One Side Teak (OST) for your big, medium and small projects

One of the many questions in a hobby woodworker in his beginning stages is if a finish can be directly applied on plywood. Will plywood be able to absorb paint or stain that results in a fulfilling finish? I had the same question when I made my first center table, and I sought the help of my friend who built my modular kitchen. He said, “Use OST on top of the ply”. From that point till now, I have grown really fond of One Side Teak sheets and have used them for many of my projects. Since I get few enquiries on what OST is, it made sense to make a post on it. So, here are some facts on OST:
  • One Side Teaks, naturally, have a teak finish to it, and only on one side
  • The rear of OST is plain and ordinary with random grain patterns
  • OSTs are 4mm in thickness
  • They are available in 8ft x 4 ft dimensions
  • They cost approximately about Rs.25 / Sq ft
  • They are not just ideal for your big furniture projects, but also come in handy for your small craft needs
  • They can be easily cut using Mica cutters
OST (One side teak)
One Side Teak (OST)
Wood veneers are relatively expensive and Laminates are not easily available (most take only bulk orders) and so OST was my natural choice for all my center tables. That it can be easily cut and glued onto the plywood top made it that much easier for me. The biggest challenge I had was to find a vendor who will be flexible to source OSTs based on my needs and not be hell bent on selling it as the 8ft x 4ft package. 

They can be sanded down for a smoother finish and look beautiful when left in their natural glory too.

Center table with OST finish
OST for my plywood tables
I preferred to use OSTs when I had a need to build a clock for our own use. For a change, I wanted to use the rear of the OST as the clock face for the one I built for use in my home. The random patterns looked enhanced after sanding and it brought out a fresh look. I used the teak side for the other clock I built which I stained to a walnut brown color.

Wall clock template
Wooden wall clock using One side teak
With rubber wood or teak wood or rose wood being slightly on the expensive side and not available in dimensions other than 8ft x 4ft, plywood would remain to be the most preferred raw material until such time the hobby takes off to the next level. That being the case, OST will remain to be a good option to achieve a classy finish on top of the coarse looking ply.

I intend to use it for many of the projects that I make in the future which I certainly shall update here. Until then, I would love to hear from you on your favorite raw material. What is the wooden substrate that you love working with ? How and where do you source it from ? Do share your thoughts as a comment.

- Somu
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  1. Yes, one side teak is really good. However I have taken the plunge and bought an 8x4 finger jointed rubbe thickness 10mm. I use this for toys.
    If storage is not a problem, it is worth it going in for an 8x4s of plywood.

    1. Hi Vinay, true... Right now storage and the use of power tools are my constraints and so makes having an 8x4 board at home. But hopefully should be able to graduate to that level sooner :)

  2. Useful information. I have never tried OST - will check it out. Bought some wood veneer (Greenply) for Rs 2300 for an 8 by 4 sheet. Takes finish brilliantly.

    1. Thanks Indranil. Try it out. Btw, Wood Veneers I thought come with a pre-finish. Do you need to apply a finish ?

  3. Somu,
    This is very interesting alternative to expensive wood. Can you tell me where I can buy this in Chennai? Will plywood shops understand when I ask them for ost sheets? Thanks

    1. Hi Praveen, this does not replace the wood that you use as the base for your work... This is just a sheet that you can use much like mica sheets or wood veneers. It comes in 4 mm thickness and any plywood store guy would know OST... It is very common :)

  4. Hi, interesting blog on OST. Can I use it all over my carpented kitchen cabinets? What about durability in persistent heat and humidity in kitchen, esp compared to the laminates that are being used these days? How is the price compared to these laminates? I love wood or veneer but can't afford that. Also laminates, though they are the most durable in today's context, look cheap and can never come close to wood in appearance. Also like laminate, does OST protect the ply inside? Please help. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Aditi, I managed to respond to your same query on FB... Do check it out and let me know. In short, go for laminates for your kitchen and once you are done, show it off :)

  5. does OST sheet come in any brand, wanted to pick up a sheet was not sure of the stuff/quality the plywood shop owner was selling. He quoted Rs 1055 for a 8/4 sizw sheet

    1. None that I am aware of... However it sure can be manufactured by different vendors. I buy it for Rs. 25 / square feet here in Chennai... Looks like your quote amounts to Rs 32 / Sqft. Considering this is in a shop in B'lore, the cost difference can be justified. Make sure you check with few other plywood suppliers too for a better price.

  6. Hi
    Useful information. I am now going to do wood work for my apartment in Chennai. Only one carpenter mentioned about OST. Is it still not popular in Chennai? Is it better than the mica laminate in terms of durability and resistant to water, heat etc. ? Your response will be really appreciated.

  7. Hai, I have to do wood work for my new flat in chennai, which i am going to rent out. The wood work are in Bedroom and kitchen cubboards. Which the best plywood suggested ?

  8. Hi, what is the cost difference between OST and veneer ? Are veneer pasted directly on plywood - in which case the thickness of board will be only around 20mm whereas with an OST , it should be around 19+4 = 23 mm . Am I right ? Please clarify ?

  9. Hi somu... I would like to know which material(ost/Vineeth) is better and well finished for panelling of door /windows ????? Pls reply regards .

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  11. Hi folks, let me know the difference btwn ost veneer laminates.... Etc

  12. hi,

    can OST be used for main door if i were using a flush shutter. whats the backing of OST is it ply or p.bpoard or MDF. can i get it with water prrof ply?..... in some shops they have the 2,3,6 panel design on OST how do they create embossed finsh on a thin sheet of OST.

  13. hi,

    can OST be used for main door if i were using a flush shutter. whats the backing of OST is it ply or p.bpoard or MDF. can i get it with water prrof ply?..... in some shops they have the 2,3,6 panel design on OST how do they create embossed finsh on a thin sheet of OST.

  14. Oh I just love the nest outdoors! That's quite a project. I bet you'll sure enjoy it. Good job can i paint teak furniture

  15. Can anybody clear me out the difference between one side teak and laminate

  16. It is thought that this type of refrigerator is more efficient and easier to use. Best side by side refrigerator in India


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