MDO Plywood Advantages and Disadvantages

Whenever you want to select plywood for outdoor purposes, there is always one thing to worry about: whether the plywood will withstand the outdoor environment? Is this plywood waterproof, and can it withstand moisture?

For such uses, experts always recommend using MDO plywood. MDO plywood is designed for outdoor use and any indoor use that poses a moisture exposure risk. MDO stands for Medium Density Overlay, and MDO plywood is a type of plywood coated with a layer of resin-impregnated fiber overlay.

The overlay is then bonded to the plywood under high heat and pressure. The result is a durable and smooth surface on one or both sides of the plywood.

MDO Plywood Advantages

Durability and Strength

MDO Plywood is much stronger and durable than standard and MDF Plywood. The resin-impregnated overlay increases the durability of the plywood and makes it suitable for outdoor and marine applications.

According to the expert, MDO can last 10 years if you apply enamel to all surfaces, including exposed edges. With minimal care, MDO can last 10–20 years for outdoor signs.

Weather Resistance

MDO plywood is made of at least 27% resin and highly resistant to water, weather, and wear. Its weather-resistant layers are glued together with high-quality waterproof glue that prevents moisture and makes it waterproof.

Smooth Surface

MDO plywood has a smooth surface, so it is not required to be covered with any other material. Another advantage of the smooth surface is that it is ideal for painting; it gives an excellent smooth finish after painting.

Low Maintenance

In terms of maintenance, if we compare MDO Plywood with other standard plywood, MDO Plywood requires low maintenance, especially when used in outdoor applications.

Easy to Work

According to woodworkers, MDO plywood is easier to work with hand and machine tools. Its resin-impregnated overlay enhances paint adhesion and provides a consistent finish, offering convenience and versatility to woodworkers.


MDO plywood is a versatile engineered material commonly used for various applications, including concrete forms, signage, cabinets, and outdoor projects. 


Due to its high durability and strength, the price of MDO is higher than that of MDF and other plywood. Plywood prices depend on their thickness and overlay.

MDO Plywood Disadvantages

Not Suitable for Every Application

MDO is a good material, but it is not ideal for all applications. For example, it is unsuitable for marine applications or cannot withstand extreme weather conditions.

Heavy Weight

Due to overlay, the weight of MDO increases, which can make it difficult to work.