Three Ways to Finish the Edges of Plywood

Easy Ways to Give Nice Edges to Raw Plywood

To me, plywood is the most economical choice of material when building furniture or cabinets. It is generally pre-sanded (so that very little has to be done) and it has the most beautiful grain -especially my favorite, PureBond! The only real drawback is how to finish the edges. Occasionally, I leave them as is with a bit of sanding but sometimes, I want something a little more decorative or professional. Today, I will share three ways to finish the edges of plywood!

three ways to finish the edges of plywood

Edge Banding

Edge banding is by far the easiest choice, especially if staining the project. Edge banding is a band of veneer with heat activated or pressure sensitive adhesive that is applied to the edges of the plywood. It can be trimmed using a craft knife but a cleaner cut can be achieved by using an edge banding trimmer. Plus, there are several species of edge banding available to match the plywood that is being used. For an easy how-to, check out my tutorial on How to Apply Edge Banding.

three ways to finish the edges of plywood edge banding

Solid Wood Edging

Occasionally, I’ll want to put a nice edge on a cabinet top or bench seat using my router and a decorative bit. While the edges of plywood can be routed, the results are not favorable. I like to cut pieces of 1×2 or 1×3 to make a 3/4 plywood edge cap, attach them to the edges of the plywood piece using pocket holes, then rout a decorative edge using my router! I wrote another post about How to Salvage a Piece of Plywood Cut Short which utilizes the same method of applying solid wood boards to the edges of plywood.
three ways to finish the edges of plywood solid wood

Dry Dex or a Joint Compound

The third method is using Dry Dex or joint compound to fill the edges. I like Dry Dex because it is pink when it is applied, then turns white when it dries. (I also use it to fill pocket holes!) Start by thoroughly sanding the edges of the plywood, then apply a coat of the Dry Dex or compound and let it thoroughly dry. Sand the edges with 220 grit sandpaper, then finish as desired. The edges are smooth as silk!

three ways to finish the edges of plywood unfinished plywood

three ways to finish the edges of plywood dry dex filler

three ways to finish the edges of plywood edges filled

three ways to finish the edges of plywood completed

Do you have a favorite exposed plywood edge finish? Hopefully, I’ve been able to help with my three ways to finish the edges of plywood. If you have any questions or comments, leave a comment below!

8 Comments

  • divadee113 says:

    Thanks for the tips! I definitely pinned this article to my tutorial board! You are just wonderful about sharing!

  • Pacifica says:

    Thanks. Do you think you’d be able to route the edge of plywood filled with Dry Dex? Or would that still produce a rough, sloppy looking edge?

    • Hello, there! In all honesty – I am not sure… I’ve never tried it but it is definitely worth looking into! Thank you for stopping by!

  • GillesOfAugustine . says:

    When you day Dry Dex, are you referring to DryDex spackle, or DryDex joint compound?

  • plywood with one side Mable other side Birtch. what is the best sanding witch side to get the smoothest

    Wood being using for a plaque for Honor Members names and Bronze sculpture.Please help

  • Will you please answer my question?

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