Using Veneer Tape for Perfect Veneer Joints

How do I use veneer tape? The adhesive on veneer tape is activated by water, similar to the glue used on an envelope. An easy way to apply the tape to your veneer is to hold the tape in one hand, put a small container of water with a sponge in it on your worktable, and pull the tape over the wet sponge with your other hand. You want to wet the tape to activate the adhesive, but not soak it.

Why should I use veneer tape instead of other tapes? It is possible to achieve a good veneer joint using other kinds of tape, however the greatest advantage to using actual veneer tape is that as it dries, it shrinks slightly, thereby pulling your joint seams closer together.

What preparation do I need to do before I apply the veneer tape? You will need to match and line up your veneer pieces together as best as possible. Do this with the good side down, laying flat on the table. Using painters tape, (green or blue tape) tape across the two veneer pieces and the bad or underside of the veneers.

Why does veneer tape have holes? One reason veneer tape has holes is to help you see the joint line that you are taping over. This is most useful when the tape has holes along the center line called a three hole tape (unlike the picture above). Another reason veneer tape has holes is so that there is less tape material to remove after you have pressed the veneer work piece.

When do I apply the veneer tape? The best time to apply the veneer tape is just before you will actually be gluing the veneer to the substrate. Veneer tape is activated by water and you do not want the veneers to sit around a long time with the veneer tape applied to them. They might curl up, and it will be more difficult to remove the tape afterward pressing.

How do I remove veneer tape? Start by lightly wetting the veneer tape. This will reactivate the adhesive. Do not soak the tape, as you may cause damage to the veneer. Just put enough water, easily done with a sponge, to loosen the tape. Most of the tape will be able to peeled off in this matter. Then remove the remaining tape by using a paint scraper. Any other little bits pf veneer tape and left over adhesive can be sanded off.

veneer tape scraper

The tape left marks all over my veneer, now what? It is normal to see the image impression of the veneer tape holes on your veneer after the tape is taken off. The veneer must be lightly sanded properly now, and all the marks left by the tape will be removed.

Below you will see in the first few minutes of the video how to properly apply special veneer tape to your veneer pieces. Pay close attention to a number of things such as:

  • how the veneer tape was moistened with the sponge. You do not need to buy a special veneer tape dispenser. It's always better to control the amount of moisture yourself by your own hand pressure on the wet sponge.
  • how the blue 'painters' tape across the backside of the veneer was applied before the veneer tape, and then removed after the veneer tape had dried.