Veneer matching

Once cut, veneer leaves are selected and matched as required. Each leaf is slightly different but related to adjacent leaves, so that different forms of matching can be achieved. The gradual change of grain through the log gives veneers their special quality of subtle variations.

Because of this selection and matching of veneers for each job is a skilled task. The art of veneer matching is to make use of the natural repeat of the grain of the wood from leaf to leaf; the leaves or slices of veneer are arranged to form a variety of different decorative patterns and effects in keeping with the grain characteristics of the particular species.


This traditional method of matching is achieved by taking successive leaves of veneer and reversing alternate leaves so as to bring corresponding opposite edges together in a mirrored effect. This produces a symmetrical balanced pattern of grain and figure.


Similar to standard book matching, but alternate leaves are turned so that the grain runs in the opposite direction.



Veneers of the same species, but not necessarily from the same log, are deliberately mixed (and may be turned over) to produce an overall random grain effect. Butt or end grain jointing may be introduced in some leaves to add to the planking effect.
Please note that veneer leaves from different selected logs may ultimately appear slightly lighter or darker, especially when stained. Consult Shadbolt when specifying. Mismatching (see below) may be a suitable alternative.


As per Random Matching above but colour, grain and veneer leaf width are carefully selected and approved by the specifier during the veneer selection process.


Leaves from one log are deliberately mixed (and may be turned over) to give a random planking effect whilst maintaining an overall consistent grain and colour. This may be used, for example, in demountable partitioning schemes where future relocation is likely


Successive leaves are taken from the same stock or flitch of veneer and jointed without turning alternate leaves over as in book matching. This produces a repeat pattern which varies gradually across the panel. This method is usually most effective when straight grain veneers are used.


Similar to standard slip matching, but alternate leaves are turned so that the grain runs in the opposite direction.



This is a traditional way of jointing veneers based on the nature of the growth of the tree from which they are cut. Four veneer pieces are book matched both from side to side and from top to bottom. This method is useful in making up larger panels, and for species where only small leaves are available.