How To Repair Bubbles And Blisters On Wood Veneer Furniture

Fixing a bubble on a veneered surface can be one of the hardest fixes we come across on veneer furniture. Here's a tutorial demonstrating some techniques to make the job easier.

In the above video, Rod Keyser displays some valuable veneer repair tips, techniques and how to's into this super informative video where he repairs a veneer bubble on an antique radio cabinet.

Bubbled veneer, uggghhh !!  I would always cringe when I had to deal with a veneer blister because I knew there was no simple fix. Bubbles are just one of those menacing things we furniture restores have to deal with.

Earlier in my career, I was trained to repair veneer bubbles by using an craft knife to slice the veneer in the center of the bubble, and follow that step by using a razor blade to slide glue under the veneer on both sides and then clamping. That method worked.....sometimes.

Other times the razor blade was too small and I wasn't able to get the glue far enough into the blister. It was just one of those okay methods that would eventually work but it was a flawed technique.

Another technique I personally never use, but know some do, is heating the surface with an iron in hopes of softening and reactivating the glue. My experience has been that the bubble is there for a reason, and while heat may seemingly work at fixing the bubble, it's typically temporary and the bubble will return sooner or later. However, if this bubble is on a piece you own, and not a clients applying heat with an iron could be worth a try.

The glue used can be either yellow wood glue, or hide glue. In this tutorial I used yellow wood glue, but hide glue is actually preferred because it can be activated by heat and softened. This allows us to continue our repair if for some reason the results are less than we had expected and perhaps part of the bubble is still present.

In the VIDEO TUTORIAL ABOVE, I demonstrate the method I now use in our furniture workshop when am presented with a bubble I need to repair.  The needle allows me to get glue, a lot of glue, far under the blistered veneer and is thin enough to cause minimal damage, If any at all.

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