Prefinished Plywood Repairs

Touch-up finish products that are compatible with prefinished plywood factory coatings. January 29, 2009

Has anyone worked with repairing prefinished plywood? I have a client who wants cubicles and desks made from them to save on finishing costs, but I want to know that serious scratches can be repaired. Dings often turn kind of white, which is the issue that I haven't been able to resolve. Has anyone ever tried topcoating prefinished panels to make them a little more durable?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor C:
We do a prefinished closet system in prefinished maple ply. We do repairs and recoats with conversion varnish, which is the original finish from our present supplier. We use Mohawk touch up and repair products.

From contributor G:
Am I missing something? The client wants prefinished to save on finishing costs and you want to finish the prefinished? Were you planning the extra topcoat as a freebie? Then why not just prefinish some unfinished ply?

From contributor M:
I always thought prefinished ply was indestructible. You can always go over hard finish with soft. I'm sure what we use is not as hard as prefinished finish that the prefinished people finish with.

From the original questioner:
The finish my suppliers use is a UV finish, and that's as much as I know about it. It certainly can scratch and has various degrees of durability, depending on the supplier. I was debating topcoating the desktops only, which is maybe 15% of the surfaces. I figured it's a lot less work to rough up and spray a coat than to sand seal and topcoat. The savings is substantial to the client to go with prefinished. It would cost him $10 plus per square foot for me to finish these, or $0.63 psf for the manufacturer to do it.

From contributor U:
Our company prefinishes a lot of hardwood plywood for both retail sales and OEM users. We put 4 coats of UV Finish on the panels. Repairs are easily made if someone scratches a panel while manufacturing or installing a cabinet by either scuffing the area and shooting a lacquer or conversion varnish over the damaged area or using a Mohawk repair kit. Cost to our customers is quite reasonable. We charge approximately .15 cents per sq ft FOB our facility. We only do large orders and we are a custom prefinisher. This means we own no wood. This shows our customers we are not going to compete with them in the market place.