All About Finishing Oak Plywood

Once your oak furniture is built, it's time to move on to finishing.

Finishing makes oak look nice, improves its durability, and also protects it from spills, dust and other wear-and-tear processes.


There are many oak plywood finishing options available to you:

Green Finishes

Beeswax and linseed oil falls in this category. These are the most environment-friendly options available for finishing oak plywood.


Varnish is suitable for exterior and interior use. It is available as colored or transparent, preservative or decorative finish. Varnish protects the surface and accentuates its features.


Wood is soaked to give a preservative and/or decorative finish. It can be used along with varnish for extra durability.


Wax is recommended for interior use only. Both oil and water-based types are available. It is applied with cloth and needs multiple coats and maintenance.


Oil can be used for both interior and exterior surfaces. It must be applied on an unsealed surface and it's highly flammable.

Wood Preserver

A wood preserver is used for exterior surfaces; it protects the plywood from insect damage.

Procedure For Finishing Oak Plywood

First off, you need to choose which finishing material you're going to be using, and you should know how to use it.

If you're using varnish, then you don't need paint spray or anything else; you just need to apply with a brush. If you're using lacquer, then a paint booth at a specialized workshop is required because lacquer is sprayed and requires a dust-free surface.


Sanding is used to make surfaces smooth and to cover visible scars. After finishing with sanding, dust is removed with cloth and allowed to dry.

Then, a first coat is applied which works as a sanding sealer that heals the wood pores. After the first coat is dry, another round of sanding is done with 220-grit sandpaper, after which the surface is cleaned again with cloth. Take care to avoid over sanding.


After two round of sanding, your plywood is ready for lacquer or varnish. If, after varnishing, the surface isn't smooth enough, you might have to re-sand it with 320-grit sandpaper. Sanding between the varnish surface enhances adhesion.

Best of luck with your oak plywood finishing project!