How to Refinish Plywood Cabinets

Lead Image
  • 4-12 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-120
What You'll Need
100-grit and 280-grit sanding sponge
Soft cloth
Wood stain
Stirring stick
2 natural-bristle brushes
2 painters rags
Sanding sealer
Wood varnish
Foam brush

In the world of furniture-making, plywood cabinets are a popular item made from thin layers of natural wood. The panels from plywood are used in the furniture industry, particularly wooden furniture. Its popularity rose because of the versatility of design, texture, and size. But over time, the texture of the plywood, particularly plywood cabinets, lose their smooth finish. The appearance of dullness on the wood may be seen as color and smoothness fades. The best way to treat the dullness on plywood cabinets is to refinish the wood by applying stain and varnish. This procedure will condition again the plywood’s color and texture and give it ample protection.

Applying Sanding Sponge

The plywood cabinet must be polished using a 100-grit sanding sponge. With the sanding, take out all traces of the existing finish. This is the preparatory step to applying wood stain on the plywood.

Clean Up After Sanding

Sanding the plywood cabinet will leave sawdust and other residues on it. With a duster, wipe the cabinet surface to clean it up. Wipe the area again using a soft cloth to get out the remaining dirt and make sure that a clean foundation is created.

Applying Wood Stain or Paint

Using a stirring stick, mix a can of wood stain or paint. Making even brush strokes, paint wood stain onto the plywood to be able to restore the color of the plywood. Use a natural-bristle brush when applying the paint, making sure that the direction of the grain is followed. Any excesses to the wood paint application must be wiped off.

Sanding the Surface after Drying

Allow the wood stain or paint on the plywood to dry completely following the indications on the product label. Once the paint has already dried up, apply a sanding sealer on the surface. A natural-bristle brush is recommended for use. Again follow the direction of the grain of the plywood. The sealer must be allowed to air dry. Using a 280-grit sanding sponge, smoothen the surface to generate an even texture.

Protection Application on the Plywood

To give protection to the plywood, polyurethane wood varnish must be brushed onto the plywood. This will seal and protect the wood’s restored condition. When applying the wood varnish, use a soft painter’s cloth or a foam applicator brush. Let it stand overnight. After this procedure, smoothen the cabinet using a 280-grit sanding sponge.

Application More Coats for Protection

The wood varnish must be applied again on the plywood for another application or two. Repeated procedure on the coating is necessary because it will prevent the moisture from the plywood from over-drying and cracking. The topcoat must not be sanded.