How to Finish Cherry Veneer Plywood

What You'll Need
Stain or paint
Paint stripper
Woodworking glue
Trisodium phosphate

You must keep in mind that once you decide to purchase cherry veneer plywood, there is some finishing procedures you need to follow. You must also be very careful while you are working on the project. A great advantage of finishing plywood is that it will give a more attractive appearance to the room. On the whole, all furniture of this type can be finished. You can include cabinets as well if you want. Staining and painting are the two common ways for finishing cherry veneer plywood.

Step 1 – Cleaning and Repairing the Veneer

Get rid of any dirt on the veneer by applying some trisodium phosphate (TSP) to the wood. If you notice that some pieces from the veneer are coming loose, stick them into place with some woodworking glue and make sure that you let the glue dry completely.

Step 2 – Sanding the Veneer Plywood

If you intend to apply stain on your cherry veneer plywood, first you need to carefully use a paint stripper according to the manufacturer’s directions. Remove any finish that there might be on the veneer with the paint stripper. Keep in mind that you have to be cautious because the veneer is a very thin layer and make sure that you do not damage it. In case you do not have a paint stripper or a scraper, you can use sandpaper to smooth out the surface instead. It is highly recommended that you use 150-grit and 200-grit sandpaper.

Step 3 – Painting the Veneer Plywood

On the other hand, if you wish to paint the cherry veneer plywood, use 150-grit sandpaper over the wooden surface until you see that the finish is now dull. Remove any dust from the wood and sand again with 200-grit sandpaper. Make sure that you use a paintbrush of good quality to apply the stain or paint on the wood. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s directions even when you are applying the stain or paint to the plywood. Apply the first coat of stain or paint on the wood and let it dry completely before you apply the second coat.

Step 4 - Apply Sealer

It is a common misconception that plywood is already sanded during the manufacturing process, so there is no need of sanding it again. This is untrue because plywood actually requires sanding after not more than 24 hours after its finishing process. In order to preserve the cherry veneer and the plywood itself, some professionals recommend that you apply a sealer as well. Such sealers are purchasable at local stores, or you can create a dilution of one part sealer and about eight or ten parts of thinner.

Keep in mind that the wood requires re-sanding after the sealer is applied onto its surface. Some carpenters and woodworkers know a trick for discovering the areas of a wooden piece that can darken after staining. This can be done by coating the wood with alcohol. During the finishing process, the veneer and plywood are exposed to stains based on oil, and the glue-sizing technique is also used.