Incorporating Uncovered Plywood Edges Into Design
The uneven edges of plywood that reveal the wood’s composite nature are frequently covered up with veneer and edging to achieve a tidy, polished, “finished” appearance. However, as industrial, rustic, and DIY trends take over the home design landscape, leaving the margins of plywood unpainted or even emphasising this visually appealing feature is becoming increasingly trendy. The nature of how plywood is created is what gives it the visually appealing characteristic that so many designers and furniture makers are attracted to. The edges of plywood sheets have a stacked line pattern because they are formed by compressing and glueing numerous thin layers of wood together.
The alternate layers used to make the plywood sheet are frequently rotated during manufacture to improve the strength of the plywood. Because of this utilitarian practise, alternating layers within a plywood sheet are frequently various colours. These alternating strips of colour enhance the pattern of the exposed plywood edges. In homes that embrace modern design, plywood edges are now left exposed in furniture (especially desks and tables) as well as kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. The front face of a cabinet frame or the edges of a table or desk are examples of subtle touches.
The tightly stacked lines in this application give a touch of visual variation and intrigue without being too forceful or weird. If you want to construct unfinished plywood edge shelves or furniture at home, start with plywood that has clear lines – hardwood plywood is a wonderful choice. This ensures that your “raw” look is tidy and composed while still retaining character. MDF should be avoided since it is constructed differently and has edges that appear like compressed sawdust rather than the crisp lines of plywood. When shopping for wood, pay more attention to the sheets’ edges rather than their faces.
A few flaws on the front of the plywood will be unimportant for your purposes. Instead, search for boards with unique cross sections that complement the design you’re striving for. Working with exposed plywood edges provides you with a variety of alternatives. Leaving the front facing edges of shelving or a desk uncovered is a great way to add a little personality to your piece. Cut sheets of plywood into narrow strips and glue them together (with the edges up) using a strong construction-grade wood adhesive to produce a bolder statement for a table, desk, bar top or bookcase, as shown in this desk.
Because of this method, the entire surface area of your new personalised piece resembles the exposed edges of plywood, resulting in a gorgeous pattern that replicates natural wood grain. However, just because exposed plywood edges are trendy doesn’t imply you should leave them completely raw and unpolished. The edges of plywood are rough by nature, and they should be coated to prevent chipping or snagging on clothing. Begin by sanding the edges to make them smooth. During this step, you can also add a rounded corner edge. After properly sanding the surface, use a polyurethane sealant to seal all exposed edges.
Apply a stain or light wash of your choosing to the plywood edges before sealing to add more character or colour.
The exposed plywood edge concept is ideal for do-it-yourself furniture makers. The material is less expensive than higher-quality wood and more readily available. It’s simple to create a new item for your home that looks like it just arrived from a top home design store with the correct care and finishing.