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Wood Veneer Vs Wood Laminate – Know The Difference

By Author: josh
Total Articles: 15

According to a definition from salvagedinspirations.com, wood laminate is a manufactured layer of plastic, paper or foil that has been printed with a wood grain pattern. It’s like a ‘picture’ of wood that is bonded onto less expensive wood composites; usually MDF or particle board. With proper preparation, laminate CAN be painted however laminate can NOT be stained.

A quick way to identify if the wood is laminated is if the “color” or “design” of the furniture is slowly fading away from the edges, not following the grain of the furniture itself. This is because, as mentioned earlier, the laminate product that is attached to the actual wood is artificially prepared to look like it has a wood grain.

A possible advantage of laminate for some is that since it is made of plastic, you will not be able to stain it. Liquid particles will just slide right off your furniture because of plastic’s characteristic of being impervious to water. This makes laminate durable. Since plastic is relatively low cost, it is also made to be affordable to consumers.

Quoting from the salvagedinspirations.com, the definition of Wood Veneer, is a sheet or thin layer of ‘quality-natural-hardwood’ that is adhered to a lesser quality wood surface. Wood Veneers give the impression of a more desired quality wood without being as costly. Veneers also make it possible to create designs and match grain patterns. With proper preparation, wood veneer CAN be painted OR stained.

Following this definition, veneers tend to be more expensive as compared to the laminate. This is because, unlike the laminate that is made out of plastic, veneers are made up of a thin sheet of hard wood that is carved and designed by wood carvers to create beautiful pieces of furniture.
Although it is made from hard wood, it is still made from wood, no less, hence, wood veneer furniture are still susceptible to stains, absorbing moisture and the likes.

FAQ: Can both veneers and laminates be painted on?
Yes. It is possible.

However, both have specific requirements to be painted on. For laminates, it is important that you take out the “glossy” part of the material that makes It difficult to paint to. By making it grainy, you will be able to apply paint on the surface of the laminate. For the wood veneer furniture, it is crucial that it is in good condition and is not chipping. If the veneer is flaky and loose, the veneer will have the tendency to chip and will remove your paint all together. What you can do is to remove the veneer itself and paint the wooden surface underneath the veneer instead. This is a viable option you can take.

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