What is Veneer Finish?

Advantages and Disadvantages of veneer Finish?


While checking the different types of finishes available, veneer finish is a term which is usually used for premium projects. Companies which do modular work do not talk about veneer finishes. The reason for this is several which we will discuss later. First, lets see what veneers really are.

What is Veneer?

Veneer are natural sheets of wood which have been taken from the bark of a tree. The variety of the tree gives them the colors, grains and textures that we normally associate with the veneers. A beautiful sheet of veneer could be extremely expensive if it doesn’t have a lot of damage or “eyes”.

Since these veneers are extremely thin, they are laid out on a tougher plywood surface before transportation to avoid breakage. In addition, some more premium veneers may be available in rolls but they are not just very expensive but require extremely careful handling as well.

Why can veneer not be done in modular work?

Veneers are expensive. In addition, they cannot simply be glued to plywood like a laminate. They need to be glued and nailed to make them stay. Plus, since they are natural wood, they have their own grains and patterns. In a modular setup, these patterns cannot be matched for larger units. That is something only possible in a workshop or on-site and that too by workers who are skilled to do the work.

Veneers also need to be sanded and polished to give them life as well as the look and smoothness. This is again something not possible in a modular factory. Polishing setups are few and difficult to come across which can give the finish. Hence the best way is to polish by hand which again defeats the purpose of having a modular unit.

Last and possibly the most important reason is the skill needed. A modular factory is geared to churn out boards by the dozens. Veneer application requires patience and skill of carpenters as well as the polishers. These skills are expensive and so is the work.

How is Veneer applied?

Veneers are thin sheets which may come mounted on thin plywood sheets to maintain their rigidity. They are then glued on thicker plywood or other engineered wood which has been cut in desired sizes. The grains of the veneers are matched to give the aesthetic appeal. These veneers will also be nailed on the surface to ensure that they stay firm. Its advisable to use thin strips of MDF / plywood while nailing since the nails could otherwise leave a deeper abrasion when being pulled out later.

The veneer is then sanded and polished. Most common polish for veneers is melamine. Otherwise, for gloss, PU or polyester can also be used which are more expensive. Varnish is also applied by some people but this will spoil the wood in the long term.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Veneers

The biggest benefit of veneer is the fact that they are beautiful and can replace natural wood easily in doors, shutters and other boards. They are themselves natural wood hence they take the same look and feel. They are luxurious and can last very long with simple polishing being done every few years. Hence, any scratches etc can also be sanded away during this polishing process. Think of any other wooden piece of furniture you may have and veneers need to be maintained in similar way.

As far as disadvantages are concerned, veneers are definitely more expensive compared to laminates. In addition, veneers require skilled carpenters as well as polishing team to bring out the best in them. Because of the longer process of application, they will take some extra time for execution compared to modular fittings. But its usually worth it.


Veneers can be a wonderful addition to a home. Granted that they are a bit costly but if possible, its good to go for veneers in some accented places like TV units for sure which makes them look that much more grand and magnificent. In addition, grooves in veneers can also look great.

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