When it comes to plywood countertops, you have several options like a butcher block or topped plywood. The kind of plywood you use will determine the results. They are affordable and available at local depots, and working on them is easy. Having a picture of what you expect your Countertop to look like is important because you know what to buy and how to build it beautifully.
The supplies you need to build a Plywood Countertop
1. Choice of Wood
Maple plywood is a challenging and clear wood but with a simple grain. Since it comes in huge sheets compared to others meaning you will use less of it. Also, it is ideal for almost any countertop even those where water is infrequently used. If you are using it on a large span, then minimal seams are unavoidable and easy to hide.
- Four sheets of plywood: 2 for the bottom layer and the other two for the Countertop
- Contact cement
- A cheap brush for a one-time use of applying the contact cement
- Impact Driver
- Wood Screws
- Table Saw
- Circular Saw
- Minwax Wood Effects
- Matte Polycrylic
- Sandpaper 320 grit
- Wood Filler
- Sandpaper 80 grit
- Another brush for applying stain
- A brush for polyacrylic
2. Remove the old Countertop
If you are changing your countertops for a new look, your first task is to get rid of the old ones by removing the drawers and unscrewing them.
3. Measure and cut to size
Take the measurements on the Countertop then transfer the measurement to the plywood and cut to size. If the countertops are longer than 8 feet, then you have to use more than one piece of plywood to fit. Also, measure and cut the birch plywood to be the same size as the bottom plywood.
4. Put a layer of contact cement
A thick layer of contact cement between the two plywood layers creates a strong bond and seals them together.
After putting contact cement, place the top plywood over the adhesive and make sure that both the bottom and top plywood align and the straight edge should be at the front.
6. Install Sink
Install the sink base, and you can use the template that comes with the sink to get the correct dimensions. Cut a hole for the sink then attach it.
7. Screw down the Countertops
Use wood screws that are long enough to screw down the countertops so that they get through both layers of plywood. Make sure the screws are not too long to go through the top layer of plywood.
8. Fil the Seam if any.
A seam is an area where two parts of a countertop meet. Long countertops are likely to have seams, and you should use wood filler to fill the gaps and lightly sand it for a smooth finish then stain the surface.
9. Smoothen the Plywood Countertop Edges
If the countertop edges are not smooth, you need to give them a smooth finish by sanding them. Once you are done smoothing, use wood filler to fill any gaps and allow them to dry then move to the next step.
10. Stain Application
Depending on the plywood you use, some might be smooth; hence there is no need to smooth them like the birch plywood. If that’s the case, then begin to apply the stain. Also, remember that stains vary. Read the instructions on the label of your stain before you start the application.
Bear in mind that any water-based product dries up fast than oil-based products. Follow the instructions and wait for the drying time as provided by the manufacturers between each coat. For a dark heavy coat, apply up to four layers and give each layer enough time to dry.
11. Apply Polyacrylic
For a long-lasting finish, there are many products to choose from to finish your countertops. The kind of polyacrylic you use depends on the uses of the Countertop. Whatever your choice, remember to read and follow the directions as provided on the label.
NOTE: Plywood is affordable and easy to work with because it is enormous with a flat pane. Using it will give you good results though not glowing. It comes in many varieties in thickness and grade. Pine and oak are softer than maple, and they absorb stains nicely without blackening due to water exposure.
The process of building plywood countertops is straightforward if you follow the steps above keenly. Without odd angles, your work will even be more precise with the most challenging and longest part being applying stain, giving it time to dry, and the same for polyacrylic.
Do not apply polyacrylic on the wet stain because the result will not be so good. Give it the provided time to dry for a perfect finish. Also, wooden countertops will wear with time so you should be ready to repair them when the time comes. However, your Countertop will be beautiful and will serve you well.
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