Make Plywood Look Like Solid Wood With Some Edge Banding

When you want to make furniture or other decorative pieces, plywood is a much cheaper alternative to solid wood. If you want to hide the fact that it's plywood, you can apply edge banding on the sides to cover up the visible layers.

In this video, Bob Clagett on the Make YouTube channel explains some of the basics of plywood. He also demonstrates an easy way to fake solid wood with plywood: edge banding.

These strips have adhesive backing you can use to make the sides look just like solid wood, and all you need to do is cut it down and sand it. Keep in mind that furniture usually still needs higher-grade plywood that's faced on the outside with a hardwood like oak, birch or walnut. That can be a bit more expensive than construction-grade, but it's still cheaper than going with solid wood (not to mention way nicer than oriented strand board).

Quick Tips: Working With Plywood [YouTube]


    Edge banding alone won't make plywood look solid, unless you have no idea what solid wood looks like.

    The veneers that make up plywood are made by essentially peeling logs. The resulting wood grain looks nothing like the grain you get from milled timber.

    If you really want the solid wood look without the cost, you glue hardwood veneers, which have been vertically cut from milled lumber, resulting in the same grain patterns you'd see from real timber.

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