How to Apply Edge Banding | Edge Banding Guide

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There are many reasons why you may want to apply edge banding on plywood. The most common reason is that it can protect the edges of your wood, especially when it comes into contact with water or moisture. Edge banding also adds a decorative touch to your project and protects the edges from cracking over time. To learn all about how to apply edge banding, read this article!

What is Edge Banding?

What is Edge Banding?

Before we start talking about how to apply edge banding, we must establish what exactly edge banding is. Edge bands are usually made out of laminated paper or plastic, or thin wood, and they come in a variety of colors. They can also be found with wood grains, metallic finishes, or even designs like stone tiles. The main function of edge bands is to protect your plywood edge from moisture damage and also to look nice on your wood project.

Types Of Edge Banding

Basically, there are two types of edge banding available for plywood edges. Hardwood banding and iron-on banding. Each type of banding has its own advantages and disadvantages.

iron on edge banding

Iron-On Edge Banding: This is the most common type of edge banding because it’s easy to apply, even for beginners. It works by heating up a roller on your iron that melts the adhesive within the strip as you pass over it with a hot iron. Once the adhesive cools down, it holds all of your wood together, and you are ready to go!

hardwood edge banding

Hardwood Edge Banding: This type is more complicated than iron-on edge banding because it has a lot more steps involved in installing them on your project. The main advantage of hardwood edging is that it lasts longer than iron-on banding.

In this article, I am going to talk about various types of iron-on edge banding processes.

Types of Iron on Edge Banding

Two main types of iron-on edge banding are available, and they include the following.

Pre-Glued Edge Banding: this is the most common type of edge banding, and it’s easy to find at any home improvement center. This type comes with a strip of adhesive already on one side, so all you need to do is pass over it with your hot iron until the glue melts and then press them onto your wood project. This type of iron-on edge banding takes less than five minutes to cool down and become ready for use.

Know More: 5 Best Iron for Edge Banding in 2022

Not Pre-Glued Edge Banded: this type is a little bit more complicated because you need to apply the adhesive yourself before using them on your wood project. While it may seem like a daunting task, most people find that they can do it in approximately five minutes. However, the advantage of this type is that you can add as much adhesive to it as needed and remove or reposition if necessary before they fully cool down.

How to Cut Edge Banding from a Board?

Plywood edge banding comes in roll form, and that means you have to cut it down to the size of your plywood parts. Simply measure out where you need them to be placed on each piece of wood before cutting them with a utility knife or scissors.

how to cut edge banding

Some of these edge bandings can be cut by using a hand. But in that case, it will not become a square shape end. To cut them perfectly, use a good utility knife or scissors.

For the Size of the edge banding, always cut one inch larger than your plywood parts.

edge banding size

Let’s say the length of your wood is two-inch, and you need to cut an edge banding for it, which will be three inches in total. So simply add one more inch so that it can wrap around properly without any mistake or gap at all. Always buy an edge banding that is a little bit wider than your project edge. So that after applying edge banding, you can trim it with a router/trimmer.

Know More: Best Edge Banding Trimmer and Veneer Edge Trimmer in 2022

How to Apply Edge Banding to Plywood?

I already mentioned various types of plywood edge banding. Now I describe one by one how to apply them. But I will only talk about manual process of edge banding. There are some edge bander available at the market those will automatically complete the edge banding process without man power.

How to Apply Pre-Glued Edge Banding?

At first, I will talk about pre-glued edge banding. This type of edge banding is the simplest to apply or use for any beginner woodworker. You can find them in a variety of colors, and adhesive strips are already applied within these bands, so all you have to do is place it onto your plywood project by using a hot iron. Veneer edge banding, PVC edge banding, birch supply edge banding all are almost similar to apply.

cutting edge banding

Start your work by cutting the edge banding with your desired size. Take the large piece of edge banding and measure it with your plywood edge. Now mark the place that is one inch larger than your plywood part. After marking, cut the edge banding with a good utility knife or scissors.

placing the edge banding

When you have a perfect size cut edge banding, place it on your project with the adhesive side down. Now make your iron hot and set it to 400-degrees F temperature. When your iron is hot enough, pass over the edge banding until its adhesive melts and sticks onto plywood properly. When you are using the iron, hold the edge banding tightly so it does not move until the adhesive cools down. It takes only about 30 seconds for this type of edge banding to cool down.

ironing on edge banding

Know More: 5 Best Edge Banding Machines: Buying Guide and Reviews

One important part I forgot to mention is that make your edge totally flat before applying edge banding. Because if it is not totally plane, then it will not stick properly. Some gaps will create due to this. Also, try to use a roller or piece of wood for pressing the edge banding to plywood. This will ensure there is no gap between them and create a nice finished look for your project.

trimming edge banding

Now the last step is to trim the edge banding with a good trimmer. If you want to find a suitable edge banding trimmer and trim properly, read this article.

How to Veneer Edge Banding?

Veneer edge banding is one of the most popular pre-glued edge bandings. It is made of thin and decorative wood veneer. Before applying this type of edge banding, remove any dust or dirt from the plywood surface by using a clean cloth.

All the processes are the same as the pre-glued edge banding; just don’t make the iron too hot. Extremely hot Iron can burn the veneer edge banding. Always use a recommended edge banding iron for this job.

How to Install Rubber Edge Banding on MDF?

There are two types of rubber edge banding, one is with an adhesive strip on the back, and another type has an open-cell sponge glued to the plywood.

The first method of installing rubber edge banding is applying it just like pre-glued veneer edging. It will have a good grip once you apply it properly onto plywood.

The second method of installing rubber edge banding is a little bit different from other types of veneer edging. This type has an open-cell sponge glued onto it. Apply glue on your plywood, and then press the sponge into that adhesive until it sticks properly. Make sure you leave some space between the strip lengthwise as you need to fit the veneer strip over it.

Now apply a hot iron on rubber edge banding until its adhesive melts and sticks onto plywood properly. For this type of rubber banding, you have to use an iron temperature setting less than 400 degrees F, or otherwise, your sponge will burn off after applying heat wait for at least 30 seconds for it to cool down.

The last step is the same as other types of veneer edge banding, cut off the excess rubber with a trimmer and save your time by avoiding the hand-sanding process.

How to Apply PVC Edge Banding?

This type of edge banding is the simplest to apply. It comes with a good adhesive on its backside, and it will stick properly by using the hot iron method, just like pre-glued veneer edging.

You have to keep in mind that this PVC edge banding cannot be used for thicker parts than ¼-inch. It will not stay attached to the plywood if it is thicker than ¼-inch. So, use good glue for this type of edge banding and cut off any excess with trimmers, so your project looks neat and clean.

How to Iron on Wood Edge Banding?

This process is as simple as ironing cloth. You just have to pass over it with a hot iron, and the glue will melt immediately.

You should keep in mind that the temperature of your Iron has to be 400 degrees F or less than this; otherwise, your wood edge banding will burn off and ruin all the work you have done so far on your project. Do not press it for a long time. Just iron it for a few seconds and wait until the glue melts. If you want to know more about how to do this job and a few suggestions on the best edge banding iron, read this article.

Does Hot Iron Edge Banding Work?

Yes, it is a proven method to apply wood veneer edge banding. This method is quick and easy to do if you have the glue, iron, roller, or anything else ready for this type of job.

How Hot Does Veneer Edge Banding Iron Work?

It is recommended to use an Iron temperature setting around 400 degrees F or otherwise; your wood edge banding will burn off and ruin your project.

One thing you should do is to wait for at least 30 seconds after applying heat so that the glue melts completely and sticks onto plywood properly.

What Chemical Melts Edge Banding Glue?

Usually, the glue used for the hot iron method is an adhesive with a low-temperature melting point.

  • 1 Hotmelt Edge Banding
  • 2 Elmer’s Wood Glue
  • 3 Welder’s Edgeband Sealant
  • 4 Liquid Nails.

These are some of the edge banding glues that can be used with a hot iron method.

How to Apply No Pre-Glued Edge Banding?

Non pre-glued edge banding does not contain any adhesive on its backside. So, using some glue is necessary before applying them to plywood. Follow my instructions if you wonder how to apply non pre-glued edge banding without mess or wasting time.

The cutting part is as same as I mentioned before. After cutting the edge banding, take a good adhesive glue and put it on the edge of the plywood, then press the edge banding onto that glue. After this process, waits for at least a few minutes so that your adhesive completely dries up and leaves you with a clean result of wood veneer edging, which will make your project look great.

You should use a roller to ensure a smoother finish and a clean result.

After the glue becomes completely dry, you can use any other process to make your project look greater as you want. You can sand it, trim it, paint it or do whatever you think will look good on your project.

Another great way of applying no pre-glued edge banding is using double-sided tape.

attaching double sided tape

Double-sided tape can be used in place of glue to attach the banding to the project. This is a great option for projects that will not stay in one spot for too long, and you need to replace or move them. However, when using double-sided tape instead of glue, it is important that the banding is cut at a 45-degree angle where it will attach to the corner.

Removing tape cover

At first, cut the tape in size to the length of one side. Apply it to the edge of the plywood and fold it over, making sure that you have a tight seal. Now remove the cover of the tape and put the edge banding in place.

attaching edge banding

Use a brayer to firmly flatten the installation and remove any air pockets. Finally, trim off any excess banding.

using brayer

How to Glue no Pre Glued Edge Banding?

It is not a hard process. Find the best suitable glue for your plywood and put it on the edge of your plywood. When you are applying glue, make sure that all the area near the edge of your plywood is covered with glue, and do not leave any dry area. Use glue on both edge and edge banding to ensure a good result.

Then take the edge banding and put it on that glue, then press it carefully to ensure proper adhesion of wood veneer. If you are not satisfied with your edge banding, do it again until the result meets your expectations.

What is the Best Glue I Can Use on Veneer and Edge Banding?

There are lots of glues that are suitable for this purpose. You can use any adhesive according to your requirements and needs. The best thing is that there are many types of glues that you can apply on your edge banding and other kinds of wood veneer.

  • 1. Elmer’s Wood Glue
  • 2. Welder’s Edgeband Sealant
  • 3. Liquid Nails

You can use them for your project.

How Edge Banding Corner?

Edge banding is a great way to protect the corners of your boxes and other products. Applying edge banding to the corner is harder than applying it to the flat surfaces of your plywood, but it’s worth knowing how to do it.

First of all, take your edge banding and cut it according to your project dimensions. After cutting, make sure that both ends are straight so that they perfectly fit into each other without any gap or gaps between them. After you’ve done this, use a straight edge to make sure that the edges are flush with each other.

Applying it to a curved corner is more difficult because it needs more precise measurements to fit the curve perfectly. You will need a corner roller, or you can use your fingers if you are careful enough. Using iron-on those corners is very tough. Don’t worry, and there is a solution for this too.

There is a special type of edge banding that is perfectly suitable for a corner. This edge banding is like tape, which you can stick on one side of the corner and cut off. You don’t need to use any adhesive or heat gun for this edge banding. Just remove the cover of the glued side and attach it to the corner. Now, press it down and use your fingers or a roller to ensure that the banding is perfectly attached around all the corners.


If you’ve been wondering how to differentiate the types of plywood and edge banding, this post is for you. We hope that our guide has given you a better sense of what each type of plywood can do and which will be best for your project. Let us know if we didn’t include any information about different edge banding methods or if there are any other questions we should answer in future blog posts!

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  5. Can You Stain Edge Banding or Not?
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