Outdoor plywood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-29-2017, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Outdoor plywood

I have a utility trailer that needs to be refurbished. The last time I did this I used pressure treated plywood - 1/2" for the sides and 3/4" for the floor. This time around I'd like to paint it rather than leave it ugly green.

Looking at what's available in big box stores I see something called CAT PS1-09, which I believe is exterior sheathing (CDX?) that needs to be protected. OK, I'm gonna paint it. There's also what Lowes calls "Extreme Weather" plywood, and they say it should be allowed to "dry" before painting. I want to get this done within the next couple weeks and get the trailer out of my garage.

The reviews of both these choices are horrible.

I'm also planning to protect the edges with metal foil or flashing for a bit of water proofing.

What advice can you guys offer?

Dave in CT, USA
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-29-2017, 11:41 AM
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Does it need to be solid, like for hauling dirt and bark and stuff? If not, just use some Trex or PT lumber planks. If it does, Iíd use steel.

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post #3 of 12 Old 10-29-2017, 11:59 AM
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When I was a "kid" our trailers were made out of just ordinary oak. Untreated or anything like that. Just unfinished. They lasted for many years like that. Dad usually wound up selling them before they rotted.

If you want to paint treated wood, patience is prime. If you google the subject you will get lots of good information.

George
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-29-2017, 12:33 PM
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The equipment trailers where I used to work had raw oak as the decks. Strong, yes, but they splintered after a while. And lemme tell you, the worst pain Iíve ever felt in my life was pulling an oak splinter out from under my fingernail. Yeah, I shouldíve worn gloves. Live and learn.

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post #5 of 12 Old 10-29-2017, 06:43 PM
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If you are going to use plywood I would just use the pressure treated. If you allow it to dry for a month or so there is no reason you can't paint it. You could also seal it with a deck stain.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-29-2017, 08:18 PM
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Maybe MDO or HDO? HDO is what the signs on the highways are made of. MDO is the same thing with less resin. This is NOT MDF, totally different animal. Artie

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-29-2017, 09:01 PM
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How about Marine ply? Itís waterproof and intended to be painted. It is usually high quality and doesnít have any voids.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-30-2017, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artman60 View Post
Maybe MDO or HDO? HDO is what the signs on the highways are made of. MDO is the same thing with less resin. This is NOT MDF, totally different animal. Artie
On This Old House, Norm would use MDO for exterior fascias and paint it. Also, the general contractor I worked for would use MDO for re-usable concrete form boards.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-30-2017, 07:46 AM
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It would depend on the purpose the trailer is most often used for in my book.


R panel roofing metal, Fiberglass sheeting, Primed House siding all are lighter then 1/2" treated plywood. And easier to work with.

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post #10 of 12 Old 10-30-2017, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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The trailer is a general purpose vehicle. It serves as a motorcycle carrier, go-to-the-lumberyard for stuff, bring trash to the landfill, and yes mulch and topsoil for the garden.

I have considered cedar planks instead of plywood, though that'd be a lot more work. I'd guess it'd be lighter than pressure treated ply though, and probably last longer. I could also stain it pretty instead of paint. A rather expensive option though.

Marine ply is not something I'm likely to find locally.

MDO is a possibility, there's a plywood lumber yard about 45 min away that carries it. Is it heavy like MDF?

Don't wanna wait months for PT to dry before painting.

Dave in CT, USA

Last edited by Maylar; 10-30-2017 at 09:25 AM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-30-2017, 07:21 PM
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I would think cedar planks would be too soft and damage easily.
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post #12 of 12 Old 11-03-2017, 09:57 AM
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There are at least 3 grades of exterior plywood.
Pressure treated (the green wood)
Exterior plywood (better grade)
Marine plywood (the best and most expensive)

Regardless of your choice, you should paint both sides with a very durable paint or sealant for added protection.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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