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Plywood Table Top With Iron-On Edge Banding

My cute, bright, quirky, fun little table is now a thing of the past.

I loved this little table top, but just not for this space. It was fun while it lasted, but my little table has grown up now–become more mature.

I started by gluing a piece of 1/4 inch oak cabinet-grade plywood to the top of the table. I secured with clamps, leftover pieces of my butcherblock countertop, paint cans, and any other heavy objects I could find.

I waited 24 hours to ensure that the glue was dry, and then I used my jigsaw to trim away the excess plywood around the edges.

That left the edges pretty rough…

So I used my little sander to smooth the edges.

Next I adhered the 2″ oak veneer edgebanding using my iron set to the “cotton” setting.

And then I carefully trimmed off the excess edgebanding using a utility knife.

Some areas (like all four corners) needed some…*ahem*…filling…because I didn’t exactly cut them perfectly, so the edgebanding didn’t lay completely flat. Nothing that a little (or a lot) of wood filler can’t fix!

After it was sanded, it looked just fine.

After giving the entire surface a light sanding…

I began to stain the new wood top.

Okay, now that’s just hideous. I did three coats of stain according to the directions (brush on, wait 15 minutes, wipe off excess), and every time I would “wipe off excess”, it would look exactly like the above picture. That just wouldn’t do, so I decided to forgo the official instructions on the can of stain, and do it MY way.

Using a sponge brush, I applied the stain just like paint. I didn’t wipe off the excess…I just let it dry.

Definitely better. Oh sure, it took forever to dry (about 36 hours), but it certainly didn’t take as long as it would have taken for me to apply the 400 coats of stain it would have taken if I had done it according to the directions.

And now, after a bit of light sanding and a couple of coats of polyurethane, my table is ready for its big reveal.

I have to admit, that grain has really grown on me. I wish you could see it in person! It’s really beautiful, and doesn’t look like cheap oak. It actually looks like some kind of exotic wood species.

Oh, and remember me talking about the mistake of having the grain run the width of the table instead of the length? Well, as it turns out, I’m actually quite glad that I wandered off into lala land while the Home Depot guy cut the wood for me, because I really like the grain running that way. It’s different, and because it’s different, it actually gives the table a more contemporary look. A happy accident indeed.

Here’s another look at the before and after:

The only thing I’m NOT pleased with is the sheen. I used satin polyurethane, but there’s nothing satin about that finish. It’s glossy if I’ve ever seen glossy!! I’ll have to figure out how to remedy that. It could have something to do with my painting on the equivalent of 400 coats of stain all at once. :~D

Alrighty…enough of my rambling. I must get my busy week started. I hope your Monday is off to a great start!

(By the way…you may notice that the taupe wall color is finally gone. Yay! Don’t worry…what’s there now is only primer. Hopefully I’ll have time to paint one evening this week. I’m anxious to see how the new color is going to work!)

This project was for my condo breakfast room makeover. Click here to see the whole before and after of the breakfast room makeover.

Or click on the thumbnails below to see other DIY projects that I did for my condo breakfast room makeover.

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  1. What a great transformation, and yes, those stain directions. I usually use some combination of wiping and just painting on, depending on the wood and look I'm going for. You definitely made it work!! Enjoy…Janell

  2. What a difference! I can't believe you had the PATIENCE for it. It's amazing, though!

  3. Great job! The before was cute and whimsical but I agree – the after is much more sophisticated. Love it!


  4. Great job! The before was cute and whimsical but I agree – the after is much more sophisticated. Love it!