Plywood Edge

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ck1999

New User
Chris
I am working on some reindeer and other outside yard art for the christmas season. (Tried to get them done for this year however they are not all done.) Hopefully by next year they all will be done The one set I have done the plywood edge is swelling and splitting. I have 3 coats of exterior latex paint. Is there something else that would be better for "sealing" this edge to prevent the swelling?
Is exterior enamel better?

chris
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Did you get the plywood from the BORG (Lowes or Home Depot)? Alot of their plywood now comes for overseas and the quality is not good. You can try some latex chaulk but I am not sure that will fix it.
 

Howard Acheson

New User
Howard
Are you using exterior rated plywood? Exterior rated plywood is made with a waterproof adhesive.

Second, even with an exterior rated plywood, the edges should be thoroughly sealed. Latex exterior paint is not water or water vapor resistant. In fact, latex house paint is formulated to allow moisture to pass through or breath. You want to use an oil based exterior enamel paint. Apply at least three coats.
 

Curmudgeon

New User
Jim
Try coating the plywood edges with glue, something waterproof like Titebond III. Just spread it on with your finger. That should do the trick.
 

ck1999

New User
Chris
When I purchased the plywood I know it said for outside use with proper coating or something to that effect.

I have tried to contact Jackson International Corp. the number listed in no longer working. I also contacted Raleigh Hardwood Center, the do not carry exterior plywood.

I did call stock builders and they have exterior rated plywood. Would there quality be any better than HD or Lowes?

Thanks for the advice.

Chrsi
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
IMHO, "Exterior" plywood is just another misused term in the lumber world. Most of it will not withstand direct exposure to the elements. If it is CDX, it probably won't last more than one season as yard ornaments. If BCX or ACX, your odds are a lot better, but it will need very good sealing with an oil-based coating. If you read the fine print, these are rated for exterior construction, but require covering with something else (i,e tar paper/shingles, siding, vinyl siding with plastic wrap, etc). Sheets rated as Exterior Siding (i.e RB&B, T-11, etc) will hold up well if you seal the edges and any fasteners. These are made to survive the elements with a good paint coating providing the edges are sealed, or not directly exposed to rain, etc. Pay particular attention to the edge that rests on the ground.

Oil-based Kilz (not Kilz II which is water based), is a good coating to seal it, but it will take at least 2 and probably 3 or 4 coats on the edges, followed by at least one topcoat.

If using oil based, make sure you cover all sides of the wood. Otherwise, moisture will get into the wood from the back side and cause the oil-based coating to lift off (flake and peel). If using exterior siding, you can use latex, but be very generous when applying it to the edges. It still won't tolerate a lot of ground contact, to raising them up some would be beneficial.

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