Sanded Plywood | Uses, Pros, and Cons

What is Sanded Plywood?

Sanded plywood is engineered plywood whose front and back piles are sanded to create a smooth appearance. Its core comprises three or more layers of cross-laminated wood veneer, each oriented perpendicular to the previous.

Sanded plywood is an excellent choice for exterior and interior purposes. Its smooth surface keeps moisture and water away, increasing plywood lifespan. 

Uses of Sanded Plywood

Sanded plywood is most commonly used for furniture. It comes with premium faces specially designed for cabinetry, furniture, paneling, shelving, doors, toys, and many more.

Sanded plywood is used where appearance is more important because it looks excellent.

Many manufacturing companies use A-grade sanded plywood to make boats and boat parts because A-grade plywood is more stable with moisture.

Working with Sanded plywood

Sanded plywood is easy to work with all types of tools. It can be cut, drilled, routed, jointed, glued, fastened, and finished well. Its smooth surface makes the work easy because it can be used without finishing.

A-grade plywood has a smoother surface, making it ready for paint, but D-grade plywood, which has knots and a rough surface, may require sand and paint. It can also be a little difficult to work with.

Advantages and disadvantages of Sanded Plywood

Like other materials, Sanded plywood has its merits and drawbacks, which should be known before use.


  1. Smooth appearance: Its front and back sides are already sanded and smooth. It enhances the visual appeal of the furniture. 
  2. Strength, Stiffness, and Stability: The cross-laminating structure of the layers gives the sanded plywood excellent strength. The cross-laminating structure also makes the plywood dimensionally stable.
  3. Availability: Sanded plywood is available in various thicknesses, sizes, and grades. It is used worldwide and is available in every region of the country.
  4. Easy to work: This plywood can be easily worked with all tools. Due to its lightweight, it is easy to handle. It is easily paintable and stainable, so it can be painted as desired.
  5. Versatile: It is a versatile material used to make almost all types of exterior and interior furniture and structures.


  1. Expensive: Sanded plywood is costlier than regular plywood. High-quality plywood (A and B grades) is even more expensive, but the D grade is the least expensive.
  2. Not completely waterproof: Sanded Plywood Plywood is not completely waterproof. It tends to swell and deteriorate in contact with water for a long time. 

Care of sanded plywood

Like other plywood materials, sanded plywood also requires proper outdoor sealing and finishing and regular maintenance.

  1. Keep the application away from direct contact with moisture and soil.
  2. No plywood can be more rigid than solid wood. Therefore, do not keep plywood exposed to direct sunlight for long.
  3. One of the reasons for the rotting of plywood is the continuously accumulating dust, which should be cleaned regularly.
  4. If there are many gaps in the plywood, it should be filled with wood filler.

Common Questions About Sanded Plywood

What is BCX Sanded Plywood?

BCX sanded plywood is a type of sanded plywood that is made of B-grade and C-grade veneers using waterproof glue. 

The letters ‘B’ and ‘C’ of the “BCX” represent the grades of either side of the plywood, while ‘X’ stands for exterior adhesive, which can be used for external applications.

The front face of the BCX sanded plywood is very smooth, while the back face is a bit rough. The front face does not have knots, while the back face has tight knots.

Is Sanded Plywood Good for the Outdoors?

Generally, sanded plywood is not recommended for outdoor use. However, it can be used after applying double coats of latex paint. Most plywood starts to rot from its edge, so its edge needs to be sealed.

What Type of Wood is Sanded Plywood?

Many types of wood are used to make sanded plywood, such as cedar, cedar, oak, maple, and more. Both softwood and hardwood types of wood are used to make boards.

Each wood species has its own color, grain pattern, and other properties. You have to choose according to the requirements of your projects.

Is Sanded Plywood Stainable?

Sanded plywood accepts stains very well, and it also absorbs paint well. Sanded plywood can range from white-yellow to light brown, so the desired color can be stained on it.

If we talk about the staining process, you have to follow the staining process on regular plywood or wood.

You have to prepare your plywood for un-blotchy stains. Blotchy stain on the plywood often occurs because layers unevenly absorb stain, causing some areas to be darker than others.

The best way to prevent blotchy stains is to sand the surface thoroughly with a high-grit sandpaper and apply double coats of pre-stain conditioner.

Is Sanded Plywood Waterproof?

Sanded plywood is not waterproof but is excellent water resistant and can withstand moisture for some time. Its smooth surface keeps moisture away and does not penetrate the plywood.

Sanded plywood can be waterproof for a few years, for which we need to do proper sealing and exterior finishing of plywood.

How to Paint Sanded Plywood?

Sanded plywood accepts paint well. You should follow a few steps to have durable and smooth paint.

  1. Start with sanding. You can use 180-grit or 120-grit sandpaper to sand the plywood. Sanding removes the stain from the plywood and makes the plywood smoother.
  2. Wipe the plywood with a damp rag to remove all of the dust particles that may have been left over from sanding.
  3. Apply one to two coats of sanding sealer to the plywood with a paintbrush. The sanding sealer closes the open pores of the plywood so that the paint accepts evenly over the entire surface.
  4. Now apply a double coat of latex primer. It increases the life of the paint and makes the surface smooth. Keep a gap of 12 to 24 hours between the coats so the first coat can dry thoroughly. Make sure the primer has dried thoroughly before moving to the next step.
  5. Now it’s time to paint. Latex paints are generally the best option for sanded plywood. Apply the first coat of paint. Let it dry well, and then apply the second coat.
  6. Do this whole process in a dust-free place so the dust doesn’t stick to the plywood.


Sanded plywood is the next generation of regular plywood. Because it is sanded in the manufacturing process, it saves a lot of time for the carpenter.