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Painting birch plywood (non-rocket application)

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neil_w

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Sorry for the off-topic question, but I figure folks here could answer pretty well since birch plywood is commonly used in rockets.

I'm building something for my house that is primarily made of a sheet of 1/4" birch ply (about 12"x20"). I'll eventually want it to match my wall as closely as possible, which means that it'll be painted with standard matte latex interior paint.

To achieve a decent (just decent, not going crazy here) finish, does the birch plywood need anything more than a bit of sanding, primer, and paint? I'm not sure what else it might be, but I just figured I'd ask in cases there are any non-obvious steps I should take.
 

rharshberger

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Sorry for the off-topic question, but I figure folks here could answer pretty well since birch plywood is commonly used in rockets.

I'm building something for my house that is primarily made of a sheet of 1/4" birch ply (about 12"x20"). I'll eventually want it to match my wall as closely as possible, which means that it'll be painted with standard matte latex interior paint.

To achieve a decent (just decent, not going crazy here) finish, does the birch plywood need anything more than a bit of sanding, primer, and paint? I'm not sure what else it might be, but I just figured I'd ask in cases there are any non-obvious steps I should take.
It paints just fine, and your prep will do fine too.
 

Pat_B

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I find that the softness of birch kind of soaks up the primer a little bit and it takes longer to dry. If you do let it dry all the way then the small fuzziness of the grain becomes hard with the primer and can be sanded to a very smooth finish.
 

blackjack2564

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For home use, plywood [any] should be primed with high quality latex primer regardless of finish coat being oil or latex.

Zinsser or Kilz being 2 of the best. They seal the tiny pores in the top sheet of ply, which is very sensitive to expansion & contraction due to seasonal humidity changes that can open the pores. This gives you the "rough" surface months or years after being finished. If not done correctly the finish coat begins to fail in short order.

All the above is found in Sherwin Williams Guide to Coatings manual which is the standard for what to use on all the different materials to be painted. All coatings [paint] are best done in "systems", using materials which work together as a system, not mixing paints and primers on a whim.

Prime, lightly sand smooth, prime again..then put first coat of finish on the UNSANDED primer! Then sand first coat of finish smooth, finally applying the second finish coat.

That's how Pro's do it, any other method is substandard.
I was a commercial painting contractor for 28yrs.
As always there are many methods,this is the best, standing the test of time.
 

Threemorewishes

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Painting?

[video=youtube;T9MAmWnOznI]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9MAmWnOznI[/video]
 
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