Jun 16, 2009

Veneer bubbles, and how to fix it.

Veneer bubbles, and I can't get it to stay down.

My veneer keeps on bubbling up after a day or two of drying. Is there something i am doing (or not doing) to cause this? I use paperback veneers and good quality professional spray adhesive 3M, and a 5 gallon pressure pot.


Veneers can be quite tricky. First you have to consider the type of substrate you'll use, particle board is the most common. Make sure to sand the particle board with a block to remove any debris or other obstructions. This will ensure you won't have bumps or high spots to deal with later. Secondly prepare the Glue. We use HP15 which is a high solids (38%) contact adhesive. Laquer based solvent works best in a professional atmosphere due to its quick dry time.

Glue must be mixed.
Just like paint the solids will settle overnight. If you don't mix it your spray will work fine for the first half of your 5 gallon can, the second half you'll be spraying mostly solvent. So your 38% solids will be reduced to 5%. When you spray make sure to get 100%coverage around the perimeter of your work piece. and 80-85% throughout the rest. Edges are important because once it lifts after a year or so due to lack of solids, the rest will be exposed to the elements and it will snowball from there.

A new thing i have adapted to my ways is when applying glue. Do one coat, let dry 20 mins, then do another. Sounds wasteful but it's well worth it. This is a sure way to eliminate lifting or bubbles. Most of the first coat soaks in the substrate. applying again will make it sit on top like you want. Bubbles are created by gases getting trapped in between the layers. So make sure when you touch the glue it doesn't transfer to your fingers. (about 20mins). Roll out your work piece with a pinch roller or j-roller using plenty of pressure. If you do get bubbles poke a hole in them with a pin or something small and roll out again. DOn't wait too long because you want the glue to be tacky still underneath. Overnight it should settle down and stick.These are not 100% foolproof, just tricks of the trade I have learned over the course of my career.

I wish you luck Joe, feel free to ask if you come into anything else.

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  1. I was also going through the same problem. Thanks for the solution man..

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  2. I am a good painter and was facing the same problem. thanks for the solution...!

  3. What do you recommend to put behind a bubble in order to stick it down? epoxy?

  4. Depending on where the bubble forms will determine the type of glue. What I mean by this is, If you can clamp it down over night use yellow glue. If not 1 min epoxy is good too. Dont over do it, as it wont take any color later on. Sometimes I find a little laquer thinner reactivates the glue underneath.( this is only a fix used when you first lay the veneer, applying after finish is not recommended). On flat surfaces use a block with some V-Fold tape to apply pressure.