Today I’m sharing the dark side of DIY. It’s not often that a project completely fails to the point that it can’t be salvaged, so when it does it’s pretty upsetting.
As you can tell by now, I’m eliminating all of the turquoise in this house. I had this console table in the studio because it was the perfect size and just deep enough to hold my supplies but not take up too much room in the small space:
My dad built this piece for us years ago—here’s a glimpse of it in our first home (on the right):
A couple years ago I painted it blue for our Florida house…
And now I wanted it a natural wood color. Problem is, the surface was veneered, and once stained and painted there’s no way it can return to its natural wood color.
I really wanted to keep the table, so the only way to get what I wanted was to cover the surface with wood.
Enter veneer. Veneer isn’t cheap. The best deal I found was this on Amazon. And I had to buy two sheets so it ended up costing $70.
The material itself is like a really thick, sturdy paper. Seemed easy enough to install.
You can buy stick and peel veneer but it’s quite a bit more expensive, so I decided to just use contact cement.
After lightly sanding the table, I opened my can of contact cement and read the instructions…
It said to apply it to both surfaces and let it dry for 15-20 minutes, which seemed long to me.
My first mistake was not applying enough (you can see the thicker areas above where it’s yellowish and shinier—the entire surface should have looked like that).
The veneer just soaked it right up so it dried up real fast.
I figured that just meant I didn’t need to let it dry any longer, so I applied the veneer way too soon.
I didn’t notice there was a problem at first—it seemed to hold okay. The most challenging part of it all was trying to cut my piece to exactly the right size and apply it perfectly straight so it lined up evenly everywhere. That was my third mistake—you’re supposed to cut the veneer larger, apply it, and then trim the edges off. I didn’t have the proper tools to do this, just a dull utility knife.
I tried setting the table on top of the veneer after both sides had the glue applied, and then cutting the excess off on the ground, but the table is very heavy so it was near impossible for me to lift it up and set it down while lining it up perfectly. This is definitely a two person job.
Still, I managed to make it work as best as I could and I thought it was coming along pretty well.
It was a lot of work and very time consuming, though. I worked on it over the course of 3 afternoons.