The Proper Storage of Raw and Backed Wood Veneer

You’ve purchased some truly handsome American black cherry wood veneer and are looking forward to using it for your next fine furniture project. In the meantime, taking care to properly store your supply of wood veneer is paramount to prevent damage and keep it in the best possible condition. Storage techniques are largely dependent upon the size and quantity of the veneers.

Tips for Storing Wood Veneer

Tip #1 – Rolled veneers should be carefully unrolled as soon as possible and kept flat in a horizontal position. Place the longest and widest on the bottom. Veneer should be covered to prevent the color from fading due to fluorescent light and UV exposure.

Tip#2 – Veneer should be wrapped in plastic. This provides a moisture barrier. Excess moisture can cause the veneer to become wavy or buckled. Smaller pieces or bundles of veneer can be wrapped in regular trash bags. Black 10 mill plastic works well with larger sizes. If possible store your veneers in a temperature controlled environment. Dehumidifiers are also recommended. If you do have some mold on your veneer oxalic acid is recommended to “bleach” the stain. Oxalic acid is available from the hardware store and use it as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

wood veneerTip#3 – Keep smaller sections of wood veneer on a shelf along with MDF (medium-density fiberboard) or a piece of plywood placed on top. Any amount of weight will help keep veneers flat.


wood veneerTip #4 – For backed Mahogany crotch or Burl sheets which tend to curl because of so much tension in the wood, sandwiching between two big sheets of flake board or MDF works especially well. You can then use screws (or good old duct tape) to hold everything together and reduce slippage which can cause scratching of the veneer surface.

wood veneerTip #5 – Storing delicate burls require extra care. Place Burls on stiff pieces of cardboard or thin plywood, that way, you grab the plywood instead of the veneer, thus helping preserve these treasures from any damage caused by handling.



wood veneerTip #6 – Larger quantities of veneer are best stored on pallets and protected in black shrink-wrap.



Avoid Damage to Wood Veneer

Some veneer faces come with tape at the ends to help avoid splitting during transit. If you want to remove this tape, be sure to pull off the tape in the direction of the grain; otherwise, you may risk tearing the veneer. Some experts suggest that you simply leave the tape intact until you are actually going to use the veneer. Remember, like most woods, veneers can expand and contract to some degree, even with minimal humidity changes.

If you have veneer that was not stored correctly, you may be able to restore and make it more flexible by applying a coat of softener for veneers. Take the necessary steps. Wood veneers that are stored properly can last a lifetime.


Sabrina Parisette-HerzogSabrina Parisette-Herzog is a 5th generation wood veneer specialist. Owner and President of Herzog Veneers, Inc., and a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, she and her husband Sam started the company in High Point, NC in 1982.
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