This study examined effects of surface modification with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on adhesive bond performance in birch veneer bonded with phenol–formaldehyde resin. The veneer was treated with 5% of H2O2 at 80 °C in the presence of alkali with the objective of improving adhesive bond performance and reducing the resin demand. The effects of the surface modification were determined by surface color measured with a spectrophotometer, bond performance tests with ABES (automated bonding evaluation system) and surface hydrophobicity with sessile contact angle measurements. Results demonstrated that veneer surface became significantly whiter, which also increased in lightness and decreased in redness and yellowness. ABES test revealed that a remarkable increase in bond performance in the treated veneer and the maximum bond strength with the treatment at 60 min, which was nearly twice as high as reference sample (5.42 → 9.94 N/mm2), was obtained. A notable decrease in contact angle measurements was also observed in the treated veneers (0° in 0.5 s). The surface modification of birch veneer with H2O2 + alkali demonstrated greater potential for the improvement of physical characteristics in veneer surface. Other aspects of H2O2 consumption during the treatment are also discussed.