Veneer Matching

Veneer Matching

Veneer matching is a type of veneer finish. Once sliced, wood veneer leaves are carefully chosen and matched to suit the individual project. Whilst each veneer leaf will differ, there will be a relationship between those that have been cut one after the other. This allows for a range of veneer matching options to be explored, with the aim of achieving a particular look.

What is veneer pattern matching?

Veneer pattern matching is a specialist art that requires a great deal of experience and attention to detail. High quality veneer matching results in exceptional appeal and perfect flow. It is particularly important in cabinetry design and panelling, where the wood grain must blend seamlessly across all the individual pieces.

Veneer matching can also be used to achieve striking effects, where contrasts are used to craft eye-catching creations, or to draw the eye to architectural features.

The art of veneer matching lies in the expert use of the natural repeat of the grain. It’s all about meticulously selecting and arranging each leaf to draw the most out of the particular species of timber, and to create beautifully decorative patterns.

What are the different veneer matching options?

There are a number of different veneer matching techniques, all of which produce different effects.

Book matching

The book match veneer pattern results in an effect that resembles an open book. Consecutive veneer leaves are selected, with alternate leaves reversed so that the opposite edges are brought together, creating a mirrored effect.

Book and turn matching

This technique is much like book matching, except alternate leaves are turned so that the grain flows in the opposite direction.

Slip matching

This process involves taking consecutive leaves from the same veneer, then joining them without turning over the alternate leaves. Instead of a mirror effect, a repeat pattern results, varying subtly across the panel. Slip matching works well with straight grain veneers.

Slip and turn matching

Slip and turn matching is an option that is quite like slip matching, except alternate leaves are turned so that the grain runs in the opposite direction.

Quarter matching

This technique works with the natural growth pattern of the tree from which the veneers are cut. Four pieces of veneer are book matched from side to side, and top to bottom. This is a good way to create larger veneer panels, and often used for species that produce smaller veneer leaves.

Random matching

Random matching involves mixing veneer leaves of the same species, but not necessarily from the same log. Some are turned over too, deliberately creating a random effect amongst the grain. This veneer matching technique is perfect if you are looking to achieve a purposely haphazard effect, where shades vary from dark to light and the grains flow in different directions.

Controlled random matching

Controlled random matching is a more measured form of random matching. Whilst there is still a mismatched effect, the shades and grains are carefully selected so that they fit the stipulated brief.


This is a veneer matching option that results in consistent colour and grain flow, however where the leaves are chosen from different logs, and sometimes turned over, a deliberate planking effect is achieved.

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