AbstractFiber-reinforced thermosetting composites have been of interest since the 1940s due to their ease of use in processing, fast curing times, and high specific stiffness and strength. While the use of plant fibers in a polyester matrix has been thoroughly studied, only limited information is available regarding using wood as reinforcement. In this study, composites of thin wood veneer and a polyester matrix were made and the difficulties in the lamination and curing processes were investigated. Sheets of Douglas fir, maple, and oak veneers using a catalyzed polyester resin were assembled as unidirectional, balanced, and unbalanced cross-ply laminates. These were compared to control specimens using glass fiber as reinforcement. The impact properties of the samples, with respect to the laminate thicknesses, were characterized using a drop-weight impact tester. The wettability and surface roughness of unsanded and sanded wood veneers were also investigated. Results showed that Douglas fir cross-ply laminates had an impact energy equivalent to glass fiber laminates, making them an interesting alternative to synthetic fiber composites. Wood/polyester laminates absorbed a considerable amount of energy through a higher number of fracture modes. The balanced lay-up limited twisting of the wood/polyester composites. The lowest contact angle and highest wettability were observed in unsanded Douglas fir veneers.