Advice on Painting Oak Veneer

30 Jun 2005
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United Kingdom
I wish to paint an oak veneered bed frame. Would like to paint it white. So, would appreciate the best way to go about this to avoid problems further ahead regarding peeling and flaking.

Any help appreciated.

Thank you
Last edited:
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Do you know what the base material is (MDF/etc)? Approximately how old is it? 5 years vs 100 years.

Photos would help.

AFAIK, the traditional way of applying veneer was with rabbit skin glue. I believe they were gelatine based and one added the pellets to hot water. Water based finishes might reactivate the glue, hence the need to know roughly how old the unit is and if it was mass produced or not.

You also ned to know if the veneer has been waxed or not.

And when you say oak veneer, are you sure that it isn't an oak effect vinyl/laminate finish?
Thanks opps for your reply.
I will try and post pics. It’s actually a bed frame and not a chest of drawers if that makes a difference? Approx 8 years old.At a guess I would say it was a mass produced item from a high st bed shop
Not sure about your other questions. Maybe pics will help?
the concealed or cut edges might show the edge of the veneer, if such it is.

Varnish is also an awkward surface to paint.
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I’ve uploaded some pics........ I think
I would guess that it's sprayed with a lacquer?

I'd be tempted to test a bit on the back first. I would guess that zinsser first would be good with maybe a satin?
It looks like solid timber.

At a guess I would say that Tigercubrider might be correct about it being some kind of spray lacquer. If so it just needs sanding and painting with your primer/undercoat and finish of choice.

If it is a waxed finish you will need to sand the finish away. If you don't the new paints wont adhere. Mass produced items with a wax finish tend to have a spray applied wax. It shouldn't be thick enough to clog your sand paper.

It might not be obvious though until you prime/undercoat it. Last year I was given some furniture to paint by a customer. I sanded it to "key" level and applied a coat of acrylic primer. It didn't pass the fingernail test. I ended up having to sand my primer and the old finish away completely.
Thanks opps and Tigercubrider. So, the process would be to,
1. Sand it
2. Apply primer/undercoat - which would you recommend- then see how that dries? How many coats?
3. Apply finish of my choice. If preferring a satin finish which one would you recommend?


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