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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I’m making a table out of a 5’ x 10’ sheet of marine plywood. I’ll be using the table for all kinds of things, including serving drinks and food and probably the occasional drinking game. I’m expecting lots of spills, so it needs to be as water resistant as possible.

I’d like to paint it, but I’m a beginner to painting/woodworking, so I’m not quite sure how to proceed. What kind of paint should I use? Do I need to sand it first? Should I apply some kind of coating after painting?

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated!
 

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What kind of wood is it? You say Marine plywood, but what species is it? If it's a nicer wood (Mahogany is very common in marine plywood) then you might consider using a spar varnish and finish it natural. Spar varnish is tough stuff and gives a beautiful glossy finish. Just something else to think about.
 

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I would sand, prime, paint, and clear coat your table. I've used this process for corn hole boards which take similar abuse. I sand with a sheet sander using 150 grit paper, just to get some of the roughness off the wood. Vacuum the dust off. Now you can prime with a good quality wood primer. Let this dry. Sand again, this time with 220 grit, vac up the dust. Now you can apply your paint. I use Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint High Gloss. 2 coats. Allow to dry thoroughly between coats. For exterior wood, a spar varnish is most likely going to give you the best finish that will hold up to the elements. That's all I got. Others hopefully chime in with other ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all of the replies so far! It's Okume plywood. Any recommendations for good quality wood primer and spar varnish brands?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another question: how should I treat the sides and opposite (bottom) face of the wood to promote water resistance? Can I just leave it be or does it need a coat of varnish or polyurethane as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all of the responses! Sounds like I should probably treat the sides and bottom as well. I'm not planning on painting those, so should I just put the varnish on (no primer), or is there something else I should use instead?
 
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