Author Topic: Smooth Finish Painting Plywood ???  (Read 2556 times)

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Offline GOT8SPD

  • Posts: 230
Smooth Finish Painting Plywood ???
« on: November 07, 2016, 11:50 PM »
Hi ya'll,

So I have a noob painting question.  I have some baltic birch plywood that I would like to paint.  I've painted it in the past, but didn't get the results I wanted, which was an ultra smooth finish.

I sanded with Granat 120, 180, then 220 using a ETS 150/3 sander.  I primed the surface (not sure what primer as it's been awhile), after the primer dried, I had a lot of raised grain.  I sanded again, then painted, but the plywood now had a texture from the raised grain. 

I read that water based paints will raise the grain of the wood.  Searching online just tells you to sand, then paint again, but the thing i don't like is...raised grain. 

My question is...Can I paint baltic birch plywood with white paint (which kind if possible) and not have the raised grain?  I just want a SUPER SMOOTH white finish that is durable.  I do not want the grain to be seen at all.  I don't expect it to be durable where I'm going to be throwing oil covered wrenches and things on, but durable to not always have to think about what I'm putting on the surface.

Or should I even be using plywood and maybe using MDF instead????  I'm mainly working on projects such as building cabinets for my garage, etc.

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Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5760
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Smooth Finish Painting Plywood ???
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2016, 11:56 PM »
Plywood can be smoothed. Sand at 120, prime (use SW Wall and Wood), sand (220), prime, sand (220), paint.

MDF is easier, cut edges need to be treated to prevent fuzz.


Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4617
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Smooth Finish Painting Plywood ???
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2016, 11:58 PM »
USE MDO(Menard's has some decent stuff), its got a layers of MDF on the outer two plys(one each side) for ultra smooth painting and a water resident plywood in the center, It's the best of both worlds and the best choice for when you went smooth paint jobs. And its used for signs often.

You can take forever and never get the results painting that Birch ply you will get easily with MDO.

If its true Baltic Birch save it for jigs, drawers, inlay backers, etc.


Medium density overlay panel, or MDO panel, is a paintable surface made of plywood with a weather-resistant resin overlay bonded to the wood by heat and pressure. The overlay, which has at least 27% resin content, resists water, weather, wear and degradation.

« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 12:04 AM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.