The Best Plywood To Paint – Choosing the Best Types of Wood For Paint Project

The Best Plywood To Paint

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Are you opting for painting your plywood? But do you know whether your plywood is fit for painting or not?

Top Quality Best Selling Plywood To Paint

Have you had issues selecting the best plywood for your new project?

Don’t get confused!

This handy project will guide you in selecting the best plywood for painting with the best paints suitable for them.

You will get to know the types, conditions, and factors necessary for opting for the best plywood to purchase for painting.

Our professionals wrote the best plywood guide for plywood to be painted and usage situations as per desired needs.

Plywood to Paint

Let’s get through this guide to know about different criteria before purchasing plywood to paint?

Medium Density Fiber wood or MDF

MDF or medium density fiber wood is another best type of plywood to paint and is opted in various sites for its best features. This type of plywood is suitable for painting.

Keep in mind!

plywood Sheet Board Squares

It becomes fit for painting once the primer is applied and sealed. Various types of paint can opt for the MDF plywood, but the best ones opted for oil and water-based paints.

When desired components get mixed up in a fixed ratio, MDF plywood comes into existence. It must include Wood fibers 82%, Binder 9%, Water 8%, and Wax 1%.

Types of MDF:

  • Bendable
  • Lite
  • Fire-resistant
  • Resistant to moisture

Density of MDF

It must lie between 600 – 800 kg/m3.


  • Affordable
  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Smooth structure
  • Painting process ease
  • Eye-pleasing
  • Eco friendly.
  • Insect-resistant


  • Humidity absorber
  • The problem is holding screws due to the smooth nature
  • heavy for carrying
  • long-lasting Stains
  • release VOC upon cutting


It’s another type of plywood that comprises two layers of MDF, between lies the core of the veneer.

It opts like the MDF, but in terms of durability, the MDX may last longer.


MDF is versatile and is opted in various sites, including Building furniture, Building interior cabinets, best plywood for flooring, Creating showpiece items, Speaker exteriors, fire resistance features, and a second layer for the rooftop.


While cutting the plywood, remember to wear masks as it releases VOC. It can be dangerous for your lungs and health.

Baltic Birch Plywood

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3MM 1/8″ x 12″ x 12″

Birch plywood is one of the best plywood for painting and art-related projects. Its smooth and clear surface makes them the best fit for art projects.


The birch plywood is Russian-based plywood manufactured purely from the Baltic birch trees native to Russia.


  • High quality
  • Versatile
  • Smooth and clear surface
  • Durable
  • Fit for laser projects
  • Flexible and stable
  • Waterproof plywood
  • Used as outdoor and as an exterior plywood
  • Shiny appearance


  • Increased dryness leads to crack
  • Affected by beetles

Paint grade plywood

Birch plywood is best for painting because it can hold on to the colors. It also prevents bubbling issues which makes it fit for furnishing.

While discussing the crafting-based features, birch possesses ease of cutting, high durability, and long life guarantee. The high painting efficiency makes them fit for cabinetry plywoods.


The prime specifications 12×12 square shape and 3MM 1/8″ size make them perfect for creating various items, including plywood cabinets, drawers, and wooden boxes.

The best plywood for painted bookshelves is Birch plywood. You are open to other choices, but if you opt to paint your bookshelves, birch plywood fits the best.

Marine Plywood

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High-standard marine plywood is not the one to be overlooked while discussing the top best plywood for painting. It is considered the best opting for exterior plywoods for houses and furniture in terms of quality, 

The Best paint required for marine plywood is latex-based paint. This paint enhances durability and provides the anti-cracking feature to the plywood. Other options do exist. You can also go for epoxy paints if required.


  • Durable
  • No knots in the wood
  • High quality
  • Water-resistant
  • Resist the formation of water pockets
  • Resist cracking
  • Easy to cut


This plywood fits best for painting and is opted in outdoor/ exterior furniture and outdoor structures, boats, and aircraft.

CDX Plywood

CDX plywood is one of the best and most popular plywood for painting. As the names indicate, C and D represent the grade of the plywood, and X refers to exposure.

This type of plywood best fits exterior structures and is the best for painting. This type is the best plywood for subfloors, which usually do not require high-grade polished plywood.

Medium Density Fiber wood or MDF

Painting the plywood is itself among the plywood finishing techniques you need to consider.

The CDX is the traditional type of plywood with a rough outer layer subdivided into grades C, D, or X. To use CDX as a subfloor, do not go for high-grade plywood.

Medium-grade plywood will be enough for the job.


  • strong
  • Affordable
  • Construction grade
  • No crumbling issue
  • Water-resistant
  • Mold resistant


  • Rough
  • Contain imperfections
  • Not sanded
  • Stainless grade


This plywood possesses layers either from veneers, high-density hardwood, or light hardwood.

It depends upon the type and your desired customization needs.

Painting CDX Plywood

The oil-based paint best fits CDX plywood and is usually applied as a spray.

For painting the CDX, a three-layer coating is necessary. It utilizes an electric paint sprayer upon the plywood surface.

Usually, three coats are sprayed for outdoors and exterior structures to keep them safe from environmental hazards and conditions.

Other Exterior Plywood

  • pressure treated plywood
  • overlaid plywood
  • oriented strand board (OSB)
  • T1-11

If you want to seal plywood edges, apply the desired coat of wood filler, wait for some time to let it dry, sand it, and make it smooth.

After that, if you need to cover the edges, opt for a thin strip of adhesive veneer (edge banding).

You are done! by sealing the plywood.

Highest Quality Plywood

The highest quality plywood is the A-grade plywood.

It is costly as well as eliminated from all imperfections.


You can opt for CDX in constructing outdoor structures you want to paint.

Best to opt for a structural panel/subfloor.

Sande Plywood

Sande lumber or sandy plywood is outdoor plywood, best for painting furnished items.

The majority of the people opt to paint their shelves, furniture, or cabinets made from sande plywood.

The reason that makes it best for painting is the acceptance of stain and paint which automatically enables you to customize the DIY project as per your desire.

If you opt to install a panel, the sande plywood adds a great addition to your wall.


  • Highly Durable
  • Water-resistant
  • High grade
  • Smooth surface
  • Withstand moisture
  • Used up to decades


It opts for outdoor and marine-based plywoods.

Poplar Plywood  

Last but not least, Poplar Plywood is considered another best option to be painted.

It requires oil-based paint and oil-based primer to keep the surface safe and waterproof.

Painting Primed Plywood   


  • Sandpaper: 220-grit
  • Tack cloth
  • Non-water-based primer
  • Paint roller and tray
  • Paint


After priming the plywood, take the paint roller and apply paint to it.

Apply a paint coat on the plywood evenly.

Let it dry.

After that, sand it using 220 grit and apply a second coat.

Let it get dry.

You have completed painting primed plywood.

Specification– 2440 x 1220mm

It has highly opted for the manufacturing of furniture.


  • High quality and lightweight
  • High moisture resistant
  • Bending strength
  • Durable


  • Strength
  • Ease of cutting
  • Good flexibility
  • Low formaldehyde emission
  • Eco friendly
  • Certified material


  • Not strong like others
  • Prone to dents and damage

EO Certified Plywood

Is this plywood officially certified by An FSC and E0 organization of the environment?

Yes, it is.

Baltic Birch Plywood

 It makes the Poplar plywood suitable for environmentally responsible developments and painting.

Face side Grade:

A/B Front and B Back

Painting poplar plywood

For painting poplar plywood, you need to apply primer first and then go for Oil-based paints to do the job.

You might know, oil repels water, so it will allow the plywood to act as moisture resistant.


It has commonly opted for Commercialised and residential sites, ceiling lining, indoor and outdoor furniture, caravans, laser cutting, and different engravings.


Some other plywoods are also best for painting and are available in various shapes and sizes.

One of them can be 14-inch circular plywood. It suits best for art and paintings. A solo item known to be OSB Oriented Strand Board is the best and most versatile type of wood panel. 

It shares many features like strength and performance, similar to plywood. You can also paint and stain it as per desire. One of the best stains for the SOB board is the gas permeable stain variety.


  1. Need for Plywood 

Plywood is utilized in all settings and is considered the common item opted for internal and external use. If you opt to buy the best plywood for painting, you must recognize the purpose of purchase.

Plywood opted for a wardrobe, bed, dining table, and luxurious showcase. Furniture’s like sofas, cupboards, wardrobes, closets, drawers, kitchen cabinets, bookshelves, painted cabinets, painted lumber, and painted shelves all require their specific plywood type.

You might need the best plywood for art painting, 14-inch plywood, and the best hardwood plywood suits well. 

Weather conditions like humidity, dryness, and moisture may require you to use different types and grades of plywood.

  1. Purchasing Specification 

Before opting for plywood, check the following specifications and select the one according to your desired needs;

  • ISI Mark
  • Type of Plywood
  • Plywood Grade
  • Layers of plywood
  • CM/L Number
  • Batch No.
  • Thickness of Plywood
  • Year of Manufacture
  • Cost 
  • Usage Site (if present)
  1. ISI Mark

An ISI mark will confirm whether the plywood is according to the guidelines. Different grades are assigned their specific ISI marks. Before purchasing, check the ISI mark by the desired plywood needed. 

Those numbers are the Indian Standard guidelines number, which confirms that plywood is fit for use. 


IS: 303 and IS: 710 are the ISI marks on general-purpose plywood. If you observe an IS: 303 mark, it’s for the general-purpose commercial MR grade and BWR grade plywood. 

If you want to purchase a Marine Grade plywood, an IS: 710 will be assigned. We have made it easy to counter-check the ISI mark with the provided standard.

  • Select Type of Plywood
  1. Location-Based 

Before opting for plywood painting, understand the different types of plywood. Each type requires its way to desired sites. These are classified based on the location of use. 

  1. The Structural Plywood

It well suits places that abide heavy loads. It is not applicable for residential purposes. It is opted for plywood for beams, indoors, sub-floor, shipping crates, wall bracing, and roof bracing.

  1. The Marine Plywood/ weather Proof Wood

In terms of quality and strength, consider it the best option for exterior plywoods for docks, boats, outdoor housing, and furniture. 

  1. The Interior Plywood 

It is for interior structures like rooms, subfloors, tiles, vinyl, engineered wood laminate flooring, indoor furniture, ceilings, and indoor cladding. And hardwood flooring. 

  1. The Exterior Plywood 

Other plywoods may be affected by moisture. Places like bathrooms and kitchens are also sometimes covered with exterior-grade plywoods.

If you need to opt for plywood for walls, outdoor floorings, and roof linings, go for the exterior plywood type.

  • Based On the Number of Ply Layers

You may experience a variety of plywood in terms of the layers of veneers engineers had combined. Select the ply number by the site your plywood requires in general.


3-ply means 03 layers of plywood, and it will best suit indoor use. Don’t challenge it by its fewer layers. It’s the standard ply almost opted by every user.


5-ply possesses 05 layers of veneers. They are firmly held together with an adhesive. It can opt for indoor use.


Multi-ply plywood may possess many layers combinations starting from 07, 11, and the count goes on. 

For exterior use and roofing, go for multi-layered plywood.

  1. Plywood Grade

Plywood opts in a variety of grades. Each one has its specifications, painting techniques, and use. So let’s see which favors your desired needs. 

There are four prime plywood grades, including A, B, C, and D. 

Plywood Painting Tips

Check the grade of each plywood type before purchasing.

Grade A; the best plywood grade opted for external settings to keep them safe from weather conditions. 

It’s best to be painted, because of its high quality. The highest quality plywood is the A-grade plywood. 

It is costly as well as eliminates all imperfections. 

Grade B: the second-best grade plywood, opted for exterior use.

Grade C: a bit low grade, opted for internal use.

Grade D: the cheapest plywood, opted for internal use.

  1. Combination Grades 

Depending upon the top and bottom ply grade, these grades have opted in combinations like A-B and A-C.

If you need high-grade plywood for external use, you might go for A-CX.

Each plywood can be painted, but assure to use the primer to get an even surface before painting. 

You may opt for staining the wood. For that purpose, select high-grade plywood with a smooth surface area. The best stain for an OSB board is the gas permeable stain variety.

Stain requires at least 24 hours to dry before coating it with a clear varnish that seals the wood.

Other grades that you need to check out before opting for plywood.

BWR grade; if you require plywood for bathroom, and kitchen settings, go for Boiling Water Resistant (BWR) grade plywood. 

MR grade; areas sensitive to moisture will require MR grade plywood. So, what might be the sites?

Yes, the living room, bedroom, or internal site suits the site. 

FR grade; it keeps the plywood safe from getting fired. Opt for the plywood if you require FR (fire retardant) specifications.

  1. Plywood Size and Thickness

Be careful in terms of size and thickness. Any mistake will lead to the wastage of your time and money. 

  • Size of Plywood 

Different settings require different sizes of plywood. The most common is 2449 x 1219 mm (8’x4′). 

  • Thickness of Plywood

The thicknesses of plywood depend upon the type of plywood and its prime manufacturer. The standard thickness for all plywood lies between 3mm to 25mm. 

Other options may exist, including 18mm and 12mm plywood for furniture settings. So, if you want plywood for your furniture items, select the type and grade with the above-specified thickness (18mm and 12mm).

  1. Durability 

Once you have selected plywood, you need to check the durability factor. The plywood needs to be durable before painting.

What if it wastes all your time and money, and the plywood isn’t worthy. I know it will hurt. So, check the durability before opting for any plywood type.

A standard life for plywood lasts for ten years. If you paint it, it becomes more secure and may last longer.

A and B-grade plywood, MR, BWR, will provide durability and a better surface to paint.

Plywood durability is affected by the decrease in its lifetime due to the attack of molds if not protected. Keep the plywood safe and secure with resistive paints.

  1. Best Paint for Plywood 

If you opt to paint your plywood, the paint specifications must be according to the plywood type. Painting is the application of one of the plywood finishing techniques applied to your plywood.

If you own a Poplar Plywood setting, you need to consider oil-based paint and oil-based primer to keep the surface safe and waterproof.

For painting Poplar plywood, you need to apply primer first and then go for Oil-based paints to do the job.

For CDX type plywood, the oil-based paint best fits. As you know, oil repels water, so it will allow the plywood to act as moisture resistant. 

For paint-grade plywood MDF, MDX, go for the oil and water-based paints. 

You can opt for painting plywood ceilings and texture plywood DIY projects with oil-based paints.

  1. Best Plywood Paint Color Brand

Top 5 Best and ideal Paints for painting different kinds of Plywood include,

  1. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Latex Paint
  2. Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint
  3. Krylon COLORmaxx Brush On Paint
  4. RECOLOR 100% Recycled Interior Latex Paint
  5. PRESTIGE Interior Paint & Primer In One
  1. Cost Analysis

Before purchasing the plywood, calculate the overall budget required for the project. For that, you need to perform a cost analysis. Search for the prices of your desired plywood and then decide the final budget required. 

  • Cost of Quality 

A high grade will cost more than a low grade. Multi-ply is more costly than 3-ply. Likewise, you need to check for the cost to avoid any inconvenience.

  • Cost of Quantity 

The quantity of plywood also affects the cost. A higher number will add up money to your budget. Before purchasing, identify the number required. If you don’t know about it, concern a better carpenter to help you calculate the number of plywood needed for your project. Unnecessary plywood may lead to cost you more.

  • Transportation cost

While calculating the budget, don’t forget to add the expenses required for transporting the desired product. The cost of transporting plywood sheets mostly depends on the location of your site from the manufacturer’s depot.  

Best Plywood To Paint

A less number can be transported easily and will cost you less. 

  1. Select Top Supplier 

Don’t purchase your product from a low-quality store. 

Always select the best store with cost-effective rates. The supplier should be a top seller with an overall 4.5 review.You can purchase either from area-based stores or online marketplaces like Amazon.

  1. Plywood for Deck Roof 

Painting plywood deck roof 

For DIY painting plywood deck roof, apply an oil-based primer first. 

Use a roller for quick and easy application of primer. 

Wait till it gets dry before you opt for painting. 

Grab a roller and Apply paint evenly for a smooth surface. 

Let it get dry. 

In the case of more paint coats, follow the same process.

Selecting the best Plywood Painting Tips

Keep in mind the tips to avoid any mistakes while painting the plywood.

  • Fill the imperfections of the plywood. Plywood may exist in a variety that bears pores and grudges.
  • Usually, the lowest quality has more imperfections. 
  • Take the paint, and apply it evenly with a better quality brush.
  • Smooth the edges while applying paint coats.
  • Sand the surface of the plywood using proper grits.
  • Remember to apply three coats for outdoor and exterior plywood surfaces. The outdoor settings also require high-grade plywood to keep them durable.

Check: Can You Return Mixed Paint to Home Depot and Lowe’s?

Can plywood be painted?

Yes, it can be painted, as per desired need. 
Before that, some might require a primer to make the surface fit and clear for the paint application. 
Each type of plywood will require paint based on its nature and surface type. 
The best one for plywoods is the latex paints.

What is sande plywood?

Sande lumber or sandy plywood is outdoor plywood, best for painting. Some people opt to paint their shelves, furniture, or cabinets made from sande plywood.

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