How to Finish Plywood

When you finish plywood, you need to prepare the necessary materials and tools and apply a primer, before putting on your choice of stain, paint, varnish, or oil. Which one you choose will depend on the type of style you want your plywood to have.

Preparing to Finish Plywood

Before you finish plywood, gather the necessary materials like sandpaper, wood filler, primer, and brushes. Make sure to wear gloves and glasses, and work in a well-ventilated area. Prepare the plywood surface thoroughly by sanding, cleaning, and filling in imperfections.

Choosing the Right Finish for Plywood

Paint, stain, varnish, and oil each offer different looks and protection. Consider factors like the desired appearance, intended purpose, and whether it’s for indoor or outdoor use. This results in a finish that not only enhances the wood’s natural beauty but also meets the project’s requirements.

Applying Primer

Priming acts as a foundation, providing a consistent base for paint or stain. To apply primer correctly, start with a clean surface, then use a brush or spray gun for even coverage. After priming, sanding is essential to create a smooth surface, giving a flawless finish.

Applying Stain or Paint

Apply stains evenly using a brush or cloth, allowing it to soak into the wood. Wait a few minutes and then wipe off any excess. For paint, apply thin, even coats. Allow each coat to dry completely before lightly sanding the surface. Repeat this process for multiple coats.

Applying Varnish or Oil

Apply varnish evenly with a high-quality brush, sanding between coats for smoothness, and achieving a glossy finish by polishing the final coat. For oil finishes, apply and let it soak in before wiping off excess. Repeat the process, buffing between coats for a finish that enhances the wood’s natural grain.

Tips and Troubleshooting

Be careful not to rush and allow enough time for drying. If there are issues like an uneven finish, lightly sand the surface and reapply the finish in thin, even coats. For bubbles, carefully sand the affected area and reapply the finish. Clean gently with a soft, damp cloth.