Two silane-based hybrid coatings were developed to modify the surface energy of phenolic resin impregnated paper. The coated paper samples were further pressed onto surfaces of plywood. The surface properties and water repellence of coated paper were investigated by AFM, XPS and water contact angle measurements. The water absorption of plywood with pressed paper was studied by water uptake tests. It was found that the sol-gel coatings had slightly improved the water repellence of the impregnated paper. The water absorption of plywood was also slightly decreased.