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Refinishing Tips needed for Homemade Plywood Cabinets


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With my new Wallrus (CornWALL/ChoRUS hybred) cabinets configured for the new drivers I am all but done with this project. It is Time for the cosmetics. I used Poplar plywood for the cabinets and I'm not sure where to start on staining the cabinets. I have a friend that restores vintage furniture but I'd like to keep her out of the mix on these.

What is the best approach to getting a nice color base on the plywood? Any step by step would be appreciated.

Thank you,


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By staining I assume you are going to change the color. You also said Poplar plywood not birch right? If your staining you're going to want to use a sanding sealer first to tighten up the grain and prevent the fuzzy's from popping up. Then I would buy some small cans of what you think you will want to use and try these out on some scraps to be sure the color works with your wood before applying anything to your cabinets. Use a good grade like Minwax. Be sure to follow directions. Wipe on wipe off. I like using a rag to apply and to wipe off the staing. Repeat till you get the depth of color your looking for. You can darken but you can't lighten the color. After staining you'll need to decide what type of finish you want. poly, oil etc. Klipsh used boiled linseed on their oiled finishes which is nice. Some like the Watco Danish oil. I've used the minwax antique oil finish with good results. They all take time and repeated applications to get a nice finish with lite sanding or steel wooling in between coats. Take your time and you'll end up with a nice piece of work that will last a lifetime.[D]

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Thank you for the info. I had a cabinet maker build the cabinets. He builds high end cabinetry and is also an audio fanatic as are most of us. I'm looking for new or different ideas for something different/weird/out of the ordinary. I have a feeling someone has or had a project out here that produced some unusual results. To me it is just part of the fun of building my own and taking my audio pleasures to an individual level.

I deal in audio equipment and see about everything made. Just keeping the Heritage sound with a breath of fresh air thrown in. Thanks for all.

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That's the stuff, Fini!

Stinky, but very effective... Follow the instructions on the can. I think it sez you need to apply stain within 1/2 hour of pre-staining.

Then apply stain of choice. Give it plenty of time to dry (at least 24hrs) so the poly U doesn't smear the stain about too much.

Cut first coat of poly U by approx 10% to allow better penetration of surface. Give it a day to dry.

Sand with 220 grit to knock down raised grain. Wipe with tack cloth.

Apply second coat of poly U. Repeat sanding and tack cloth steps. Wait another day.

Apply third coat of poly U.

I recently did this to some six panel pine doors and am very pleased with the results.

I used minwax stain and quick dry satin poly U for the project. At three coats I had a slight "sheen" to the finish without it being glossy. It will get glossier with additional coats.

My 2 cents worth, HarryO

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