Statement of problem Surface treatments may affect the optical properties of ceramic veneers before cementation. Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether various surface treatments affect the optical properties of different types of ceramic veneers. Material and methods Disk-shaped ceramic veneers (N=280) were prepared from the IPS e.max Press, e.max CAD, Empress Esthetic, e.max Ceram, and Inline ceramic systems with 0.5-mm and 1.0-mm thicknesses. The ceramics were divided into 4 groups: no surface treatments; etched with hydrofluoric acid; airborne-particle abraded with 30-μm Al2O3; and irradiated with erbium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser. A translucent shade of resin was chosen for cementation. Color parameters were examined with a colorimeter. Statistical analyses were done with 3-way ANOVA and the Bonferroni test (P=.05). Results Significant interactions were noted between the surface treatments, ceramic type, and thickness for ΔE values (P=.01), and no significant interactions were noted for L* (P=.773), a* (P=.984), and b* (P=.998). The greatest color change occurred after airborne-particle abrasion with 0.5-mm-thick e.max Press (2.9 ΔE). Significant differences in ΔE values were found among the hydrofluoric acid, airborne-particle abrasion, and laser groups for 0.5-mm-thick ceramics, except IPS Inline, and among the hydrofluoric acid, airborne-particle abrasion, and laser groups for 1.0-mm-thick ceramics, except Empress Esthetic ceramics. Conclusions The color change of the ceramics increased after the surface treatments, particularly as the ceramics became thinner.