How to Repair Split Wood Veneer Cabinets

What You'll Need
Parchment paper
Warm clothes iron
Masking tape
Utility knife
Carpenter's glue
Plastic wrap

Wood veneer cabinets are highly attractive and inexpensive alternatives to solid wood cabinets. These cabinets feature a unique wood paneling finish that gives them an individual and sophisticated appearance. Unfortunately, the thin layer of veneer that covers the surface of these cabinets may sometimes become split. This can happen if the cabinet is stored in a damp or humid place or if items that are especially hot or cold come into contact with the surface of the item. Fortunately, repairing split wood veneer cabinets is an easy project to do at home.

Step 1 -- Iron the Split

In some cases, splits in wood veneer surfaces happen when the glue underneath the veneer becomes loose from the cabinet wood that it attaches to. In these cases, you can try to reactivate the glue by heating it up so that it will stick to the wood once again. Lay a thin piece of paper over the split area of the veneer. Parchment paper works well for this, because it tends to stay in place on the veneer surface. Heat up a clothes iron to a medium temperature and then run it over the parchment paper and the split. Check to see if the glue has been warmed enough to stick the veneer back down onto the wood.

Step 2 -- Cut Out Bubbles

When the veneer splits on the surface of a wood veneer cabinet, it's also common for bubbles to form underneath the veneer surface. This can cause problems later on, and it's important that you remedy the bubbles when you repair the split. Before you repair the split, locate any bubbles and lay masking tape over them, bridging across the bubbles onto the good veneer. Cut into the tape and the bubble beneath it with a utility knife. The tape should hold the veneer in place temporarily.

Step 3 -- Clean Out the Splits

Use a toothpick to clean out any debris or dirt that may have collected underneath the split edges of the veneer. It's important that you remove these items so that the glue will adhere better and so that the veneer will go back onto the wood evenly.

Step 4 -- Glue the Split Sections

Lift the split edges up very carefully and apply a small amount of glue to the wood underneath the edges. Press the edge down carefully and with firm pressure. Use a toothpick to remove any excess glue that might seep out from underneath the veneer edge. Repeat this process for the other side of the split, and have an assistant hold down the split edges carefully while you prepare for the final step.

Step 5 -- Wrap the Split

With the split section glued down, wrap plastic wrap around the cabinet door tightly so that it maintains pressure on the area with the glue. Allow the glue to dry for two days before removing the plastic wrap.