Can You Stain Plywood? If So, How?

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Plywood is often used as subflooring because of its look. This text discusses how one can correctly apply stains on the plywood.

A man with protective gloves applying stain on the wood.

There’s quite a bit to like about plywood. It’s sometimes cheaper than conventional wooden. It’s consumer pleasant, and is available in sheets massive sufficient for a lot of functions. 

Nevertheless, plywood does differ from conventional wooden in just a few methods, and these components have an effect on the staining course of. 

Can You Stain Plywood? 

Sure, you possibly can stain plywood. In actual fact, it could look nearly as good as typical wooden when stained accurately. This begins with utilizing the proper sort of plywood, after which following the proper staining course of. 

Sorts of Plywood

plywood with natural stand and pattern.

There are a lot of totally different sorts of plywood, so we’re going to take a fast overview of essential issues. 

Plywood is graded A by way of D. A is the best grade, and has a ravishing veneer. B has slight imperfections. C and D grade amer appropriate for functions the place they aren’t seen, or doubtlessly for portray. 

There are additionally onerous and mushy plywood. Oak is the most typical hardwood, whereas birch and pine are frequent softwoods. Softwoods take stain otherwise than hardwoods, so you must know which one you might be working with. 

Sorts of Stain 

There are additionally just a few several types of stain. Water primarily based stain provides a lighter shade than different varieties. It’s consumer pleasant, and doesn’t give off fumes. This implies you should use it even when your work space isn’t properly ventilated. 

Subsequent now we have oil stains. These are in all probability what involves thoughts if you hear the phrase stain. They’re the unique sort of stain, and are nonetheless thought-about the perfect for many tasks. 

Water primarily based stains can require a number of coats. Oil primarily based stains sometimes solely require one, presumably two coats. They do take longer to dry than water primarily based stains, so that they require extra endurance. 

Lastly, now we have gel-based stains. These are designed particularly for tasks like softwood plywood. Softer woods tackle the stain in uneven quantities, which creates a blotchy ultimate end. Gel stains are very thick, which permits the wooden to absorb a uniform quantity of stain. 

They are often extra forgiving as properly. Different sorts of stain should be wiped away rapidly, whereas gel-based stains could be allowed to take a seat with out harming your end. 

Staining Plywood Steps

Applying stain on the wood using a paint brush.

Now you might be prepared to start the method. Comply with these steps for excellent outcomes when staining plywood

Step 1: Gathering the Supplies 

The very first thing to do is to collect your supplies. After all, you’ll want your plywood and the stain you’ve chosen. Relying on the kind of wooden and stain you’ve got, you may additionally want wooden conditioner. 

You’ll want a technique to apply the stain. That is typically accomplished with a rag, notably for oil primarily based stains. If you’re utilizing a water primarily based stain, a foam brush works finest. 

You’ll want a rag to wipe away extra stain, irrespective of which methodology you select. 

You’ll additionally want sandpaper. 180 grit sandpaper is really useful. Finer sandpaper will consequence within the wooden absorbing much less stain, as a result of it clogs the pores of the wooden. 

Lastly, you could select a sealer or prime coat. These aren’t required, however they’ll shield the stain and provides it a shiny end, if desired. Polyurethane is probably the most generally used prime coat. 

In case your venture will probably be uncovered to moisture, or if it must be sturdy, a prime coat is strongly really useful. 

The ultimate consideration when gathering supplies is edge banding. If the sides of the plywood will present, edge banding is a good concept. If you happen to stain the naked edges of the plywood, they are going to look fully totally different than the face. 

Edge banding could be utilized to the sides, and stained identical to the plywood. It could look barely totally different than the face, however will probably be a greater match than the naked edges. 

Step 2: Sanding 

With typical wooden, you possibly can sand till your coronary heart’s content material. There’s little hazard of you inflicting any harm to the floor. Plywood is totally different, nevertheless. 

The enticing floor of plywood is a skinny sheet of veneer that’s utilized to the highest, or face, of the board. This hides the look of the plywood itself, offering a sexy look. 

As a result of this layer is so skinny, it’s potential to sand by way of it. Usually talking, the costlier the plywood, the thicker the veneer. Even when you have high quality plywood, you must nonetheless take care when sanding. 

You need to use an orbital sander on the bottom pace, or sand the piece by hand. Use 180 grit sandpaper, and sand the piece frivolously. 

Step 3: Cleansing

When you’ve completed sanding, you’ll must take away any mud. You are able to do this with a moist rag. Make sure that all mud particles are eliminated earlier than persevering with. These particles will have an effect on your end if left behind. 

If you happen to occur to have an air compressor, that is additionally a great way to take away the mud. Simply make sure to put on security glasses, and keep away from blowing the mud in direction of anybody. 

Step 4: Apply Conditioner 

If you’re utilizing a hardwood plywood or gel stain, you possibly can skip this step. Nevertheless, it gained’t trigger any hurt regardless fo the wooden or stain you utilize, so some individuals choose to apply it to all of their tasks. 

If you’re utilizing softwood with an oil or water primarily based stain, this step is crucial. 

Brush the conditioner on going with the grain of the wooden. Permit it to dry for 10-Quarter-hour, after which wipe it away with a clear rag. 

Step 5: Staining

A hardwood with natural grain.

 Stir the stain earlier than you start. If you’re utilizing a rag, dip the rag into the stain. Wipe it onto the wooden, going with the grain. If you’re utilizing a foam brush, you’ll observe the identical course of. 

Keep in mind that a rag works properly for each oil and gel primarily based stains, however a foam brush is best for watered primarily based stans. 

Permit the stain to take a seat for 2-5 minutes, after which wipe away any extra. You might discover this step pointless in case you used a rag, notably when you have a light-weight hand.

If you happen to used a foam brush, or discover extra stain on the wooden, you need to wipe it away. Make sure to wipe with the grain. 

Step 6: Drying

Oil and gel primarily based stains must dry for 4-6 hours earlier than making use of a second coat. They want 24 hours after staining to dry fully, so {that a} topcoat could be utilized. 

Water primarily based stains are sooner, solely needing 2 hours between coats, and three hours earlier than making use of the highest coat. 

Step 7: Making use of Topcoat 

There are two primary methods to use a topcoat. You possibly can select a brush on polyurethane or the spray on selection. Which one you utilize actually comes down to non-public desire. 

Primarily, brushing provides you a thicker coat. This creates a extra sturdy end. Nevertheless, it’s simpler to get a clean even coat with spray. In case your floor has edges or uneven surfaces, spray polyurethane is the higher alternative. Brushing is troublesome to do on uneven surfaces. 

Making use of Edge Banding

A machine for making edge banding.

If you happen to select to make use of edge banding, you’ll wish to apply it earlier than you start staining. To do that, you’ll want the sting banding in the identical sort of wooden as your plywood and an iron. 

Step 1: Reduce the Size

First, minimize the banding so it’s 1-3 inches longer than the plywood. If you happen to don’t wish to minimize it, you possibly can bend it just a few occasions to interrupt it.

When making use of, the sting banding ought to have the identical quantity of overlap on either side. This doesn’t must be precise, since you’ll minimize off any extra. 

Step 2: Apply the Banding

Now you might be prepared to use. First, you’ll wish to go over it as soon as to get it in place. Upon getting it the place you need it, go over it once more at a slower tempo. You might must carry out this step just a few occasions to get it safe. 

This ensures that the adhesive on the banding heats properly and bonds to the sting. 

Step 3: Take away Extra Banding

A cutter tool used for removing excess banding.

As soon as it’s utilized, enable it to chill for five to 10 minutes. If you happen to try to maneuver or minimize it throughout this time, it is going to come away from the plywood. It hardens and bonds to the sting of the wooden because it cools. 

You possibly can take away the surplus by folding it on the fringe of the wooden till it breaks. You may as well use scissors to chop the surplus away. 

Subsequent, you’ll want to make use of an edge trimmer to take away any extra from the highest and backside edges. 

Step 4: Sand

Sand the sides of the banding. It will be sure that all the sides are clear and clean. 

Step 5: Iron Once more

This step ensures that the banding is properly secured. The commonest hassle spot is the ends, however it’s useful to go over your entire piece one final time, paying particular consideration to the ends. 

As soon as that is full, you might be prepared to maneuver on to staining.