painting MDF (that's doesn't end up sticky!)


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I'm building a bed out of MDF and ply for a child and she wants the bed painted white. I've tried painting shelves in the past with a quality latex paint only to find everything gets stuck to it. What type of paint is recommended for this kind of application? If I spray some polycrylic over the latex would that work?

Second question: We saw a piece of furniture at the store that was white and super glossy. It looked almost plastic. How could a achieve a finish like this? Is it just many coats of a glossy polyurethane?

Ps. I'm new to woodworking so sorry if these are stupid questions!

Thanks!

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not sure if it would work but maybe you could try an enamel or acrylic paint? I think alot of people also use lacquer over paint on MDF. I don't remember the specifics but somebody posted a cabinet that they built out of MDF with a really nice finish that's detailed in the critique room portion of this site. I know, not much helpful info here but hopefully I got you pointed in the right direction.

edit: the post I was thinking of can be found here.

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It sounds like the paint was put on too thick, and it had not completely dried, resulting in the stickiness. One thing to keep in mind is that when you apply latex paint to drywall, you are apply it to the paper, and it any soak in is minimized. With MDF, it is sawdust/chips that have been glued to form a sheet, so that paint will soak into it. Try putting a thin coat of primer, make sure it is good and dry, then put on 2 or 3 thin coats of latex. Try this on a test piece of MDF, and see how it works out.

As for the factor finish you are talking about, the reason it looks like plastic, is because it essentially is plastic that has been applied over the MDF piece.

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To spray:

I like General Finishes white undercoat (primer) Then top that off with the General Finishes Enduro White Pigmented Poly.

To brush:

I like General Finishes Classic Paint Primer (primer) Then top that off with General Finishes milk paint (any color :D ). Could topcoat that with some General Finishes High Performance for extra protection and to aid against metal marking, its a clear water-based topcoat and "totally" cool over their milk paint products.

-Ace-

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Yes, you can spray Polycrylic over the paint to prevent blocking. Blocking is the term used to describe the sticking of objects to the paint. You can get a 100% acrylic paint that will do the same, like BM Satin Impervo. If you want it glossy, you can put a coat of glossy Polycrylic over the top.

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The computer desk in the posting was my work. I do quite a lot of work in MDF and usually spray it for a good finish. To get a smooth high gloss finish I use a 2K Acid catlist laquer paint. Over here it made by a company named Morrells. I use their own 2K primer which is made for sealing MDF. I also use Moisture resistant MDF which is a little denser than the usual fluffy stuff. I give the edges of the MDF two coats of primer with one all over coat on the face and then sand with 320 grit. I then spray two coats of 2K colour on and leave it overnight to harden before wet sanding with 1000 grit and then machine polishing to a high gloss. Of course there are different sheens available and the computer desk was sprayed in a satin sheen of 20%. I hope this helps you in your quest for a good finish. Here is one of the high gloss ones I have made in the past.

Wslidingdoorunit.jpg

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Yes to the blocking. Better paints has better blocking properties than the cheaper paints. Wall paint is wall paint. If your going to paint wood. Use a good furniture or wood paint. That's what its formulated to do, stick to wood. Wall paint and wood paint are two different animals. One is not better than the other, they just have different features for different jobs.

Nice desk Alan!!

-Ace-

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Dura-Poxy from Kelly Moore is a paint that i use all the time. It is hard as nails and does not stick. It is latex but is mostly acrylic. Also the General Finish milk paint which is an acrylic paint works well also. They also make a white and black (custom color which i don't know the cost) poly acrylic that i have used once and love the result.

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Sand the edges to 220 or 320. General Finishes has a great product called White Undercoat. They sell it in 1 gallon or 5 gallon size. You can find it on the Pro sided of their web-site.

Enduro-Black-White-Underct_1.jpg

Spray it on, works great sealing all the MDF surfaces, especially the edges. No glue sizing or shellac necessary. This stuff sands really well too.

Yes you can use a shellac based primer called BIN from Zinsser.

ZIN_PR_BIN_L.jpg

-Ace-

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