You may have heard the term “paper backed veneer,” but what is this substance, anyway?
Paper backed veneers are strips of real wood veneers that are glued to a paper, to make wood veneer sheets. The paper backing is not removable. It keeps the veneers together and helps give the veneers strength against seasonal changes in humidity. It comes in different sizes and thickness. The thickness of the backing is often 10 mil and 20 mil. 10 mil thickness is often used for flat surfaces. 20 mil thickness is for rough surfaces that could use some hiding of minor imperfections. But 10 mil will work for most projects and looks just as great as 20 mil.
A more permanent option are veneers using pressure sensitive adhesive. These can be cut using razor knife or a good pair of scissors. And once the backing touches a surface, it starts to bond and cannot be moved.
Similar veneers are wood on wood veneers and veneer laminate. Wood on wood veneers (also called 2-ply veneers) are real wood veneer sheets that are one layer of wood, a layer of backing, and another layer of wood. The wood veneers on the back lie in a different direction than the ones on top, giving a sturdier veneer that can even be used on moderate curves.
Veneer laminate sheets are usually made of plastic and painted to look like woodgrain. They can be sanded (if you sand with the grain), primed, and painted. But since they are not real wood, they cannot be stained like wood veneers. Even though they aren’t wood, many people still like them. And companies do because they are cheaper than real wood.
There are a few different types of sheets of veneer, but each has their good qualities. Paper backed are real wood and can be used to cover flat surfaces. Two-ply can be used on curves. Laminate is cheaper, yet can still be sanded and painted like wood. Each of these can be used to give something the look of natural wood and give a professional looking finish.