Do you want to stain your birch plywood to look like walnut? It’s a great way to give your project a more expensive look without spending extra money.
You need to gather the following supplies for the process and apply the stain to the woodworking project. Use a walnut gel stain to make the wood look like walnut. Applying gel stain is a little different than regular liquid stains, so read the directions on the can before beginning.
In this blog post, I will walk you through the 10 simple steps you need to follow to achieve beautiful results. I will also provide some tips and tricks to help make the process go as smoothly as possible.
How To Stain Birch Plywood to Look Like Walnut?
Here are the simple steps necessary to achieve a beautiful walnut color on your birch plywood:
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
The first thing you need to do is gather your supplies. You will need the following items:
- Birch plywood
- Walnut gel stain
- Stain applicator (I prefer a foam brush)
- Paper towels or rags for wiping up excess stain
- Old toothbrush (optional)
Step Two: Sand the Wood Surface
Before you can stain the wood, you need to sand it down. This will help to create a smooth surface for the stain to adhere to. Use medium-grit sandpaper and sand the entire surface of the plywood. Be sure to go with the wood grain so you don’t create scratches.
Step Three: Wipe Down the Wood
Once you have sanded the wood, you need to wipe it down with a damp cloth. This will remove any dust or debris created during the sanding process.
Step Four: Apply Wood Conditioner
This step is optional, but I highly recommend it. Wood conditioner helps to create a more even stain job. Simply apply the wood conditioner to the surface of the plywood with a brush and then wipe off any excess.
Step Five: Apply Gel Stain
Now it’s time to apply the gel stain. Make sure that you are working in a well-ventilated area. Apply the stain to the surface of the plywood with a brush, working in small sections. Be sure to work the stain into the grain of the wood.
Step Six: Wipe Off Excess Stain
After you have applied the gel stain, you need to wipe off any excess. Use a paper towel or rag to remove any stain that is sitting on top of the wood. You don’t want to leave any excess stain on the surface because it will create a dark spot.
Step Seven: Let the Stain Dry
Once you have removed the excess stain, you need to let the stain dry. This usually takes about 30 minutes.
Step Eight: Apply a Second Coat of Stain (optional)
If you want a darker walnut color, you can apply a second coat of gel stain. Simply repeat steps five through seven.
Step Nine: Seal the Wood
Once the stain is dry, you need to seal it. This will help to protect the wood and keep the color from fading. You can use a clear polyurethane or a wax finish. I prefer to use a wipe-on poly because it’s quick and easy.
Step Ten: Enjoy Your New Walnut Finish
That’s it. You’ve now successfully stained your birch plywood to look like walnut. Congratulations. I hope you enjoy your new finish.
How To Darken Birch Plywood?
You can darken the birch plywood by applying a second coat of gel stain. You can also add a little black paint to the gel stain to darken it further.
Darkening birch plywood is a simple process that can be done in just a few steps. Follow the steps above from staining the birch plywood to look like walnut. When you get to step five, add a little bit of black paint to the gel stain before applying it to the wood. This will help to darken the finish.
If you want an even darker finish, you can apply a third coat of gel stain. Simply repeat steps five through seven.
Is Birch Plywood Good for Woodworking?
Birch plywood is popular for woodworking projects because it is strong and durable. You will be able to get many years of use out of birch plywood if you take care of it properly.
To ensure that your birch plywood lasts for a long time, be sure to seal it after staining. This will help to protect the wood from moisture and other elements.
You can use a clear polyurethane or a wax finish. I prefer to use a wipe-on poly because it’s quick and easy.
Read on for a detailed discussion of other factors that make plywood good for woodworking:
Ease To Work With
Plywood is characterized by its thin layers or “plies.” These plies are glued together, usually with the grain running at right angles to adjacent plies. This construction makes plywood very strong in relation to its thickness and weight. It also provides dimensional stability so that it resists warping, cupping, and bowing.
Plywood also holds screws and nails well and can be drilled, sawed, routed, planed, and sanded like solid wood. It can be painted or stained to match the rest of your project.
Plywood is available in various thicknesses (usually an eighth of an inch), grades, and sizes. It’s important to choose the right plywood for your project. For example, if you need a sturdy piece of plywood that won’t warp, you should look for something rated as “void-free.
Several Types of Plywood Available
Plywood comes in several different types, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of plywood are:
Hardwood Plywood: This is the strongest, stiffest, and heaviest type of plywood. It’s made with hardwoods like maple, oak, and birch. Hardwood plywood is often used for cabinets, furniture, and flooring.
Softwood Plywood: This is the lightest and cheapest type of plywood. It’s made with softwoods like spruce, pine, and fir. Softwood plywood is often used for walls, ceilings, and floors.
Exterior Plywood: This type of plywood is designed to resist moisture. It’s made with waterproof glue and is often used for outdoor projects like sheds, decks, and porches.
Interior Plywood: This type of plywood is designed for indoor use. It’s made with water-resistant glue and is often used for cabinets, shelves, and furniture.
Takes Stain and Paint Well
Plywood takes stain and paints well, so you can customize it to match the rest of your project.
To stain plywood:
- First sand it down with fine-grit sandpaper. This will help to create a smooth surface for the stain to adhere to.
- Next, apply a pre-stain wood conditioner to the plywood. This will help to even out the stain and prevent it from botching.
- Finally, apply your stain of choice with a clean cloth. Wipe off any excess stain and allow it to dry completely.
Do the same when applying paint to plywood:
- First, sand the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper.
- Next, apply a primer to the plywood. This will help the paint to adhere better and prevent it from chipping or peeling.
- Finally, paint the plywood with your color of choice. Allow it to dry completely before using it in your project.
Now that you know a little more about birch plywood, I hope you’ll consider using it for your next woodworking project. It’s a great material to work with and can be stained or painted to match the rest of your décor.
What is the Best Way to Finish Birch Plywood?
To ensure that your birch plywood lasts for a long time, be sure to seal it after staining. This will help to protect the wood from moisture and other elements. You can use a clear polyurethane or a wax finish. I prefer to use a wipe-on poly because it’s quick and easy.
Applying a finish to your birch plywood will also give it a nice shine and help to protect it from scratches. If you’re using the plywood for shelves or another project that will see a lot of use, I recommend applying a few coats of polyurethane. This will create a durable finish that will be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear.
If you’re looking for a more natural finish, you can try applying a beeswax polish. This will give the wood a nice sheen and help to protect it from water damage. You can find beeswax polishes at most hardware stores.
Whatever type of finish you choose, be sure to apply it in a well-ventilated area. I also recommend wearing a respirator to avoid inhaling any fumes.
What is the Best Stain for Birch Plywood?
The water-based stain is the best choice for staining birch plywood. This type of stain is easy to apply and won’t raise the grain of the wood like oil-based stains can. Water-based stains also have very little odor and clean up easily with soap and water.
I like to use a dark walnut stain on birch plywood. This color gives the wood a rich, warm look that is perfect for cabinets and furniture. You can find dark walnut stains at most hardware stores.
Here are some popular stains to use with birch plywood:
- SamaN water-based wood stain
- Minwax Gel stain
- Ready Seal exterior stain and sealer
Stain Colors on Birch Plywood?
Birch plywood takes stain very well, so you can customize it to match the rest of your project. The colors below are just a few of the many possibilities:
- Dark walnut
- Natural Cherry
- Red mahogany
- Early American
As you can see, there are many different ways that you can finish birch plywood. Be sure to experiment with different stains and finishes to find the perfect look for your project.
Minwax Stain Colors on Birch Plywood
Minwax has a wide range of wood stains to choose from. Below are some popular Minwax stain colors that look great on birch plywood:
- Miniwax pickled oak
- Minwax classic gray
- Minwax weathered oak
- Minwax provincial
- Minwax golden oak
- Minwax golden pecan
Minwax Topcoats, Stains, and Finishes are also available HERE
Can You Stain Over Birch Plywood?
You can stain over birch plywood. However, it’s important to note that the final color will be lighter than if you were to stain the wood itself. This is because the stain will be absorbed into the plywood and won’t be as concentrated.
Can You Stain Over Polyurethane?
You can apply gel stain over polyurethane. However, I recommend sanding down the surface first so the stain can penetrate the wood better.
What is the Best Way to Cut Birch Plywood?
I recommend using a circular saw to get clean, straight cuts on birch plywood. You can also use a jigsaw, but it’s more difficult to control, and you’re more likely to get uneven cuts.
If you’re using a circular saw, be sure to set the blade depth just barely to cut through the plywood. This will help to prevent the blade from chipping the wood.
Finishing Birch Plywood Made Easy
Staining and finishing birch plywood don’t have to be difficult. By following the simple steps above, you can easily achieve beautiful results. And if you’re still having trouble, plenty of resources are available online or at your local hardware store to help you out.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started today and enjoy your new walnut finish.
Staining birch plywood to look like walnut is a great way to add a touch of luxury to your project. You can easily achieve beautiful results by following the simple steps in this guide. Be sure to experiment with different stains and finishes to find the perfect look for your project. I hope this guide was helpful. Good luck.
Tools and Materials I Used:
- Beeswax polish (I used Liberon beeswax furniture polish)
- Lint-free clothes (I used microfiber towels)
- Circular saw (https://www.amazon.com/Circular-Saws/b?ie=UTF8&node=552922 )
- (Optional) Jigsaw (https://www.amazon.com/Best-Jigsaw/s?k=Best+Jigsaw )
- Gel stain (I used Minwax gel stain in dark walnut) (https://www.amazon.com/walnut-gel-stain/s?k=walnut+gel+stain )
- Polyurethane (I used Minwax polyurethane in a satin finish) (https://www.amazon.com/minwax-polyurethane/s?k=minwax+polyurethane )
- Sandpaper (I used 220-grit sandpaper) (https://www.amazon.com/220-grit-sandpaper/s?k=220+grit+sandpaper )