Finishing oak plywood

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Forum topic by thebaldguy posted 07-31-2009 04:06 PM 3598 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 3821 days

07-31-2009 04:06 PM

I am in the process of building a back bar and I have built it out of oak plywood and used solid oak boards as the face frame. I’ve sanded it and almost ready to finish it so I expermited with a few scrape pieces. I’m trying different shades of stain and one just plain poly, to see what I like but they all look different. How do I get the plwood and regular oak to look the same when I’m finished. They both accept the stain or just poly differently.

2 replies so far

View lew's profile


12495 posts in 3990 days

#1 posted 07-31-2009 04:32 PM

I recently built a Maitre ‘D Station for a friend. It was the first time I tried to use wipe on poly for oak plywood. I found it dried as advertised on the solid wood portion but left a tacky residue on all of the plywood surfaces- even after 24 hours. I got frustrated and went back to the brush on stuff.

There wasn’t any stain applied to the wood first and I didn’t use any sealer prior to the poly.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2468 posts in 4105 days

#2 posted 08-01-2009 07:25 PM

here is the issue, the plywood because of the underlying glue line, as well as the glue is absorbed somewhat into the veneer, thus very little penetration is afforded, and penetration is what carries the color to the wood, since you cannot change this you have to change the solid wood , by applying a coat of either 50/50 waterbased finish/water to the solid wood ( always test sometimes two coats are needed) or a coat of natural waterbased finish like general finishes natural, you reduce the absorbitive properties of the solid wood,the key is to get them balanced, now the problem becomes that your stain probably will not give you the color you want because its not able to penetrate, if its an oil base stain, it is going to also seal the wood as it stains, we all know a second coat of oil based stain doesnt do alot, thats why, if it were me, i would look to a good quality waterbased stain, water based stains do not seal the wood like oil, and act much like a dye, good crisp grain definition and you can apply several coats and actually get a deeper color, water base is also compatable under all finishes when its dry which it does very fast, now not wanting to sound like a commerical for General finishes , but their waterbase stain is very heavy bodied, and act almost like a gel , so it colors well on the surface which is what you need, and retains very good clarity, I have tried the box store water based and its ..well lets just say..not the same …hope this helps

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