Iron-on edging (also known as edgebanding) offers a quick, inexpensive way to cover the exposed edges of plywood and other sheet goods. It’s a great way to finish off frameless cabinets and shelf edges. Thanks to the heat-activated glue that coats the back of the edging, no clamping is required, and the mess is minimal. You can install the edging with a household iron, an edge-trimming tool, and a sharp 1-in. chisel. A couple of shopmade jigs make the job even easier.
Start by choosing the type of edgebanding you need. Plastic edging comes in several colors, and wood edging is available in different species. It’s all sold by the lineal foot. For 25 ft. of wood edging, you’ll pay around $3, and plastic edging sells for around $5. You can expect lower prices when ordering larger quantities. Edging in a 13/16-in. width
is good for 3/4-in.-thick material; 1-in.-wide edging also is available.
Installing iron-on edging involves a few basic steps. First, you have to make sure that the edges you want to cover are smooth and flush. Then you cut the material slightly longer than necessary and iron it down. Finish by trimming the edges and ends, then sanding all the corners smooth.
Plastic edgebanding goes well with laminate or melamine-covered shelves. Black, white, and several other colors are available. Wood edging is made from real wood veneer and is available in different species.