How to edgeband plywood using veneer edging

A few strips of veneer edging and some easy tricks are all you need to conceal a plywood edge.

One of my favorite techniques of hiding edges on a plywood project is to add a trip of edge-banding or veneer. It’s a ribbon made out of wood, that is the thickness of a thick paper piece.

First, you need to be sure that your edging is big enough to cover the area that you’re working on. Always leave a bit of space for mistakes.

You need to buy a veneer that will match the color of your project. Luckily, manufacturers sell veneer in multiple variations, which match all the popular wood types and colors.

Edging types

Veneer edging is basically very thinly sliced wood. That’s it. How they differ is the adhesive they use.

Adhesive tape veneer

Although it costs a bit more, it’s the most convenient. Just strip off the tape, position your edging and press it into your wood.

Glue-on veneer

The most popular and the cheapest veneer. It’s a simple wood strip without any glue on the back. To make them stick you need to buy some adhesive. I recommend contact cement. Be aware, you need to be fast and precise as this adhesive bonds quickly

Dap 00271 Weldwood Original Contact Cement, 1-Pint
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You can use a slip sheet to assist yourself with gluing the veneer on. The slip sheet will enable you to glue the veneer on just a little piece at a time.

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Iron-on veneer

It’s a veneer that comes with a layer of a special adhesive on the back. It’s reactive to heat. As you can imagine, you need to place the veneer in place, adjust it, and use an iron to heat it up.

You can use a regular home iron, but there are professional woodworking irons that you can buy now. You need to circle around the veneer using the iron, and never stop in one place for too long, so the surface won’t be burned and stays even.

Tips for edgebanding plywood

It doesn’t matter what kind of veneer edging you’re using, there are a few tricks that will help you with your edgebanding.

Prepare your edge

Clean your edge thoroughly. Nothing screams “amateur” like particles of wood trapped under the veneer edge. I usually use a fine piece of sandpaper to polish the edge. Then I run my hand to detect if there are any imperfections left.

Size of your edge

Before applying your veneer, make sure it’s a bit longer and wider than your edge. You can cut it to length, but always leave an inch or two than they need to be. I will trim the unneeded ends later on.

Rolling the veneer

A good trick is to use a rubber roll on your edge, right after you glue your veneer on. When pushed, it rounds itself, smoothing out irregularities in the veneer. Do not push too hard either, so you don’t press out the glue from under the veneer.

Trimming the ends

Always trim the ends first.

Put the edge downwards so that the veneer is pressing against the table.

Using a utility knife that has been sharpened, cut off the excess veneer edge. Run your blade against the edge of the plywood for a clean slice, perfectly in line with the corner.

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Trimming the edges

Always trim the edges second.

This one is more difficult. Again we will use a very sharp utility knife. The alternative is using a specialist edge-trimming tool.

Edge Banding Trimmer, Mini Plastic PVC Plywood Melamine Wood Edge Band Cutter, Manual Trimming Woodworking Tool
The edge banding machine is made of high quality PVC material, solid and not easy to aging, non-slip top surface is easy to operate and durable to use.

If using a utility knife, you will need to trim the banding as near as humanly possible to the surface of your plywood without scratching it. Similar to the ends, the plywood gives you a cutting guide.

The big difference here is you need to be more precise with your movement and that you probably want to hold your blade at a slight angle. One important thing is that you should probably never cut against the grain of your veneer edging, as this will result with a coarser cut.

Clean the edges

Once you’re done will all the cutting, wipe the edges to clean them. The last step is to bevel your edge. Just take a sanding block with a fine-grit paper and run it a few times along all the edges of your veneer. This will clean out all the imperfections and leftover glue.

List of bestselling veneer edges

Bestseller No. 1
Band-It 34250 Real Wood Veneer Iron-on Edgebanding, 3/4" x 25', White Birch
  • Item Weight: 0.5 lb
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Color: White Birch
  • Brand name: Band-It
Bestseller No. 2
Edge Supply Brand Birch 1-1/2" x 25' Roll Preglued, Wood Veneer Edge Banding, Iron on with Hot Melt Adhesive, Flexible Wood Tape Sanded to Perfection. Easy Application Wood Edging, Made in USA.
  • Real wood veneer edging use to repair or enhance cabinetry, furniture, shelving, crafts, or any other flat or cylindrical projects. Size : 1-1/2" x 25'
  • Pre-glued with hot melt adhesive and easy to apply with a household iron.
  • Finely sanded to perfection, can be trimmed and cut with scissors.
  • Can be stained or applied any lacquer finish. Suitable to be applied to wood, plywood, particle board, hardboard, metal.
Bestseller No. 3
7/8 Inches (22mm) Mat Black Melamine Edge Banding, Pre-Glued Veneer Tape – 25 Foot (7.5 Meter) Roll - Iron-On for Easy DIY Application – Will Cover The Edge of a Standard MDF Panel
  • 7/8” (22mm) wide by 1/64” (0.5mm) thick superior quality edging roll
  • 25ft (7.5m) length will cover the linear edge of a standard MDF panel
  • Layered with a fleeced back for strength
  • Pre-glued with special formula 'hot-melt' for easy application by ironing on
  • Wholesale & volume enquires welcomed
Bestseller No. 4
Band-It 34210 Real Wood Veneer Iron-On Edgebanding, 3/4" x 25', Red Oak
  • Item Weight: 0.5 lb
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Color: Red Oak
  • Brand name: Band-It
Bestseller No. 5
Edge Supply Birch 2 In X 50 Ft Roll, Wood Veneer Edge Banding Preglued, Iron on with Hot Melt Adhesive, Flexible Wood Tape Sanded to Perfection. Easy Application, Made in USA
  • EXTRA CLEAN "A" GRADE NATURAL WOOD VENEER EDGING – highest grade veneer quality pre-glued, birch wood veneer edging for repair or enhancing cabinetry, furniture, DIY projects, shelving, crafts and more. Finely sanded to perfection, this plywood edge banding provides a perfect finish to your projects
  • GERMAN PRE-GLUED HOT MELT ADHESIVE – pre-glued with top-quality, German hot melt adhesive, our veneer edge banding is super easy to apply with a household iron. The extra strong hot melt glue is evenly distributed on the veneer edging for a strong, permanent bond
  • SUPER EASY INSTALLATION – to apply this veneer edge banding, simply iron on to the surface with a regular household iron, hot air blower such as a hairdryer on high heat, or an edge banding machine if you have one in your toolkit
  • PREMIUM QUALITY REAL WOOD VENEER EDGING – this birch 2” X 50' iron-on veneer roll is all prepared ready for your application. Finely sanded to perfection, this plywood edge banding can be trimmed if required or lightly sanded down to fit.
  • USE ON A VARIETY OF SURFACES – this roll of iron on edge banding can be stained or painted with a lacquer finish to match your project. Suitable for a wide variety of surfaces, this veneer edging is great when applied to wood, plywood, particle board, hardboard or metal

About the author

All my life, I enjoyed doing things with my hands and interacting with nature. I'm a self-taught carpenter, an angler, a hunter, an outdoorsman, an engineer, and an avid hiker. Not as agile as I was in my former years, I've decided to spend more time putting my experiences on paper.

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