With the help of my 20yr old (Sean) we veneered the cabinets today. Oh and great weather in Chicago for a change
We're using PSA cherry veneer that I had left over from my last tower project. Using leftovers, we don't have the luxury of lining up the grain too well, so these won't have a "wrap around" matching grain effect but we did the best we could and it of course will look better than the bare plywood.
With PSA veneer, you only need to firmly press the veneer onto the substrate with a "scraper" tool. It works surprsingly well despite how simple it is. http://tinyurl.com/k4czua4
Here you can see how the grain pattern on the top of the cabinet doesn't line up with the sides but who pays attention to that?
I used to painstakingly try to trim the excess veneer as close as possible by hand (with an exacto knife or veneer saw) but it's actually easier to just trim it "close" and then run the router with a flush trim bit to get the edges perfect. I don't remember where I read about this, but a good trick to protect the unfinished veneer from being scratched by the router is to put down some contact paper before you flush trim. The contact paper sticks well but is easily removed after your run the router across the panel. My wife always buys too much of this crap, so we have lots of leftovers to use for this purpose. For the point where the flush trim bit bearing contacts the adjacent panel, I stick a strip of masking tape.
I was curious how the veneer would look against the black Duratexed back panels and it's actually not bad at all. The eventual owner of these will have them almost right up against the wall, so the back panels will never be seen. Why waste expensive veneer on them?
I'll be finishing the veneer with Waterlox. It's super easy to use and I should be able to get several coats on before InDIYana....so they won't be naked after all!! http://tinyurl.com/mshhhef