Usually, a birch veneer is used in a situation when hardwood cannot be arranged according to the size of the application. The surface of the insignificant wood is covered with veneer to give it a look of solid hardwood. Being one of the cheapest hardwoods, birch is mostly used to make furniture, cabinets, and wood panels.
The combination of birch veneer is very commonly used and is economical. Birchwood has a natural beautiful grain that is usually finished with a very light stain. Particularly lighter woods are very difficult to stain. However, taking the proper approach can help you reduce such problems.
These five steps will help guide you along the way and have you doing it yourself like the pros in no time flat.
Step 1 - Prepare the Veneer for Sanding
First of all, you need to cover the entire surface of the veneer with a layer of liquid sander. You should apply the chemical with a fine bristle brush so that the liquid is evenly spread over the surface. This step is extremely important as it will improve the diffusion of stains by clearing out any oils or other substances on the veneer’s surface. Before sanding, the surface should be left to dry thoroughly.
Step 2 - Sand the Veneer
Use a dual-action sander to sand the entire surface of the veneer. This will give you the best results because the dual-action sander gives you a finer finish. With light pressure, move the sander towards the grain. To get the most glossy and softest possible grain, you need to make thre passes with sandpaper. Remember to make the first pass with 120-grit paper, the second with 150-grit paper, and the last pass needs to be made using 180-grit paper.
Step 3 - Apply the Stain
Use a very fine bristle paintbrush to apply the stain. Make straight strokes towards the path of the grain and cover the surface lightly overlapping the strokes. If the surface is vertical, you should start from the top, however, in the case of horizontal surfaces, you must start from one end towards the other end. Avoid maintaining consistency or any kind of drips. Any extra stain can be removed with the help of a clean rag. Several coats can be applied as per the requirement however the recommended time for the drying of each coat of stain should be followed.
Step 4 - Sand the Stained Birch
Thoroughly clean the paintbrush with mineral spirits and then rinse it off using dish detergent and clear water. You now need to sand the stained birch to soften any grain that may have been messed up in the staining process. This will be done using 220-grit paper. Clear off the surface by blowing to get a dust-free finish.
Step 5 - Finish Coats
Sand, using 220-grit paper, between all the coats. Apply three clear finish coats. You may use the same brush which you used for the stain. To get better results, use long and straight strokes towards the direction of the grain. To get a smooth and bubbles-free finish, avoid redoing sections.