Plywood is great for shelving, cabinets, and furniture; but the plies on the edges are unsightly and need to be covered to give the project a finished look. You could attach strips of solid wood to the edges using brads and glue, but an easier method is to apply strips of veneer edge banding that comes with a heat sensitive glue on the back.

To apply veneer edge banding:

  • Cut the veneer to length.
  • Position the veneer on the plywood edge.
  • Use a household iron set on cotton (without steam) to activate the glue, pressing the veneer firmly in place.
  • After the glue has cooled, use a single cut, mill bastard file to remove the extra veneer from the edges. Hold the file at a sharp angle to the plywood when filing.
  • Follow this with medium (120 grit) sandpaper to smooth and take the sharp edge off the veneer before finishing the plywood.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Whenever you’re building anything out of plywood, you have to be concerned with how you’re going to hide the edge because you don’t want to see these plies. My favorite technique is to use veneer to cover up the plywood, and I use a heat sensitive veneer that has glue on the back. You just iron it on.

So you take a strip, and you cut it a little longer than necessary and then you just use a clothes iron. Make sure it’s set on cotton and no steam. That’s important that there’s no steam. Okay, now we’re just going to repeat it on this other edge.

So once that’s down, you’ve got this edge that you’ll need to take off. Now you could sand it off, but I prefer using a file because there’s less likely a chance of damaging the veneer on the panel itself. So this is a single cut mill bastard file, and you can see how easy and cleanly it cuts the veneer away. And you just hold it at a really sharp angle and just move along.

OK so you’re going to do that, look at it, it takes it right off. You’re going to do that on both edges, and then comeback. And to finish it up, a little 120 grit sandpaper.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

Learn More