If you are planning to paint oak veneer, there are a few tips you should follow for good results. Veneer is a thin sheet of wood that is applied to a cheaper wood, to give it the appearance of a better grade of wood. It is applied with glue and rolled on and sometimes heated.
Tip 1: Sand and Prime
Since veneer has a shiny finish, you should sand it very lightly to roughen the surface so primer and paint will adhere better. It is also wise to prime it using an oil based primer. Oil based primers seal and penetrate better than water based, and will give you an overall better looking finish.
Tip 2: Fixing Damage
Veneer may crack, break or separate from the wood to which it is attached. This should be repaired before painting. Do this by applying heat and weighting down the separated areas. Breaks should be filled in with scrap veneer. Most cracks, if small, will be filled when you prime the piece.
Tip 3: Painting
Since veneer is glued on, it is unwise to get it very wet when you paint as it may cause the surface to lift or buckle. Brush or spray on one light coat and allow it to dry a few hours. Then apply another coat. You may need to do several coats to get the finish you want.