Planning to build a wardrobe out of OSB plates, however, I fear clothes might get stuck on the material and tear up. What's a simple and cost-effective way to get this smooth? Coating or sanding maybe? Does anyone have some experience with this and can offer some advice?

  • 3
    Is the price difference between that and sanded plywood so great that OSB is worth messing with? MDF is also a good choice, is cost effective, and is splinter/snag free.
    – JPhi1618
    Jan 17 '20 at 15:27
  • 2
    If you haven't purchased materials yet melamine panels are probably going to be price competitive once you factor in finishing either OSB or MDF. If you're already locked into OSB then the ghetto answer is shelf paper on the inside. The high class way is applying a laminate or veneer with contact cement, but it's likely that works out to more than plywood. Jan 17 '20 at 18:05

Straightforward enough job. We stabilize wood like that all the time.

I'd start by painting the piece with a thin coat of either Amercote or West System Epoxy, just to freeze the splinters so they won't keep redeveloping as you prep. Then a very thorough sanding with a jitterbug sander until there are no high spots whatsoever. Then one more shot with the West System, then a sand-down just to knock the high spots off, if any. Then prep & paint.

How much money did you say you'd be saving by using OSB instead of finish plywood?

  • Good ol' polyurethane does just as well. Water-based may penetrate better to lock the strands.
    – isherwood
    Jan 17 '20 at 20:18

Paper it!

It doesn't need to be wall paper, you could use old news paper then paint over the paper.


OSB comes in various grades. Often the two sides are different grades.

  • 7/16 and 1/2 inch are used as sheathing. The inside face isn't as solid as the outside face, but doesn't have inked stuff all over it.

  • 5/8 and 3/4 are often used for subfloors and subroof. They are sanded flat on the top face, and are tight on the bottom face. They make an acceptable living space floor with an optional coat of stain and a coat of varnish.

Given how much time even making a wooden crate takes, I wouldn't use OSB for furniture, but instead would either do it right, and make it out of baltic birch. Catch it on sale.

OR I would make it from dimension lumber throughout. 2x2 framing, 1x4 or 1x6 sides. Dimension lumber will look nicer, is easier to sand. If you go with a wood stain, read up on staining softwoods first. There are tricks to getting it even.

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