Asked on Sep 25, 2017

Do we have to seal our plywood boards?

Linda 4 RealKarenDanielle Odin
+14

Answered

Instead of shiplap on the walls of our staircase we are using 6" boards of Luan wood which is 1/4 " so that it doesn't take space from the staircase. We love the look with the raw wood instead of our original idea to paint it white. My question , do we have to seal the plywood or can we keep it as. We live at the Jersey shore, humidity is always present.
14 answers
  • Kay27246977
    Kay27246977
    on Sep 25, 2017

    yoi can seal it with a clear sealant that keeps the color but it definitely needs to be sealed or it won't stay that color
  • Roxaneg
    Roxaneg
    on Sep 25, 2017

    Sealing the wood will help in retaining the color-- although wood is going to change color over time-- and it will seal the wood so that the topcoat doesn't look blotchy or dull. You could seal it with a clear sealer and then topcoat it with a clear finish to protect the walls from dirt. Waterbased sealer and topcoat will be easier to apply and you can get a sealer that doesn't raise the grain too much so you can avoid sanding.
  • Karen Reilly
    Karen Reilly
    on Sep 26, 2017

    Yes I lived in a non sealed house and doing later was a pain but now it looks great mine is a log cabin so lots of medium dark wood. Do samples of the finish also and put them on the wall with waste wood to see what you like. Good luck.
  • Cindy Hagemann
    Cindy Hagemann
    on Sep 26, 2017

    My recommendation (and I am a wood refinisher), seal it with polycrylic (water-based) in a matte. Minwax makes a great product in a blue can that I love.

    • Paula Pittinger McNeely
      Paula Pittinger McNeely
      on Sep 26, 2017

      Cindy, I'm thinking of doing the same thing to my bathroom & kitchen. both damp, hot environments. Would your advice be the same? should I put spacers in to caulk? thx for your advice.
  • Steve
    Steve
    on Sep 26, 2017

    You should to keep them from dirting up.

  • Dl.5660408
    Dl.5660408
    on Sep 26, 2017

    If you seal them, they will be a lot easier to clean and won't snag things that might rub across them
  • Terry Verstuyft
    Terry Verstuyft
    on Sep 26, 2017

    since they are plywood and laminated (i.e. layers) any moisture what so ever can cause warping.. so yes.. definitely seal them. it also helps keeping them clean
  • Cindy Hagemann
    Cindy Hagemann
    on Sep 26, 2017

    Yes, I would seal or paint. Not sure what you are referring to with the chalk question, can you elaborat?
  • Karen Reilly
    Karen Reilly
    on Sep 26, 2017

    Nope they were stained but never sealed, grease loves my cabinets and very hard to keep nice. I have tried all kinds of cleaners but nothing works. I'll keep searching for a wood degreaser.
    • Dawn Fulton
      Dawn Fulton
      on Sep 28, 2017

      Try Krud Kutter from Lowes. I clean apartments after tenants leave and this really cuts the grease. Better than anything I've tried before.
  • Bobbi Lively
    Bobbi Lively
    on Sep 27, 2017

    Definitely seal it.
  • @ Karen, have you tried Krud Kutter, they make a regular cleaner and a kitchen degreasing formula. I have used these for many years, and its a good product. I use TSP before I paint, on surfaces but you should probably test an area first, for cleaning with TSP. You should consider sealing these, with a water base poly acrylic, non yellowing formula. :)
  • Danielle Odin
    Danielle Odin
    on Sep 27, 2017

    In any warm and humid enironment there is the growth of mildew & mold. Sealing is a must. I would put a coat of sealer to the back side of the plywood as well. I panelled a wall with that same type of panelling and did not seal it. After a couple of years, I had to tear it down. I lived in Los Angeles at the time. You can use a matte finish so that it will still look like the raw wood. Good luck!
  • Karen
    Karen
    on Sep 27, 2017

    I learned from a friend years ago to use Thompsons deck seal inside - they even have stain
  • Linda 4 Real
    Linda 4 Real
    on Oct 5, 2017

    You can condition it or use other wood product if you like the raw look and don't want the sealer to distract from the wood. You can also oil it like butcher block. I had unsealed wood on walls before and I live in south Louisiana. Most humid in the US. You can care for it the same way you do any unsealed wood furniture. If you decide later then just clean and prep with enough sanding to accept coating. Clear stain would also keep color and comes in flat/matte
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