Painted cabinets are the easiest way to give your bathroom, kitchen or other room a new look. And plywood cabinet doors are a great material choice for cabinets because ply sheets are more affordable than solid hardwood.
But did you know there’s a difference between cabinet grade plywood and regular plywood? Why? Well, because usually the grade of that plywood sheet will determine if you can easily paint your cabinet doors or not.
You see, plywood comes in different grades. And if you want the best type of plywood for your painted cabinets then your ideal choice should be to opt for cabinet grade birch plywood.
Plywood is available in four grades, each grade referring to the quality of the plywood.
At the very bottom of the plywood rank is Grade D plywood. This plywood is riddled with deep holes, and its surface is marred with imperfections.
At the very top we have Grade A plywood. This plywood has been perfectly sanded smooth, has no defects, and is ready to be painted on either side of the sheet.
Now, despite its fancy name, cabinet grade plywood (sometimes referred to as furniture grade plywood) is simply regular old grade A plywood. As in this plywood is ready to be painted and affixed to your cabinet.
But is it worth the extra money? Should you get Cabinet Grade plywood? Or can you get away with a well sanded sheet of Grade B ply? These are all questions you may have been asking yourself before you went ahead and made your plywood purchase.
So let’s dive a little deeper into what you need to know about cabinet plywood so you can make the best choice…
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Okay, So What Type Of Plywood Is Best For Painted Cabinets?
The best ply for any painted furniture project is Grade A plywood. Or, more specifically, Grade A Birch Plywood. We’ve already gone over why Grade A plywood is so good (smooth, easy to paint, no defects).
However, when it comes to choosing the specific type of lumber that plywood should be made from, Birch stands heads and shoulders above the rest.
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Birch plywood is more wear and tear resistant than other types of plywood. And thanks to its clever cross-banded veneer layering, it is able to hold up against any warping or bowing problems.
This is especially useful if you are planning on painted kitchen cabinets. All of that humid steam in the air is unlikely to be a problem for warp-resistant birch plywood.
Can You Get Paint Grade Birch Plywood For Cabinets?
Yes you can, from any good lumber wholesaler or home store. You can even check out the Lowes.com range of sanded Birch plywood options right on their website by clicking here.
It’s important to remember though that while Grade A plywood is the best quality, it is also one of the most expensive types of plywood on the market.
So don’t be surprised if it ends up costing you a pretty penny to buy just a few sheets of this lumber.
What Other Kind Of Plywood Is Best For Painting?
If you are looking for Birch Plywood, but the store is all out, then you could also consider purchasing Maple Grade A plywood.
Maple plywood is great at shrugging off stains – and holding up against dents and scratches. And the main advantage behind Maple ply is its durability (this wood type is even harder than Oak).
However, it does not have the warp-resistance edge that Birch plywood offers.
Can Any Type Of Plywood Be Considered Cabinet Grade Plywood?
As long as the plywood is smooth, defect-free, and is quality enough that a paint brush can run over it with no resistance… then yes. Any plywood can be Cabinet Grade Plywood.
However, cabinet grade plywood choices tends to be more maple, birch, oak and even ash. Whereas other plywood types such as Douglas Fir or Pine are preferably used for outdoor constructions.
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Can B Grade Plywood Be Painted Too?
While B Grade plywood’s surface isn’t free of faults, what few flaws it does have are minor. Things like tiny visible knots are par for the course with this plywood type.
So B Grade plywood can be painted onto, provided you don’t mind the appearance of the odd natural imperfection here and there on its surface.
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Plus, a big advantage this plywood has over its Grade A counterpart is its more affordable price. Which is a big help if you are building a set of cabinets on a strict budget.
So, To Wrap Things Up…
There are several types of plywood out there for you to choose from. And all of them have various features that you may need to take into account. Every one of those features, (from the number of veneer layers to the type of glue used to bind them), can be a factor for you to think about.
But, when it comes down to choosing plywood for your cabinet, the choice is simple. Cabinet grade plywood is what you need as it is made from better wood and also has a better finish on each surface.
I’m not saying that other plywood types don’t also have a nice finish, but most of the standards usually don’t. And cabinet grade birch plywood is pretty much the best plywood you can use for your cabinet furniture project.