waterproof plywood

Waterproof Plywood: How to Make One?

Plywood is one of the most prominently used materials in construction. From home construction to making decks or devising certain things, plywood makes an affordable and durable option. This material also comes in various types which are adaptable to people’s requirements.

However, one downside of plywood materials is that most of them are not waterproof. Although some are known for being water-resistant like marine plywood, other plywood materials will require a certain way of waterproofing – that’s if you like to secure it against humidity. But how do you make waterproof plywood? There are actually several ways to waterproof plywood, however, this article would like to focus on one method – which is through painting.

What Do You Need to Follow this Tutorial?

You are about to follow an interesting tutorial. But before you perform the steps, you should know the things that you need to secure first:

  • Paint

This article features a painting method to waterproof plywood. Obviously, you must be ready with your paint. Now, the choice of paint is important to make sure you achieve the goal of this tutorial which is to waterproof your plywood. It is recommended that you get heavy-duty paint. Get yourself either an oil-based or acrylic latex paint that is specifically formulated for the purpose of waterproofing.

In case you are just working on a small task that needs a smooth finish, you might want to consider purchasing spray paint.

  • Tools and Supplies

You should also prepare a dustpan and brush for your cleaning task later. This tutorial will also include some sanding. It would be great if you can secure an electric sander, although a 100 or 220-grit sandpaper will do if you are only doing a minor project. You will also need glue later. Get ready with your brush, sprayer, and roller, too.

These materials aren’t expensive so you can easily collect them. You might want to check your area first if you have these items on hand.

Step-by-Step Instruction

Step #1 Start by Cleaning the Plywood

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The first step of waterproofing your plywood through painting is to clean the board. Make sure that you thoroughly remove the dirt from the surface of the plywood. You may want to get yourself a dustpan and brush to take out debris and dust.

This step may seem very basic, but it is an important step.

Step #2 Perform Sanding

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Sand the plywood before you start painting its surface. Performing this step makes the rough surface of the material smoothens. This is particularly important if your plywood has a very rough surface. You will find it more manageable to get an electric sander if you have a bigger sheet of plywood. However, if you have small sheets of plywood, you can just simply use sandpaper.

Step #3 Stuff the Entire Holes

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Check the whole surface before you paint and prime it. If you notice any holes in the surface, create a paste by mixing the glue and wood dust. Make sure to thoroughly stuff the holes. Once you are done stuffing the holes, streamline the whole surface by using either 100 or 220-grit sandpaper.

Step #4 Do the Primer Coating

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This time, you must do one or two primer coatings. To do this step, use a small paintbrush to cover the small portions and a sprayer and roller for the bigger portions. Once you are done with the primer, allow it to dry completely.

Once the primer has fully dried, paint a thin coat on the wood. You will eventually notice that the primer becomes visible. This should not make you worried as you are bound to perform more coatings of paint to make sure the primer is fully covered.

See to it that the whole side is covered during painting. This should include the corners and edges. You will like every inch of the plywood fully covered, excluding those portions you do not like to be water-resistant.

Step #5 Sand Again

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After applying a thin paint coating, you must sand the whole surface with 100-grit sandpaper. This will make the surface smoother.

After completing all steps, remove the dust developed from sanding the plywood. Make sure you thoroughly get rid of the dust. This will ensure that your paint can strongly attach to the surface.


These are the steps on how to waterproof plywood. Waterproofing your wood is very essential since it can keep you away from spending more. If you do not waterproof your plywood, there is a chance that you will have to replace it after one or two years.

Painting your plywood to waterproof it is actually one of the most common methods used today. Simply follow the steps above and make sure to use the right paint and you can efficiently waterproof your plywood.



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