If I paint the edges of an oak plywood sheet, will it hide the layers well enough to not show through the paint?

  • 1
    grfrazee's Answer I think covers this perfectly so I won't add another one. But just to say you can actually hide the plywood edges with paint alone if you paint heavily enough (you see a similar effect on old framing with multiple layers of paint applied over the years which can build up enough to fill even moulding details). However you're very unlikely to be happy applying the paint this thickly — it will take many many coats and take a long time to do. It'll also tend to give the edges a rounded, and perhaps uneven, profile.
    – Graphus
    Oct 21, 2015 at 7:12

1 Answer 1


If I paint the edges of an oak plywood sheet, will it hide the layers well enough to not show through the paint?

If you're asking whether you will only see a flat, smooth base below the paint (like you would expect when painting drywall), the answer is no.

No matter how well you sand the plywood edge, you will still get some of the layering/imperfections that show through the paint as shadow lines or will be visible as slightly differently-colored area when viewed in a raking light.

There is one way that I know of to mitigate this effect:

  1. Fill the edges of the plywood with a wood filler to take care of any little dings, scratches, gaps, or craters that might not be readily visible.
  2. Sand the filler back to flat after it's dried/cured
  3. Paint the edge with a flat primer to make an even base coat (like what you might do for a house's wall)
  4. Sand the primer back to flat, reapply primer (repeat as often as necessary to achieve a uniform, flat base)
  5. Paint the edge with the color of your choice

This will likely remove enough of the plywood edge that it will stand up to casual scrutiny. If you're very detailed in your woodfilling and sanding, they results will be even better.

  • 7
    Or edge-band the plywood, either with veneer or with solid wood.
    – keshlam
    Oct 20, 2015 at 21:23
  • 1
    Same issue with the shadow lines/different colors under raking light. Bottom line is that you need to do something to obscure/cover the wood grain.
    – grfrazee
    Oct 20, 2015 at 21:25
  • It's also worth mentioning that the relationship between the layers of the plywood will change with seasonal humidity changes, and the texture of the exposed edge will change as well. Oct 21, 2015 at 17:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.