What stains and topcoats for plywood?

Hi, I am not sure if this is the right place for this. We ordered a pro and it arrives Wednesday and can’t wait at all. I ordered some 1/8” Baltic birch and wanted to see what stains and topcoats most people are using. I want to avoid curling of the wood or is that even a problem? Thanks for any advice to a new owner. :blush:

If I put any finish on wood I almost always use boiled linseed oil. I had an antique refinishing business for years and I used it then as well. The color darkens with age and develops a beautiful patina in the grain.

Thank you for the reply. What is your process for applying it? I have used modified tung oil in the past. Is it similar? Thx

Very similar. I just use a lint free rag or paper towel. Remember though to not throw the rags or paper towels into a container and let sit. The oils, over time can generate enough heat to combust spontaneously.


You can also use spray shellac or lacquer pre-engraving to minimize scorching. then just a light sanding takes it off.

Thank you both. So you can spray the finish prior to cutting? Thx again

You can spray prior to cutting or engraving. Let the piece thoroughly dry and, as always, keep an eye on the job while in progress.
I also make a lot of my own stains using alcohol, which is fast drying and lessens the chance of wood warpage. I use coffee, tea, and various plants and plant products that I allow to soak for a period of time in the alcohol.