How Veneer Edge Banding Can Make Plywood Look Like Solid Wood

Veneer edge banding

If you’re doing a building project and poking around the woodworking aisles in your local home improvement store, you’ll probably come across something that looks like a roll of thick tape, but has the appearance of wood. This product is edge banding, and it’s extremely useful when you’re making something such as furniture. Here’s a little more about how edge banding works.

What Is Veneer Edge Banding?

In the context of woodworking, veneer is a product made by taking extremely thin slices of wood and adhering them to other products. Veneer edge banding is made by taking many pieces of veneer and fashioning them in a continuous roll. This allows it to be applied to the edges of pieces (typically made from plywood), giving them the appearance of solid wood.

How Is Veneer Edge Banding Applied?

There are several types of self adhesive veneer banding. Although there are some peel and stick veneers, the most common type is applied using a standard household clothes iron. After the wood to which the banding will be adhered has been sanded, the edge banding is simply ironed on (in a similar fashion to sewing tape or appliques).

What Projects Can Veneer Edge Banding Be Used For?

Edge banding is generally used for finishing larger projects using high-quality hardwood plywood and furniture grade wood veneer. Because plywood is made of several layers of wood bonded with an adhesive, it is significantly less expensive than solid wood — while offering similar strength. But because the appearance of plywood is unfinished, it can look cheap unless the edges are banded. It’s also possible to use iron-on edge banding in creative projects such as lamps or artwork. You can also use edge banding to dress up less expensive furniture from big-box stores, since these often leave unfinished edges.

What Are the Downsides of Veneer?

Veneers vary greatly in quality, which is why it’s worth investing in high-quality veneers. The biggest downside of veneer is that, unlike solid wood, it can’t be sanded down and refinished after several years of use.

Do you have any tips on how to get the best results when choosing veneer suppliers or building projects with wood veneer sheets? Join the discussion in the comments.

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