Skip to Content

8 Best Ways To Finish Plywood Edges With Trim: Easy Steps And Video

Want to know how to cover plywood edges with trim? Here’s 8 GREAT ways to finish plywood edges with trim. I LOVE this easy, beautiful look!

Finish Plywood Edges With Trim

We already had a ton of great built in storage and millwork in this house, when we moved in. AND, I learned this great trick from the carpenters that made our office built ins.

They used 3/4″ chair rail trim to finish the inside edges of our bookshelves. And, I LOVE the extra detail that adds. So, as I’ve been building furniture and built ins, I’ve been playing around with that idea.

Image of wood trim for a post with 8 GREAT ways to finish plywood edges with trim. I LOVE this easy, beautiful way to cover plywood edges.
This trim is a great size for covering plywood edges where the plywood is about 3/4″ thick.

Some links on this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. 

So, today I’ve rounded up 8 great options for covering plywood edges with trim. You can use these options whenever you want to add detail, cover plywood edges, and avoid using edge banding.

Image of wood trim covering a plywood edge for a post with 8 GREAT ways to finish plywood edges with trim. I LOVE this easy, beautiful way to cover plywood edges.
Here’s a look at this plywood edge covered with wood trim.

After showing you the options, I’ll go over the quick and easy steps to use trim on plywood edges.

Image of a handmade DIY coffee table with printable, easy build plans for woodworkers.
I use larger pieces of trim to cover plywood edges for table builds like this DIY Coffee Table Build Plans.

OK, let’s get started with that list of ways to finish plywood edges with trim.

8 Ways To Cover Plywood Edges With Trim

This size trim is great for inside edges of bookshelves and open cabinets or on the front edge of shelves. All of the trim below should be available in most Lowe’s and Home Depot’s.

Using trim to cover plywood edges.
I only use trim on the left and right sides, but you could also add it across the top edge of bookshelves.

1/2 Round Trim

Technically, this 1/2 round trim is slightly wider than a 3/4″ plywood edge. But, when it’s installed even with the visible edge of your plywood, it looks SO GOOD.

Using 1/2 round trim to finish plywood edges on bookshelves.
1/2 round trim adds a pretty bullnose edge to the inside plywood edges of cabinets and bookcases.

Pine Wood Screen Trim

Using Pine Screen to cover plywood edges is a pretty cheap and simple way to give your plywood edges a polished look.

That slight rounded edge looks great. And, it’s way faster and easier than trying to use a round over bit on plywood.

Using Pine wood Screen trim to finish plywood edges on bookshelves and open cabinets.
Pine Screen trim comes with perfectly rounded corners for finishing plywood edges.

Ornamental Chair Rail #1

This ornamental trim is the option that I decided to install in this closet. It’s basically 3 equal half circles in a row. I’m really liking the subtle detail for my new closet built ins.

You can see the finished and painted trim further down.

Using decorative wood chair rail trim to finish plywood edges on bookshelves and open cabinets.

Ornamental Chair Rail #2

This ornamental chair rail is basically a miniature version of the 2 1/4″ chair rail that has been used as wainscoting, edging base cabinets, and on table edges in this house.

Using decorative wood chair rail trim to finish plywood edges on bookshelves and open cabinets.
This type of trim is sold in a handful of sizes and styles at most Lowe’s and Home Depot stores.

Be sure to buy the 3/4″ thick version of this trim. It also comes in a 1/2″ wide version, but the 3/4″ looks better as plywood edging.

Using decorative wood chair rail trim to finish plywood edges on bookshelves and open cabinets.
Here’s a look at the 3/4″ next to the 1/2″ version of this chair rail I used to finish a plywood edge for our home office makeover. I think 3/4″ would have looked better. I might switch it soon.

Ornamental Chair Rail #3

Here’s the original trim that the carpenters installed in this house. It’s 3 half circles in a row again. But, on this trim, the center stands out much further than the 2 side half circles.

Using decorative wood chair rail trim to finish plywood edges on bookshelves and open cabinets.
Here’s a look at this trim with paint in our office. Check out 21 Cheap And Easy Ways To Make A Home Office Look Better for more pics from that room.

Ornamental Rope Trim

This Rope Trim would be really great in a home office too. I’m a big fan of this detail work.

Using decorative wood rope trim to finish plywood edges on bookshelves and open cabinets.

Ornamental “Art Deco” Trim

Check out this unique “Art Deco” style trim. This could look great, in the right room.

Using decorative wood trim to finish plywood edges on bookshelves and open cabinets.

Ornamental “Leaf Trim”

And, there’s always the traditional “leaf vine” trim. It’s perfect for traditional style homes.

Using decorative wood leaf trim to finish plywood edges on bookshelves and open cabinets.

How Do You Attach Trim To Edge Of Plywood?

To attach trim to the edge of plywood, I use wood glue and brad nails or pin nails for trim 1″ or larger.

For trim under an 1″, that’s on a table edge, I’ll carefully use brad nails or pin nails. Just be sure to keep those nails in the center of small trim, to avoid splitting it.

Filling the nail holes with wood filler on this coffee table, before painting.

When I’m attaching trim under an 1″ wide to bookcase, open cabinet, or shelf edges, I usually stick with just wood glue to avoid splitting small trim with nails.

That also means I have less nail holes to fill and hide. I use painter’s tape to hold it tightly in place while the wood glue dries. I’ll go over that in detail, in the section below.

Image of wood trim covering a plywood edge for a post with 8 GREAT ways to finish plywood edges with trim. I LOVE this easy, beautiful way to cover plywood edges.
You can see in the steps below how I finish plywood edges with trim and wood glue. See more of this closet in How To Make A Dark Closet Feel Brighter: 11 Ways To Brighten A Closet.

How To Cover Plywood Edges With Trim

Now, let’s go over my quick and easy steps for how to finish plywood edges with trim.

Image shows before using trim to cover plywood edges on open cabinet storage.
Here’s a look at the plywood edges before I installed the trim.

Step 1 – Cut To Size

I used my Miter Saw to cut the trim to size. When I’m only installing trim on the inner left and right sides, I only need 0-degree cuts. Easy peasy.

Step 2 – Apply Wood Glue

After cutting the trim pieces to size, get a few pieces of painter’s tape ready and apply wood glue to the back of the trim.

Using wood glue to attach trim to plywood edges.

I typically just use screws or nails when I’m building built-ins. That way, the build is easier to take apart in 20 years, when someone else decides they want a change.

BUT, I don’t mind using a little wood glue on trim pieces like this. It won’t make the unit any harder to take apart one day.

And, the glue will help to protect the trim from the normal wear and tear of objects bumping into it.

Step 3 – Painter’s Tape Into Place

After applying the glue, carefully line up the trim with the outside edge of the plywood. Use tape to hold the trim in place while the glue dries.

Using painter's tape to hold trim onto plywood edges while the glue dries.

Step 4 – Caulk & Wood Filler

Let that wood glue dry before filling any gaps between the trim and plywood with caulk and spackling or wood filler.

Using caulk and spackling on trim that covers plywood edges.

Check out the video below to see my tips for getting the best results with caulk and spackling.

Step 5 – Paint

Once your finished hiding the gaps between the trim and plywood, apply 2 or 3 coats of your favorite paint. I used Magnolia Homes by Kilz cabinet & trim paint on my built ins.

Image of wood trim covering a plywood edge for a post with 8 GREAT ways to finish plywood edges with trim. I LOVE this easy, beautiful way to cover plywood edges.
That little bit of trim adds fun detail to these closet built ins.

Check out my Easy Steps to Paint Built In Bookshelves And Cabinets, if you need more painting tips.

How To Use Trim On Plywood Edges- Video Guide

Watch this video for a better look at how I install trim on plywood edges.

8 Ways To Finish Plywood Edges With Trim - With Easy DIY Steps!

That’s it for covering plywood edges with trim. I hope this helped you decide what you want to use for your project.

Now, here’s a few more posts about great DIY trim and molding projects.

Image of wood trim for a post with 8 GREAT ways to finish plywood edges with trim. I LOVE this easy, beautiful way to cover plywood edges.
Don’t forget to Save or Share this list of ways to use trim on plywood edges.

Some DIYs You Might Like

Check out 11 Best Reasons To Cut The Cord With Cable: 4 Were SO Unexpected.

Image of a Roku remote in front of a TV for a post with the 11 Best Reasons to cut the cord with cable tv. With tips for how to ditch cable and why you should.

Here’s how to Restain a Door without Removing It: Easy One Day DIY!.

This post about How to Remove Water Stain from Ceiling Without Paint – 1 Easy Step is always popular!

Quick and easy written steps and video for How to Fix Water Stains on Ceiling Leaks without paint. In just a few minutes, get rid of most water stains.

Check out this easy DIY Tongue and Groove Porch Ceiling too!

Image of a white outdoor DIY Tongue and Groove Porch Ceiling made using wood ceiling planks.

Feeling inspired? Now you’ve seen how to finish plywood edges with trim, go for it, guys!