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Author Topic: primer + laminate a good idea?  (Read 5615 times)

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primer + laminate a good idea?
« on: September 29, 2020, 07:43:10 pm »
I'm trying to learn more about laminate options and see if it makes sense for my build.  Arroyo's already given me most of the details I need, but there's a few things yet to discover.

One major consideration is that I'm gonna go with Baltic Birch ply, and have a house with high humidity swings (15-60%).  As such I thought it might be a good idea to prime the wood first to better fully protect it from the humidity swings.   However I'm not sure if that compromises the laminate bond any, given that it would be adhering to primer instead of wood.   Since the laminate route isn't cheap, I'd like to be sure this thing lasts.  Has anyone had experience with this that can offer some advice?  All the tutorials I've seen so far speak to gluing the laminate directly to bare wood.  :dunno


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Re: primer + laminate a good idea?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 09:39:01 pm »
If you are worried about humidity - priming will not hurt - it may help.
The issue you are trying to protect against is cupping of the plywood.
Plywood wants to be in equilibrium on both sides when it comes to moisture.

If you laminate one side - and leave the other side open to humidity - it *may* expand a bit and cause the panel to bow a bit. 
There are a couple of things you can do..
Get plywood with more plys.  More plys = more cross grain glue lines = less ability to expand and warp.  Cabinet grade has up to 11 plys..  its solid as a rock..  and costs a fortune.
Baltic birch is pretty good stuff and it tends to have a lot of plys.

You could prime both sides and then laminate..  I think this is overkill.

If it were me in your situation..  I would just paint the exposed side and laminate the side you want to laminate.
Both sides will now be protected from humidity = can't easily absorb moisture = remains stable.

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Re: primer + laminate a good idea?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2020, 08:50:28 am »
Baltic birch is pretty good stuff if it's the real deal. It looks nice and is definitely more consistent than some of its more construction grade brethren.

I would say it also depends where you live. If your humidity doesn't swing wildly then you may be okay. Another thing to consider for protection is a simple thinned wipe on poly finish or something inside that would provide a bit of a seal and impede any sudden changes in humidity whilst keeping the inside looking clean and it'd be an easy application. Wipe on wipe off and done. It's quick and looks great. Though multiple coats would be beneficial.

My MDF cab tho... That thing is basically dipped in shellac based primer... Stuff is like a sponge.


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Re: primer + laminate a good idea?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2020, 10:27:33 am »
« Last Edit: April 15, 2021, 09:46:34 am by jennifer »