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I am building a flip top planer stand and have a finishing question. The panels will be ACX plywood that I will paint with a hammered green finish. The edge banding will be maple that I want to finish in clear poly. Is it best to apply the poly first and then do the painting, or should I paint first? I was thinking poly first would be the best because then any misplaced primer or paint would wipe off easier. Any thoughts?

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I think I would prime & paint first, then top-coat with poly.

Alternatively, you could use shellac as a sealer, paint, then poly.
 

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You can tape off the maple banding with blue tape and paint the ply. However, be careful to press the tape down really well so the paint doesn't run under the tape. I don't think that will be much of an issue with a tight grain wood like maple.
 

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I think you will want the wood that is clear finished done first. If you don't get the tape sealed then the paint can be cleaned off the poly. If you get paint on the wood and it seeps under the tape, it will be difficult to remove. Just the way I would do it I think.
 

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+1 for painting the ply before attaching the banding. then you can just poly the entire unit which will add durability to your finish
 

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If you can't finish the painted and polyed parts separately I'd do the poly first. But make sure you give the poly plenty of time to cure. Especially if you're using an oil based primer or paint. You don't want a situation in which the mineral spirits in the paint can dissolve into the poly.

Lots of masking tape will probably make it doable.
 

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I think painting before the edge-banding would be the ideal way. Assuming you're using solid edging and not iron-on (don't know if the heat would effect the paint at the edges). I think it'd be important to fit make sure your edging is sized and trimmed well before painting the ply. Planing/sanding of the trim could be done once it's applied to the painted ply, but it'd be more work to avoid damaging the paint than it would be if you just fit everything prior.
 
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