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I am replacing my bathroom drop ceiling panels with lightweight 1/4" sanded plywood (not exterior grade) that I am cutting myself. I am planning on staining them and then putting on some kind of polyurethane or sealer. Does anyone have specific recommendations for what I should use to ensure moisture doesn't affect them..especially above the shower? The bathroom is small, poor ventilation, although I do have a small fan in there near the ceiling and leave the curtain open after showering. I do have cans of Helmsman spar urethane clear semi-gloss, Parks Gloss Polyurethane and a satin Minwax Polyshades. Perhaps one of these would work? Always nice to use up the stuff sitting in the basement. Thanks so much in advance for your suggestions.

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  • Check the previous Q&A for discussion of finishes suitable for a "bathroom" and "damp", as this question has been asked, and answered, many times already.
    – user5572
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 15:49
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    Does this answer your question? What is the best finish for wood in a bathroom
    – user5572
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 15:50
  • Hi and welcome to StackExchange. As already mentioned this has basically been answered numerous times already, that this is a ceiling and not furniture doesn't change the basic requirement. But before any thoughts of finish you need to give consideration to the plywood used. You can't just use a basic plywood from the big-box store and expect good performance here as the plies (especially the ultra-thin surface veneer on much modern plywood) will begin to separate if they get damp, and damp will readily enter through the cut edges. [contd]
    – Graphus
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 5:59
  • For this application you really do need a water-resistant plywood for some assurance of longevity.
    – Graphus
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 5:59

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