From Here, To Veneer

After a coat of primer, the bathroom built-in has been coming together. BUT, it was pretty obvious that the edges of the shelves would need some lipstick to look all purty and ready for all our bathroom essentials. Although the wood we purchased was a higher quality pine (and not MDF), and the interior does look mighty nice all sanded and primed – the edges of the shelves were a totally different story. See how unfinished this looks?

How to Veneer Shelf
Edges Of Shelf

While we were making (another) trip to Lowe’s, I spotted some veneer just chillaxin next to the wood department, which got me to thinking. We’ve never used veneer before, so I wasn’t completely certain how the stuff even worked – but let me tell ya – it’s as easy as ironing your Sunday best. Probably easier. We went with this stuff, Band-it Veneer Edging, from Lowes. I figured if it could fix all my janky shelf woes for 6 bucks, that we could be fast friends.

How to veneer shelf
Wood Veneer

After schlepping our iron out of storage (ironing is pretty rare round these parts), we just started trimming out each piece to fit. Since we knew we could always go back and remove some of the trim later, we just put the veneer right up to the shelf and cut it to size from there, vs. measuring the shelf, and then cutting the piece to the precise measurement. Nothing too scientific here. 🙂

Wood Veneer Installation
Wood Veneer Installation

While we were doing this, we let the iron get warm, and then we just grabbed that son of a gun and lightly applied pressure as we worked our way across the shelf. If we noticed that the veneer was popping up at all, we just went back and put a bit more heat at that location.

Overall, each shelf front probably took 30 seconds for the heat application, so it’s pretty straight forward. Once the piece was up there, we came back through with a razor blade to trim out the remaining veneer. Since the veneer came down a 1/4 inch or so beyond the shelf, we opted to trim out this part to avoid things catching on the veneer, and possibly tearing it or ripping it down the line. You can see where there is a bit of a lip on the picture below.

How to trim veneer
Trimming Veneer

Once we installed the veneer on each shelf and came back through to trim it, things were looking like this! You can see on the top one that the veneer got a wee bit singed from the heat, but since we were planning on painting right over it, we didn’t fret too much about it. I’m super glad we stumbled upon the veneer, because I think that it is going to give the shelf a much more finished look – and make it look a bit less DIY. Now that we know how simple the veneer install is (and since we have boat loads of the stuff left over), I think we will be using this stuff more often!

How to install wood veneer
Wood Veneer On Shelf

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