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Wood veneering can be finished just like regular solid wood. It must be sanded, cleaned and sealed. There are clear sanding sealers for wood that act like the primer for clear and semi-transparent stains.
But first, let's talk about the wood paste fillers available. Wood paste fillers come in either oil or water based formulas. In the old days, the white paste was applied to the open grained wood with a putty knife or heavy brush and rubbed into the grain using a burlap sack. When dried, it looks clear and ready for sanding.