First venture with 18 mm birch ply. Finishing advice please.

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Established Member
10 Mar 2007
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West Muddylands
I am making some GP cupboards in my utility room in birch-ply..

I want to preserve the birch colour as much as possible, and I wondered if anyone has a preference for finishes that don't yellow too much. Any suggestions please?

I am making the door frames in the 'Shaker' style, using strips of 18mm birch ply, with 5mm panels of MDF rebated in. There's a recommended paint for giving a 'proper' finish coat, but I can't remember the name of the manufacturer.

All advice welcome and my thanks in anticipation.

Acrylic varnish works very well. Doesn't bring out the contrast in the edges as well as polyurethane but keep the natural colour on the faces.
Most finishes where you clean the brush with water (pure acrylic or water-based poly) will tend to be "water white" and minimally change the colour of wood. At best the wood literally looks like there's no finish on it at all.

A bleached shellac will change the colour very little, just enough that it looks finished and without it being noticeably yellowed, and it won't yellow further over time. Although the wood itself can be expected to, even MDF changes colour with exposure to light.
Much obliged to all for the replies. Sorry I didn't get back sooner, but things have been happening here. I have found some flat poly-paint called 'Wood-doc' which seems to work well on pine, so I think I'll give that a go on the birch. I'll just use some good quality emulsion on the match board. I found the paint I was looking for, but the site is in French, and my 'alley-oop' schoolboy French isn't up to it!

Thanks again folks.