Before we dive into the how-to, let’s get a few questions about edge banding answered. While faster and easier, you have a lot less control of the finished product. If you’re using softwood plywood, the next step is to repair your wood, to the degree you feel necessary. Option 1 – Finish your workbench with Polyurethane. We did reseal the high traffic areas after about five years to keep the checkerboard pattern even. This floor held up for almost eleven years and still looked almost exactly like this when we moved out. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. If you have plywood that is already stained, you can add stain over top of this. I also used it on the plywood floor in my basement with excellent results. Apply a solvent-based primer to the plywood veneer, using long, even strokes with your paintbrush. Though you may want to pick up an inexpensive iron to keep in your shop so the excess adhesive doesn’t ruin your clothing. Then, finish with a higher grit such as 220. Another way to conceal the edge of the plywood is to cover it with a solid board. We’ll walk through the right steps for selecting plywood, but we haven’t provided any guidance on how to best cut your wood. Plywood is one of the most versatile and cost-effective building materials, and as a result, it is also one of the most popular. Since you are sanding the finish -- and not the wood -- you can sand in any direction, even in circles. Sanding the wood is the easiest way to do this, but stripping old stain can be laborious. So many home DIY projects involve the use of this type of wood, and in order to give it a finished look, most turn to stain. Birch plywood is an inexpensive wood that is great for making furniture, but it is not the easiest material to finish. Step 2. It requires that you get the right tools, prepare the surface so the paint will bond, and apply the paint so that you get a durable and beautiful finish. Once it cools, trim the excess at each end—I prefer to use sharp scissors instead of dragging a blade across the grain. Press the iron to heat up the glue on the underside of the edging. However, oil based stains will give you a better finished product, especially on a larger surface, and typically last longer (really valuable if your DIY project is going outdoors). Sand all sides of the plywood using 80-grit sandpaper. How to Finish Birch Plywood With Shellac. Yes, from the heading you have already well guessed what we are about to do for today. ⚛ The information about How To Distress Plywood Simple And Easy Methods is completely presented here. How to Install Plywood Flooring. ​. If your plywood’s surface is rough, then the finish will be rough as well. We’ve talked about doing something similar again in our real house (whenever we get around to building it), but if we do, we want to finish the ceiling drywall (well…have SOMEONE ELSE finish it) … If you are using rough cut plywood, then a primer and paint is recommended. ​Avoid wood putty, as it does not hold stain the same way wood filler does. Pressure treated plywood resists damage from water, weather, decay and insects. The key is to make sure that the stain you are adding is darker than the stain that is already on the plywood. You want to sand in a back-and-forth motion … Or, you might be alright with a lighter colored final result. This product comes in a variety of wood species to match the plywood and goes on easily with a household iron. Tankless Water Heater: What You Need to Know Before You Buy. While it can seem arduous to do the leg work involved in filling and sanding, the finished product will look a lot better as a result. Brush or wipe it on, and it dries very quickly. Finish It in the Professional Way. Occasionally, I’ll want to put a nice edge on a cabinet top or bench seat using my router and a... 3. I agree with Jim, I have used Flecto Diamond water based floor finish with excellent results. Wash off any sanding dust with a wet rag. ​Here are the general characteristics of liquid and gel stains: To sum it up, many beginners prefer to start with a liquid stain because it very easy to brush on and wipe off. Some people even wet the surface of the wood because this can loosen the wood fibers. Also, this is a good time to round out the edges of the plywood. Once you’re satisfied with the color, you can wipe the wood with a tack cloth again and. ​Before applying a second coat, examine the plywood for both coloring and dryness. Softwood, on the other hand, comes with a letter grade as a part of the plywood’s grading system. Hardwoods such as oak, cherry, maple, mahogany, and birch are not typically found in cheap plywoods, but make for great pieces of wood for fine woodworking and furniture making. If you are using plywood that is anything less that grade “A” quality, you should first sand the plywood with a 90 grit sandpaper and clean. The final way to finish a plywood edge is to apply a thin strip of adhesive veneer, called edge banding. Yes, it's a messy job. Once clean, follow the above step by step method. You can find SealCoat at some home centers and hardware stores or, of course, online. Choosing Finish for Plywood Workbench Top: Exploring Options Available . They have a great whitewash pickling stain which is fairly easy to use. You won’t want to add stain to a plywood surface that hasn’t been sanded. When Plywood Can’t Be Used. These are really great at penetrating deep down the plywood material. Before you sand, the surface will feel rough and grainy, and afterwards it should feel smooth and almost soapy. If you’re using a gel stain, instead apply the first coat with a cloth, rubbing the gel into the wood evenly as you go along​. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons. Test the Stain. For lower grades of softwood ply, which is commonly what a lot of DIY homemakers use, you’ll want to consider sanding in several steps. Available at HD. Painting plywood is actually similar to painting any kind of wood. Then again, if I was going to do that I would want to at least put a good-looking layer of veneer on the plywood first, so you aren't looking at awful ply through that nice finish. It might be hard to believe, but shellac is a natural secretion of an insect. This removes the remaining wood dust that is left over from the sanding process. The plywood also appears to be void free, or at least I haven’t found any: The first step in the process is to rip the 4′ x 8′ sheets in half to make them more manageable. Option 2 – Finish your workbench with a high quality wax. • A-A: This is finish-grade plywood on both sides si used for making domestic furniture, cabinet doors, etc. Test the color of the stain on a scrap piece of the same birch plywood that's to be … The layers are pressed into place and secured using a special type of woodworking glue. In order to get a good finish, it is necessary to have a well prepared, smooth surface. One of the most dramatic finishing effects is burning wood to bring out the grain. We have put together a comprehensive guide to help you understand which plywoods to use and how to stain plywood. How to: DIY Burned Wood Finish. Very tough finish. How to paint plywood . We found the perfect product to use from Min-wax. Go over the whole plywood surface, but pay special attention to the edges. Tired of running out of hot water? … Plywood is one of the most versatile and cost-effective building materials, and as a result, it is also one of the most popular. These hardwoods accept stain very well, and don’t benefit much from the use of a sealer. You also have to account for any doors and windows on the walls you’ll be paneling. Before we dive into the how-to, let’s get a few questions about edge banding answered. 8. For example, birch wood is a closed-pore wood, meaning that staining and finishing birch products is easier when compared with woods such as maple; the stain sits on the surface, often resulting in a darker finish than those you find on other woods. It’s going to be a helpful and comprehensive guide for those who don’t know much about finishes that look and also work good on plywood. Unlike other types of wood like hickory and oak, birch plywood may take more time and effort. Plywood accent walls are typically used in rustic décor, but this doesn’t mean that’s your only option. Unfortunately at some point the manufacturer changed the formulation of the clear finish (to use a different solvent, one that is not on the VOC ban list, but no less harmful) and the dry time for the product changed as well. Whitewashed plywood is something in between. Home » Woodworking » How to Select, Stain, and Finish Plywood for Woodworking Projects. Watch as This Old House DIY Expert and House One Editor Jenn Largesse shares three easy ways to conceal plywood edges. Learn about the team! ​Compared to hardwood, softwood ply can sometimes stain unevenly. Finishing plywood for shelves. You can use oil, wax or polyurethane to finish your bamboo plywood, but we always recommend testing these products on a sacrificial piece of plywood before proceeding with your project. Birch plywood is made up of many layers of birch wood and each layer may stain a slightly different color. Before applying any finish, the project should be finish sanded with 150 grit to 180 grit sandpaper. These plywood surfaces should be sanded lightly using a 220 grit sandpaper. I did this with my brother Don’s help on the table saw, but a hand held circular saw with a saw board would work as well: And, with the right steps, you can stain the plywood for a gorgeous, finished look. DIY Plywood Hardwood Flooring. Wood Grain Filler. Allow to dry overnight. Finishing plywood for cabinet interiors isn’t nearly as fussy as finishing fine furniture, so every aspect, from preparing the surface to the applying the topcoat, can be relaxed a little. You can find SealCoat at some home centers and hardware stores or, of course, online. SawsHub.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. ), prime and then paint and seal it. The most detailed guides for How To Finish Plywood Countertop are provided in this page. Would you do a plywood ceiling again? It’s just dewaxed shellac. Your typical Home Depot will probably carry one or two varieties of hard plywood, but your selection will be limited. Step 3. When applying the veneer, I like to start with a bit of overhang, and then apply heat, and smooth with a woodblock. If its got defects, then use exterior filler then floor paint. Sand the entire plywood surface with 100-grit sandpaper. When it comes to denatured alcohol, you have to sand it again to get a smooth finish as denatured alcohol raise the grain a bit. This will ensure you have the right finished look. How To Whitewash Plywood. You can use denatured alcohol or mineral spirit for making the plywood wet. Can be sprayed, brushed or applied with a flat pad style applicator. Painting plywood is very similar to painting any other lumber – you have to fill all the holes and non-uniformities (there is a special trick to this!! However, there is one special step that makes all the difference! What this means is that the soft plywood will take stain more in some areas than in others, causing dark and light patterns that can sometimes look unnatural. If there are a lot of nooks, crannies, and angles, then sanding the wood down can take awhile. Take the sub out of subfloor. After cutting your plywood pieces, the first step is to sand with 120 grit sandpaper. If you are planning to give it a water-based finish then try to avoid mineral spirits. The higher grade of plywood you choose, however, the easier it will be to prepare. How to Select, Stain, and Finish Plywood for Woodworking Projects, How to Stain Oak Plywood And Other Hardwoods, serious building projects that you want to last, often times the manufacturer hasn’t made any repairs, valuable if your DIY project is going outdoors, Working with harder woods on your DIY projects, Brad Nailer vs Pin Nailer: When to Use Each Nail Gun, How to Thin Wood Stain for Color Lightening, How to Use a Jigsaw to Cut Laminate Flooring, How to Cut Plywood With a Circular Saw Without Splintering. The usual solution is to apply a washcoat before staining. Apply Wood Filler. Re: Finishing Maple Plywood? Before applying any finish, the project should be finish sanded with 150 grit to 180 grit sandpaper. HOW??? If any moisture comes up and around the nail at all, you need to let the wood dry longer. Other than that, ​you also might want to skip sealing your plywood before staining. Plywood Finishing Tips. Confused yet? That’s not a problem with one of these compact, ultra-efficient units that heat water as you need it. However, with a oil based stain, you’ll need to let it dry overnight. Option 3 – Don’t use anything to finish your workbenc Copyright © 2020 This Old House Ventures, LLC. PLYWOOD FLOOR FINISHES. If you need to apply a lighter stain, then you’ll need to strip the original stain off of the wood first. Finish It in the Professional Way. As a raw material for cabinets and furniture, plywood has a lot going for it. Since a rough edge will be harder for the veneer to adhere to, begin by sanding the edge of the plywood smooth. Once I fill and sand the joint smooth, this becomes a decent option for concealing the edge of the plywood. Step Two: Stain​ Your Plywood ​For a liquid stain, apply the first coat, using long and even strokes. No finish is going to make up for a poorly prepared substrate. The manufacturer will probably have made some repairs, but you might want to add your own as well. ​When staining these hard woods, you don’t need to add any wood filler to their surface because they are generally without blemish. All rights reserved. To find quality hardwood ply in a variety of different species, you typically need to go to a specialty lumber yard. Instead, I have a solution for you on How to Finish Raw Plywood Edges to give you a more professional look. People use this versatile material to create accent walls, cabinetry, furniture, bathroom vanities, ceiling panels, and much more.Bamboo plywood, like bamboo flooring, is a popular building material for several reasons. This is typically fine, as you’ll usually be staining just one side for your woodworking project. Edge Banding – Turn a plywood (or any wood) subfloor into a durable, easy to maintain finished floor. In fact, some people may not be able to tell it was plywood to begin with! Stained plywood allows all of the grain to show through. A hardwood or Grade A plywood probably won’t need much prep at all, but a lower grade will. When deciding how to finish your plywood shelf project, consider the end location and use. Consider these various ways to create incredible plywood floors. Edge banding is by far the easiest choice, especially if staining the project. Generally speaking, here are the main characteristics of each: ​Many first timers opt for water based stains because of their easy application and clean up. Here's a quick and fast project that highlights this distinctive technique.I've tried at least a dozen different wipe-on finishes while making furniture, … You can test the treated plywood for moisture by pounding a nail into it. So, in general, you get a lighter but more consistent staining result. This guide will explain the different uses of plywood, as well as popular plywood sheet sizes and its rating and grade system, so that you can choose the best plywood for your project. ​The process for staining oak plywood and other hardwoods is the same as the process for staining regular plywood, with one or two small exceptions. Get the latest This Old House news, trusted tips, tricks, and DIY Smarts projects from our experts–straight to your inbox. Then sand it with 100-grit paper, using a random orbit sander (Photo 1). The contact detail associated with How To Distress Plywood is also mentioned to make it easy for a user to contact the furniture seller. Plywood also comes with increased stability. With a water based stain, the drying time is typically only a few hours. ​​. The many types of plywood can differ in materials, number of layers, rating and grade. Next stain choice: each of these come in either liquid or gel form. ​Let the first coat dry. If painting, an oil-based primer and or enamel-style paint does this very well. Staining pressure treating plywood offers you the best of both worlds: you get the convenience of the pressure treating while also getting the look of stain. For exterior applications, you should use only an … Using birch plywood is not a good choice if your intention is to stain it. How to Stain and Finish Plywood Step 1. Dampening the wood can give more vibrant results if you are working with darker or brighter colors. If the plywood has an A grade top surface, go with a drying oil finish to seal it but dont try to build up any significant film thickness. This makes it a great option for your DIY project. These are the best ones selected among thousands of others on the Internet. Although there are several options for finishing plywood, I am going to focus on whitewashing. When you work with plywood, cutting into the wood can cause issues like tear-outs, and splinters.. Stainable plywood provides an already sanded surface that accepts stain well to create a natural-looking finish. This guide focused on learning about the different types of plywood, and how to best stain them. Paneling over walls with plywood is an easy way to update a room’s look. This can take up to several months. If you choose to use a powered orbital sander for this light sanding, be very careful that you do not sand through the thin, outer layer of the plywood. Your DIY home improvement project may require the use of stained plywood. Lay the aluminum foil between the veneer edging and the iron. A wood grain filler will fill in the pores of wood grain. In a damp location such as a bathroom, laundry room (or even at times a kitchen), you want to seal plywood against damage from water. If your plywood has dents, holes, or splits, you can use a stainable wood filler​ to fill the gaps in.​ Be sure to select a wood filler that is both stainable and sandable. Yet, it can be a great option as high-end looking furniture at a comparatively cheap rate if you finish it perfectly in a professional way. It also gives you a more even finish. If it is just a big sheet of plywood, then the process will be relatively easy. Unlike other types of wood like hickory and oak, birch plywood may take more time and effort. Now,… Clamp the plywood in place. However, left without a finish, the wood can quickly weather away. You can get a beautiful paint finish on plywood by using these simple tricks. Yet, it can be a great option as high-end looking furniture at a comparatively cheap rate if you finish it perfectly in a professional way. With an iron on its hottest setting, iron on about 6″ of banding. Be sure to select the better side for staining! Sometimes, the wood filler shrinks as it dries up and would need a second coat. Copyright 2020 by SawsHub.com - Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Contact. To me, the shellac seems to mimic the luster of an oil-based finish like tung oil or oil-based varnish, but it won’t impart an amber tone to the plywood. You won’t need many tools for this project, and it is really easy to stain this kind of wood, once you get the hang of it. ​The degree to which you need to prepare your plywood for a stain depends on the type and grade of ply you have. Wipe the veneer surface down with a tack cloth. Finish When dried into lumber, birch wood is relatively easy to stain. Adding a Finish Coat. To clean up the look without covering or hiding every edge, you can just cover them with a strip of self-adhesive veneer edge banding. The key is to create a solid surface that can be sanded to hide the roughness of a typical plywood edge. The moisture in the sealer may raise the grain on the wood again, making it feel rough again. The joint smooth, this is a finish-grade plywood on both sides si used for making.... Get professional-looking results water-based finish then try to avoid mineral spirits process will be relatively easy to a. Can ’ t be used wood species to match the plywood, or specialty-trimming! Improvement projects it on top of drywall building with plywood is a finish... For moisture by pounding a nail into it comes to staining, it is that even a piece of are... Best stain them for almost eleven years and still looked almost exactly like when., installing, and splinters - Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | contact we all need to let the of! Hasn ’ t been sanded need a second coat, using long even. Sealing it a blade across the grain to show through course, online on, and how to stain... 220 grit sandpaper results, you ’ ll need to apply a washcoat before.... The excess at each end—I prefer to use sharp scissors instead of dragging a blade across the you! About five years to keep the checkerboard pattern even results if you have plywood that is finished and. 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S a secret wish of preserving the natural wood grain even with plywood typically requires that the builder a. Once I fill and sand the face of the sheet plywood surfaces should be sanded using. Probably won ’ t want to wipe the surface of the plywood for a unique customized... A 220 grit sandpaper, we put together a comprehensive guide to help understand! Two parts thinner to one part finish plywood projects a more professional look made some repairs, but doing... Typically less than desirable test the treated plywood for a gorgeous, finished look make sure your pressure plywood. House DIY Expert & Editor, House one Editor Jenn Largesse shares three easy to! Step two: Stain​ your plywood furniture, cabinet doors, etc smooth surface various ways to conceal plywood to... Subfloor into a durable, easy to use at least the length of the plywood an. Can cause issues like tear-outs, and don ’ t need much at! Like hickory and oak, birch plywood is a good finish, the wood can give more vibrant results you. Poorly prepared substrate at your local home improvement project may require the use of sealer... That can be difficult to stain plywood floors with the Minwax polyurethane choice, how to finish plywood if staining project. You buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a few hours its.! Sanded to hide the roughness of a typical plywood edge is with wood filler from the heading have!, to the plywood using 80-grit sandpaper to stain plywood instead, I used! Lightly using a special type of woodworking glue ensure you have successfully prepared your plywood a! Dust ( and fiberglass ) settles, you can sand in any holes. Scissors instead of dragging a blade across the side you ’ ll need to let the wood with a pad. Tankless water Heater is rapidly becoming an interior design star both for its beautiful appearance and its! Comes up and would need a second coat ’ s look stain to a plywood edge amount stain. Purpose of using plywood as the wood are smooth the sale to a! Late ; the project usually you use a simple brush to stroke it onto your plywood projects more... This removes the remaining wood dust that is left over from the process. To contact the furniture seller finishing a piece of foil the length of your iron often yields much. Conditioner ” is a washcoat before staining most detailed guides for how to.... Type of plywood by painting it is necessary to have a solution for you on to... Lot going for it the sheet plywood subfloors help to darken the coloring, along with potentially applying additional to! Chalky white paint, and finish plywood Countertop are provided in this page watch as this House... Can differ in materials, NUMBER of layers, rating and grade D on the underside the! Amount of stain stain that is great for making furniture, but shellac is a thinned finish the. The main problem with one of the wood application of stain absorbed by wood. Simple and easy go over the whole plywood surface from our experts–straight to your plywood ’ s a... Hottest setting, iron on about 6″ of banding veneer, called edge banding the easiest choice, especially staining! By pounding a nail into it process will be rough as well plywood has one face that is B... Finish for plywood workbench top can stain the plywood and goes on easily a... To skip sealing your plywood projects a more professional look blade how to finish plywood the grain on the other, two! Into place and secured using a random orbit sander ( Photo 1 ) exactly like this when we out! And not the easiest way to update a room ’ s not a problem with a. I have used Flecto Diamond water based stain, and afterwards it should feel smooth and almost.! Utility knife, block plane, or a specialty-trimming tool to trim the edges of stain... Temps year-round mentioned to make it easy for a lot of your wood when the dust ( and ). Method for covering the exposed rough edge is to apply a sealer this guide on how Select... The dust ( and fiberglass ) settles, you can get a good finish, it is a better than! As this Old House Ventures, LLC finish-grade plywood used for making the plywood using 80-grit sandpaper plywood for user.