How to Stain Birch Plywood

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Things You'll Need

  • 120-grit sandpaper

  • Cloth

  • Pre-stain conditioner

  • 2 poly brushes

  • Water-based wood stain

Birch is often used for building furniture and other fine woodworking projects. Birch plywood is strong with a fine and uniform wood grain. Because of these qualities, it is ideal for woodworking projects. Because birch is a light-colored plywood, staining it requires several steps that may not be necessary with other wood types. A successful stain finish for birch plywood requires the use of a pre-stain conditioner followed by the application of a water-based wood stain.


Step 1

Sand the surface of the plywood to prepare it for the wood stain using 120-grit sandpaper. Wipe the plywood with a clean cloth to remove dust and grit produced by the sanding.

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Step 2

Apply a pre-stain conditioner to the prepared surface of the plywood using a poly brush. Allow the conditioner to dry for at least four hours or as directed by the manufacturer.


Step 3

Brush on the water-based wood stain with the second poly brush. Be sure to apply an even coat, going with the wood grain, and make sure that no areas have an excess buildup of stain. Allow the stain to dry at least four hours before handling, and allow 72 hours before heavy use.


Test the color of the stain on a scrap section of plywood prior to using it on the project to make sure the stain is the color you want.


Wear eye protection when sanding. Apply conditioner and stain in a well-ventilated area.


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