I'm using plywood for part of a project, and the edges are fine, since they're being covered by trim. However, there are some spots on the plywood that are rougher, have nicks and scratches, etc in them. I was googling around tonight and everywhere is saying you should never really SAND plywood. Like it should be this silky smooth loveliness already. Mine is fairly nice in a lot of spots, but there are a few trouble areas. Do you sand plywood? Do you just use a TON of wood filler on those areas and then sand those down?
It's going to be painted, so I'm not concerned about the colour differences with wood filler, but I AM concerned about having a smooth finish ;)
Light sanding is OK to smooth off the rough spots. Use a fine grit (high number) sandpaper and a light touch. Depending on the grade of plywood you bought it can be silky smooth or not.
Fill any nicks and gouges with wood filler then sand it.
I asked someone who has built furniture with plywood and they recommended sanding sealer. Fill any major gaps with wood putty, then sand. Then put on the sanding sealer, let dry for a couple of hours, then sand again. Then prime, paint and poly.
I can't recommend this method as I haven't done this before. But I plan to whenever we get around to finishing our furniture that we are in the process of building. Will let you know how it goes.
The nicks/gouges are killing me! I can't even really call them that, they're just giant hideous spots in the wood grain. I'm not doing the underside of the top, or the underside of the bottom, thise can just be primed & painted...but holy wow! I've been through 3 or 4 sessions of filling so far. I'm sanding my fills with 220.
Another questions - once I primed an area, if I discovered a spot that needed filling (previously not visible due to my eye being driven to the GIANT hideous areas around it) can I fill it then, then sand, and re-prime?
You may want to consider buying a better grade of plywood to avoid the labor involved in making it pretty. I know a lot of people balk at spending anymore than absolutely necessary, but ask yourself what is your time worth. I've had good sucess with BC grade plywood, usually it just needs a light pass with 120 grit then a follow up with 220.
oh totally...I bought this plywood as a 'plywood newb' and I just told the guy I wanted nothing SUPER fancy, but decent as it would be used for parts of furniture building :) Next time I will definitely be more involved in the selection. But sadly, I can't go back now!