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Match edge trim to plywood

Plywood's dimensional stability makes it great for many projects, but it usually doesn't stain to the same hue as the solid-wood banding along its edges. Here are three fixes.

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Staining Plywood Veneer
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Matching the grain of a white oak edge
to the grain of the oak-veneer MDF
helps the two surfaces blend together
after staining.

Staining Plywood Veneer

Adhesive beneath a plywood veneer can throw off stain penetration compared with solid wood, whether on an edge-banded shelf or a bookcase made from plywood sides and a solid-wood frame. Try these simple tricks to help your project parts look like they came from the same tree.

•Stain helps equalize minor color differences, but it can make matters worse when it highlights the pores of mismatched grain. First minimize the challenge by matching the grain pattern of the banding to the plywood grain, as shown in the photo.

•Avoid smearing squeeze-out across the surface during glue-up, or you'll end up with light spots on top of your other color-matching problems.

If you anticipate staining mismatches, make practice glue-ups of finish-sanded scrap plywood or veneered MDF and solid wood to experiment with these three solutions:

Continued on page 2:  3 steps to Staining


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