Slip a metal paint scraper under a loose edge and try to work the veneer up. You might get lucky, and the veneer may separate easily. This is possible if the piece is old and has been exposed to enough moisture or sunlight to break the glue bond.
Heat the surface with a heat gun as you scrape if the veneer doesn't come off easily. Heat may soften the adhesive. If you don't have a heat gun, use a hair dryer on its highest setting.
Lay a towel across the veneered surface and run a steam iron over the towel. Makes sure the iron is set to high heat and full steam. The combination of moisture and heat may loosen an adhesive that isn't responsive to heat alone.
Soak the furniture surface with a 1-to-1 solution of vinegar and water if heat and moisture don't work. If that doesn't loosen the adhesive, try painting a coat of lacquer thinner onto the veneer. Vinegar and lacquer thinner are solvents that may dissolve the adhesive.
Chisel the veneer with a stiff 1-inch putty knife and a hammer if all else fails. After scraping off as much as you can, use a belt sander and a 120-grit sanding belt to sand off the rest.
Things You Will Need
- Metal paint scraper
- Heat gun or hair dryer
- Steam iron
- Lacquer thinner
- 1-inch putty knife
- Belt sander
- 120-grit belt
- If the veneer is very difficult to remove, none of it is lifting and it has no large voids, you can lay a new veneer directly over it. Fill small voids and depressions with wood filler before laying the new veneer.