Asked on May 26, 2020

How do I paint multi-colored designs on a plywood table?

by Bode

So i just finished building a folding beer die table out of 3/4 inch pre sanded plywood, and now I have 3 days to get it painted before a kickback. I looked up advice on how to paint plywood, but all the results I've gotten are for monochrome paint jobs. So, I wanted to know the process for painting a plywood table with multiple colors and designs on it, as well as what kinds of primer, paint and finish I should be using

  12 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on May 26, 2020

    If it's going to get wet Prime with exterior oil based primer if not just with oil based primer. Lightly sand smooth again as it will raise the grain and feel rough. Wipe clean then paint whatever design you wish. Draw it on and go for it. Once again you can use exterior or interior paint depends on what's it used for. The most durable paint is oil, but you can use latex with sealer coats of polyeureathane for inside or marine varnish for outside

  • William William on May 26, 2020

    Clean it well. Prime with Kilz primer. The draw/paint your designs. Craft paints are the best. Seal with three coats of a water based polyurethane. Dries clear and does not yellow over time. You can also seal with Helmsman Spar Urethane.

  • If not comfortable with drawing free hand, you can always use stencils.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on May 27, 2020

    Kilz or Bullseye would be my primer recommendation. You can use most any type of paint for furniture and then seal with a water based poly, multiple layers.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on May 27, 2020

    Depending on if its outside or not you'll want to use either exterior oil based paint or acrylic for inside. After you finish with the designs a solid sealant will protect your work. if your not an artist (like me lol) there are thousands of great vinyl wall decals/stickers on Amazon that you can seal over after you apply them.

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on May 27, 2020

    You could use a stencil

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on May 27, 2020

    tape it off with painters tape in the design you want and use whatever colors you like

  • Wes Wes on May 28, 2020

    The biggest (?) problem is that paint on plywood bleeds (paint follows the grain of the wood, making a fuzzy line). You will have to seal the surface first.

  • Smartcookie89122 Smartcookie89122 on May 28, 2020

    Use kid power. Have them help paint a base color, love teal for the outdoors. Then get them to doodle, and put hand prints, foot prints in a figure 8 all over it. It will create memories for years to come. Don't forget to have each family member sign and date their name on a foot prints or hand print for future conversations. Seal the REMBRANDT with a good coat of sealer.

  • Simple Nature Decor Simple Nature Decor on May 28, 2020

    I would buy a large stencil you like and do it that way.

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on May 31, 2020

    I agree that you should try a large stencil - perhaps a wall stencil. You can find wall stencils here:

  • A regular primer should do the trick, then you can use any type of paint over it (ideally water based for easy clean up). You can seal up your work with water based polyurethane.