Tutorial: How to Apply Edge Banding

This past weekend, marked the beginning of another one of my ambitious projects – an extra large TV stand/media cabinet. Between trips to the park with the kids, shopping for supplies and hosting Easter dinner for 20, I managed to squeeze in a bit of woodworking.

Normally, I start my projects by pre-drilling for all my joints. Then I would countersink all the pre-drilled holes so my screws would be flush to the wood. I found this process a lot of work so I invested in a Kreg Jig and decided to try pocket hole joinery for the first time!

Using the Kreg Jig isn’t the only new thing I learned to do this weekend. I also managed to successfully apply edge banding to my boards. I love this stuff! It is so easy to use and it really gives the plywood edges a smooth and professional looking finish.

Check it out!

Here is the before photo of one of my plywood pieces:

This is the downside of working with plywood – the edges are hideous and impossible to smooth. An easy solution for covering the edges is to purchase some inexpensive iron on veneer also known as edge banding. I bought a 50ft roll of birch veneer banding at Home Depot for just under $11.

Here is what my plywood pieces look like after the edge banding application:

Now all my boards have been pre-drilled (with pocket holes) and veneered with smooth, easy to finish banding!

So for anyone who has ever wondered how to get a nice picture perfect finish on plywood edges, here is the how to:

Supplies

  • Iron on veneer/edge banding in the finish of your choice
  • Household iron
  • Edge trimmer

TIP: Don’t use your good iron. You’re welcome to try but I’ll save you the tears and trouble by highly recommending the purchase of a cheap iron. I bought mine from Superstore for $9.99 and it works just fine.

1.) Measure and cut edge banding to size. Go a little longer if you like because it’s easy to trim the ends or file them down so they are flush with the plywood.

How to apply edge banding - inspirednest.ca2.) Place the banding along the plywood edge to be covered.

How to apply edge banding - inspirednest.ca3.) Set your iron to a medium-high temperature or the cotton setting. Starting from one edge, place the hot iron over the banding and slowly  smooth over until the glue melts and the veneer adheres to the wood. TIP: Firm pressure was required to really melt the glue and keep the veneer in place.

4.) Once the glue has cooled and set, you can use a edge trimmer (specifically for trimming edge banding) and run it along the edge to trim off any excess veneer.

Yes. it is that easy. Actually, working with the veneer is quite similar to applying fusible interfacing to fabric. If you can do one,  you’ll be able to do the other. If you’re completely new to this, that’s okay too.  I’m a beginner when it comes to finishing woodwork and everything turned out fine!

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