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Refinishing Mantles (Veneer) #931793
01/29/18 08:00 PM
01/29/18 08:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 53,855
The Indianhead's Left Nostril....
CabinConnection Offline OP
Bigfoot
CabinConnection  Offline OP
Bigfoot
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 53,855
The Indianhead's Left Nostril....
I've a project coming up where I need to refinish 20-25 gas fireplace mantles, which are essentially a veneer top. Problems range from simple scratches to severe checking/buckling due to sun and/or moisture damage.

While I'll look for more photos and add them to this thread as I find them, I thought I'd get this going asking for HELP! cry

I've very little experience with this kind of salvage work, and you WON'T hurt my feelings asking any question(s).

What I do know is these tops are a veneer of some species, and it looks like a poly was used. I don't know the species, and I don't know if in fact it was a poly. They were built about 17 years ago. All of the moisture/sun damaged ones are triangle shaped, with the fireplace sitting "inside" a corner. Other fireplaces are "outside" corner units, so the mantles form an "L" and these are only scratched (no sun/moisture).

Typical "outside corner" fireplace, L shaped mantle is above this:



Typical "inside corner" fireplace, triangle shaped mantle is above this:



Typical scratched or worn mantles:









Typical moisture / sun damage (two different mantles):




Last edited by CabinConnection; 01/29/18 08:32 PM. Reason: Added photos
Re: Refinishing Mantles (Veneer) [Re: CabinConnection] #931801
01/29/18 08:44 PM
01/29/18 08:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 22,699
SW Michigan
mommapup. Offline
Carpal Tunnel
mommapup.  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 22,699
SW Michigan
Oh dear... The scratched ones can probably be brought back using a furniture restorer, like Formby's, and a fresh coat of finish.

The others, being veneer, look bad. I'm not sure any freshening/refinishing will do much. Once that lifting appears you have a failure of the adhesive holding the veneer. Kinda like old paint, chipping and bubbling up. I'd figure on replacing that.

BTW, wood looks like Birch.


Yeah I've got O.C.D. Old, cranky, and dangerous.

Everything will kill you, so choose something fun!
Re: Refinishing Mantles (Veneer) [Re: mommapup.] #931803
01/29/18 08:58 PM
01/29/18 08:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 53,855
The Indianhead's Left Nostril....
CabinConnection Offline OP
Bigfoot
CabinConnection  Offline OP
Bigfoot
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 53,855
The Indianhead's Left Nostril....
Originally Posted By mommapup.
The others, being veneer, look bad. I'm not sure any freshening/refinishing will do much. Once that lifting appears you have a failure of the adhesive holding the veneer.

Pretty much my conclusion as well. Nuts.

I "think" the whole triangle shaped mantle can be removed, including the edge banding, in one piece. If that's the case, then I can (maybe?) remove/replace just the veneer, leaving the single straight edge in place.

Thanks BTW.

Looking for others' suggestions / comments as well. smile



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