Help determining how to finish a serving tray

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Chris posted 01-22-2015 08:24 PM 821 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Chris 's profile


177 posts in 1583 days

01-22-2015 08:24 PM

Hello Jocks,

I am stuck towards the end of a project and this seems to be the forum to do it. I have been working on a serving tray for over a month. I’ve used a lot of new techniques that I never tried before and I am glad how it has turned out so far. I’m at the point where the tray is assembled but I don’t know how to finish it.

Originally I was going to paint it but now I am having second thoughts because I painted some of the same plywood for a different project and it just didn’t take very well. The plywood was bought at Home Depot. I am not even sure what type of plywood it is. It was just the cheapest, flat, sanded plywood that came in a 2×4 sheet (on a budget). The sides of the tray are made of wood that I re-used from a remodel of a different room in our house. The wood was originally stained and I sanded it down. I have had friends guess the wood is pine but can’t confirm this. It does not smell like cedar.

Anyway … I was wondering what you all would suggest as a finish at this point? I am hoping for something that would be able to handle some light food/liquid exposure because it will be used in our house. Pics are below. Thanks for the help!

2 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3883 posts in 1766 days

#1 posted 01-22-2015 08:38 PM

You can stain the plywood with a lighter brown colors and wipe everything with polyurethane.


View Chris 's profile


177 posts in 1583 days

#2 posted 01-22-2015 08:50 PM

Thanks Mr. Jinx … searching through the forums about finishing, polyurethane, etc. on LJ’s is pretty overwhelming. I realize some of these questions have probably already been asked but for the sake of not spending 2 hours searching through forums here it goes:

1) Is there a product that serves as a stain and a polyurethane? Or do I do this separately?
2) The corners of this tray are just held together by glue .. would using any type of finish weaken those joints?
3) Would I use a stain on the entire piece or are you suggesting I use a stain on the plywood to try to match the sides?

I am a rookie so any suggestions will help.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics