How to make plywood beautiful - Renovation Warehouse

Plywood: it’s cheap, it’s flexible, it can be cut to any dimensions and it’s oh-so-pliable.

Plywood is strong because its layers are glued together and the contact strength areas on the wood are maximised. Renovation Warehouse always has plywood in stock and we almost always stock Gypsum board, grooved plywood, MDF and particle board too.

What plywood lacks, though, is the lustre of solid wood. When its edges are seen, plywood can unfortunately look like what it is: layers of different-coloured wood shavings glued together.

After you’ve got that wall, siding or skirting board sorted with some ordinary plywood, here are a few ideas about how to get plywood looking as attractive as possible:

OIL THOSE EDGES: (or paint / stain them)

Apart from looking unsightly, splintering and getting nicked, exposed edges will warp if they get any moisture in. Two coats of plywood oil will make the exposed edge even in colour and provide a dark frame. It’s water repellent stuff and doesn’t crack, flake, peel or blister.


The side of the plywood to be presented outwardly needs you to respect the grain, or you’ll end up with a rough, uneven surface. Any sandpaper around 120 grit will make the surface smooth. Tips when sealing/priming a plywood surface: apply the coating evenly spread; don’t saturate the surface.


Dimples, gouges and holes in the plywood floor surface will mean you’ll need a wood-coloured filler and then much of the surface may need sanding to get a perfect consistency. Spackling compounds won’t be able to endure constant walking on it once it’s dry so your wood filler is going to need the consistency of plastic. Check the back of the filler instructions so you’ll know if yours can handle being used on a plywood floor – then why not take a walk on it once it’s dried? After this, go ahead and prime the plywood and it can be painted with water-based polyurethane in at least two coats to make it gleam.

A tip: dark paint is not good on plywood.


Paste edge bands on any rough looking plywood edges – these are wood coloured veneer stickers which are trimmed to the ideal size and stuck on. They can easily be peeled off and replaced if damaged.

At Renovation Warehouse, we always have plywood in stock, from dirt-cheap downgraded ply (good for using on hidden parts of your building project) to pristine plywood to treated and untreated ply. We often have a range of durability grades, lots of different thicknesses, plus seratone and wetwall as well. Take a browse on our TradeMe page to see this week’s special deals.   

Come and see us!

Just look for the BIG ORANGE building next to the Caltex truck stop.

28 Kioreroa Road
Port Whangarei 0110

Phone: 0800-274-438 or 438-2887