Customers - Tips & Tricks


About Plywood Grading

The plywood grade from Downes & Reader depends on the thickness you are purchasing.

  • 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″ is sold as a B-2, which is a good two side plywood with one B side and a backside that may contain an occasional blemish. This grade works well is both sides are showing, like a cabinet, but the backside doesn’t have to look as flawless as the front side.

  • 1/4″ is sold as a A-4 or B-4 , which is a good one side plywood with one A or B side with the back side which may contain a different species, typically a cheap mahogany, or another species with some flaws in the veneer. This type of plywood would work for drawer bottoms or the back of cabinets where the backside will not be seen.

  • Plywood can also be special ordered for a higher grade such as sequence matching, higher grade, different thicknesses (such as 3/8″), or different core (such as MDF). Please keep in mind that when plywood is manufactured, a majority of the plywood produced will be a B or C grade and that A grade plywood will be more expensive and might be harder to come by.


Cherry Plywood Tips

Pre-Sealers for Blotchy and Barber-Pole: A pre-sealer, uni-forming sealer, or wash-coat is a very thin form of finish that is applied uniformly to the wood via spray, brush, or roll. It works by flowing into the wood and filling the softer, more absorbent parts of the wood with sealer or finish. The harder, denser parts of the wood will not absorb the sealer as readily.

Once the sealer had dried, the surface should be finely sanded to facilitate uniform acceptance of the stain. The pre-sealer is sanded similar to the way you surface sand. It is recommended to use #150 to #180 grit sandpaper for sanding.


Barber-Pole and Shading: The painter-finisher can perform a technique known as shading, air-brushing, toning, or dry brushing when the stain is applied. After the plywood has been stained and the light/dark effect is present, the painter-finisher turns up his air-pressure and lightly re-shades only the lighter stripes. Expertise and talent is required and these steps will take a little longer.


Hardwood Flooring Acclimation

When purchasing hardwood flooring from us, it is important to allow proper acclimation to your household environment before installation.

For special order pre-finished flooring, please allow about 3 days for acclimation before installing your flooring.

For unfinished flooring, please allow 4-5 days for acclimation before installing your flooring.
During summer months, please avoid installing during days of high humidity. If there is a period of high humidity, please allow and additional 1-2 days for proper acclimation before installing your floor.
Following these guide lines should prevent most unnecessary movement of your new flooring after installation.

Cherry plywood source: HPVA, PO Box 2789, Reston, VA 20195,