There are times we all need to work with plywood, but the exposed rough edge is typically less than desirable. Watch as This Old House DIY Expert and House One Editor Jenn Largesse shares three easy ways to conceal plywood edges.
1. Apply Wood Filler
The first and most obvious way to cover a plywood edge is with wood filler. The key is to create a solid surface that can be sanded to hide the roughness of a typical plywood edge. The upside to this method is that it’s inexpensive and easy.
The downside is that it only works for paint-grade builds and you’ll have quite a bit of sanding to do to get it looking just right.
2. Attach a Face Board
Another way to conceal the edge of the plywood is to cover it with a solid board. For example, I can use pocket holes to attach a 1x2 to the front edge of this piece of plywood. Once I fill and sand the joint smooth, this becomes a decent option for concealing the edge of the plywood.
3. Apply Edge Banding
The final way to finish a plywood edge is to apply a thin strip of adhesive veneer, called edge banding. This product comes in a variety of wood species to match the plywood and goes on easily with a household iron. Though you may want to pick up an inexpensive iron to keep in your shop so the excess adhesive doesn’t ruin your clothing.
When applying the veneer, I like to start with a bit of overhang, and then apply heat, and smooth with a woodblock. Once it cools, trim the excess at each end—I prefer to use sharp scissors instead of dragging a blade across the grain.
Use a utility knife, block plane, or a specialty-trimming tool to trim the edges. Finish with a quick sanding to get professional-looking results.