the cabinets for it to stick?

Thank you for your reply!!

dj1
Re: Removing veneer from lovely solid wood cabinets?

You need to sand the crud off. For primer use a good quality Zinsser prime coat 2.

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