How To Make Plywood Smooth and Shiny – 5 Simple And Effective Steps

Wooden furniture is highly favorable because it brings a cozy and luxurious look to the house. However, its price is quite high. Instead, many people DIY wooden furniture with industrial plywood pieces as a more economical option. And, we are here to show you how to make shiny and smooth plywood.

The wood surface is an extremely important factor to consider when working on such a project. A smooth and shiny wood surface will make the furniture appear more luxurious and expensive than its actual value. In addition, if you know how to handle the surface and avoid mold, your masterpiece will be very durable.

People often think choosing and maintaining wooden structures is rather complicated. However, the truth is not quite so. We prove it to you.

In-depth Instructions On How To Make Plywood Smooth and Shiny

Here are 5 detailed steps to how to make a plywood smooth and shiny:  

Step 1: Choosing Wood

The first step in the procedure is choosing the wood. The quality of the wood affects the gloss and smoothness of the plywood. 

There are various types of plywood on the market divided into grades A to D, in which grade A is the best and most expensive. Its features are smooth, paintable, and very close to being flawless. If using grade A, you won’t have to sand too much and still have a smooth and natural surface. 

On the other hand, grades B, C, D have more knots and are rougher. You shall sand them carefully before using them to make sure the surface of the wood panel is smooth.

How To Make Plywood Smooth and Shiny


Step 2: Sanding Carefully

Sanding is one of the most important and time-consuming steps. With that said, the time and technique of sanding will depend on the quality of the wood. The better the wood quality, the simpler and faster the sanding. 

You can sand it manually or by machine. However, for high productivity, we recommend using a machine. Usually, Orbital sanders are a perfect choice. 

In addition to sanding machines, you need to care about sandpaper. Whether it is a sheet or a power sander, all sandpaper comes in varying degrees of coarseness. The smaller the number, the rougher the sandpaper. And, they are numbered 40 to 600. 

Depending on your needs, you will choose the right type of sandpaper. For example, you want to use sandpaper with 40 or 80 grit for grade D, while grade B needs sandpaper with 220 or 320 grit.

How To Make Plywood Smooth and Shiny 5 Simple And Effective Steps

When sanding, pay attention to brush the entire surface slowly and thoroughly, not skipping any part. Don’t forget to dust and clean after sanding. After completing this step, you can cover it with a light coat of sanding sealer.

Step 3: Using Wood Grain Filler

The trick to achieve a super smooth finish is applying wood grain filler. It will help fill the holes and scratches in the wood grain. 

The filler comes in many textures, in which Epoxy Wood Fillers are the strongest. It is harder than wood and can prevent cracks from expanding. When dry, it has a plastic-like appearance.

First, apply the filler horizontally and change it vertically to ensure the filler fully covers and penetrates the plywood. And let the surface dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

How To Make Plywood Smooth and Shiny 5 Simple And Effective Steps

Close–grained wood is easier to finish than open-grained wood because it has smaller pores. That is important because when applying the finish on rough surfaces, it will sink into these little holes, making the finish far from being smooth and even.

Step 4: Using Polyurethane

How To Make Plywood Smooth and Shiny 1

Polyurethane, or PU for short, is a material widely used in industrial production. Polyurethane has high durability and resistance to environmental agents. Besides, it has better abrasion resistance than ordinary rubber.

If you want a shiny and flawless base, you want to take advantage of Polyurethane. It will help the plywood to be shiny like plastic and more durable. Trust us; you will see your plywood taking on a completely different look just by using Polyurethane.

Step 5: Repeating Sanding And Using Polyurethane

Finally, lightly sand the surface again with sandpaper and reapply with Polyurethane. This measure will make its color last longer and protect it from the effects of the environment.

Gently stroke the wood with your hands to feel its smoothness. Under the light, the wood panel will appear very luxurious and attractive. 

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The answer to how to make plywood smooth and shiny lies in the five simple steps above. We promise it will work very well.

You can use the treated plywood to make a study table, a bookshelf, or a few decorative items for your home. We are sure that the outcome will be rewarding. Besides, don’t forget to use protective gloves when sanding and handling chemicals. 

Thank you for reading! We hope this article is useful to you.

Reference source: Creating a Smooth Wood Finish with Grain Filler

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