As if anyone out there cares…
Ok, if you HAPPEN to be repairing or preparing a particle board (or MDF for that matter) substrate to lay wood veneer, here is what you need to do.
(and for the record, my information is coming from a few helpful woodworking pros in various online forums. I’m so glad these people are out there to answer all my silly questions).
Step 1
Sand down, as best you can, any rough or slightly swollen areas in the particle board using a fine grit sandpaper and preferably, a power sander.  If the surface has excessive swelling from water damage, it may not be able to be totally repaired.  Of course, particle board is not the most desirable surface to begin with, but anyway–sand it down as best you can.
Step 2
Fill in any gouges or uneven surface areas using an OIL-BASED wood filler.  For my project, I used DAP Plastic Wood.  Just make sure it’s not a water-based filler because particle board and water are not friends, as you probably know.
Follow the instructions on the can for filling in damaged areas.  Let dry, and sand it down smooth.

Step 3
Clean surface of dust and any other residue before applying a coat of OIL-BASED primer to the substrate.  Let it dry completely and give it one more fine sanding.  Clean the surface well (using tack cloth). 

The newly sealed and smooth surface is now ready for the veneer! 

My table refinishing project is moving along, albeit a bit slow this week.  In case you missed part one and part two, here they are:  A safer way to strip old finish….and How to remove damaged veneer.

Stay tuned to see how IF my farm table turns out.  🙂

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