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How to Paint Birch Plywood

Updated April 17, 2017

Birch plywood possesses a light yet hard veneer that takes paint well, making it ideal for painted furniture and other applications where durability and a clean finish are required. All the supplies needed are widely available at paint and home improvement stores. For better durability, consider using an acrylic enamel paint.

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  1. Run a damp cloth over the surface of the plywood. This contact with water can cause the grain to rise so that it can be easily sanded. Sand the raised grain, if any, with 120-grit sandpaper. Lightly sand the surface of the plywood with 220-grit sandpaper. Remember to sand with the grain of the wood and not across it. Clean the sanding residue off the plywood by using a rag soaked in denatured alcohol.

  2. Prime the plywood using a 3/8- or 1/2-inch nap paint roller.

  3. Sand the primed plywood using 220-grit sandpaper and remove the dust using a denatured alcohol-soaked rag.

  4. Apply the first topcoat of paint using a paint roller with a 3/8- to 1/2-inch nap.

  5. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions before applying the second coat. This can range from two to eight hours, depending on the brand of paint used.

  6. Apply the second coat in the same manner as the first. If desired, you can sand between coats using 400-grit sandpaper.

  7. Tip

    Use an additive to help the paint dry more smoothly and remove some texture marks left by the roller. These can be found wherever you by your paint and supplies. To avoid grain popping, use an oil/alkyd based primer and paint.

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Things You'll Need

  • Damp cloth
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Primer
  • Paint roller, 3/8- or 1/2-inch nap
  • Paint

About the Author

Vance Holloman is a residential contractor and freelance writer living in Atlanta. Much of his writing centers on the expertise he has gained from two decades in the construction industry. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and numerous online sites, including eHow.com and "Auburn Plainsman." Holloman has a Master's degree in business from the University of Maryland.

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