Advice on paint for MDF stand (skin)
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:14 AM   #1
Nate McFin
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Advice on paint for MDF stand (skin)


Well I researched the stand design, and didnt put enough thought into the skin. I built a nice looking stand (for a noob in the shop) and used MDF 1x4's and some mdf beadboard on the side of the stand. The doors and face trim are also mdf. The top is 3/4" ply.
I really want to make this work for awhile so I need to know the best way at this point to prime and paint the mdf to waterproof as best as I can. Later down the line if this fails I will reskin the 2x4 frame with better material. Will the first water change mess the stand up?
Sorry no pics yet, They will be coming!
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:47 AM   #2
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I would recommend Rustoleum One Part Acrylic Garage Floor Epoxy. Depending on teh size of the stand a single gallon should be plenty and a bunch of coats, I did 10 on my old stand should be enough. MDF will soak up alot before it starts to make a nice thick layer.
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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Thanks Craig! That sounds like a great idea. That stuff has lasted forever in our shop at work.
I was also looking at marine paints as well. Any thoughts?
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:50 PM   #4
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I used to use a shellac based primer on MDF. You can get it either clear or white pigmented. One coat of that seals the surface very well. Then you can paint it with whatever you wish for appearance. MDF will not be damaged by a water spill. Only if you let it sit in water for hours will it be damaged, based on my experience with it. MDF and particle board are two totally different materials - particle board, like most cheap assemble it yourself furniture is made of, is the one that is quickly damaged by water.

One of my stands, for a 65 gallon tank, is made entirely of MDF.
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I used to use a shellac based primer on MDF. You can get it either clear or white pigmented. One coat of that seals the surface very well. Then you can paint it with whatever you wish for appearance. MDF will not be damaged by a water spill. Only if you let it sit in water for hours will it be damaged, based on my experience with it. MDF and particle board are two totally different materials - particle board, like most cheap assemble it yourself furniture is made of, is the one that is quickly damaged by water.

One of my stands, for a 65 gallon tank, is made entirely of MDF.
Thanks Hoppy! Regarding the Garage floor paint the wife would Veto the battleship grey without a doubt. The shellac primer sounds like the ticket then she can pick whatever color she wants. (except pink...lol)
I was looking at B-I-N Zinsser shellac primer (Alcohol based) and it comes in both aerosol and a roller or brush type. I have alot of nooks and crannies with the beadboard, would you have a preference as to which application type might suit me best? I have used Zinsser in the past and have been happy with the results but I am open to other options if you have more experience....KILZ??
On a side note it does appear to cause cancer but only in the state of California so I am safe there.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:24 PM   #6
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I sealed an MDF canopy years ago with Varathane Colours Plastic Enamel. Still intact.

The other choices that you have been given will work as well.
I have read that using an oil based primer, rather than water based (or water based paint as an initial coat), will also give a smoother finish to MDF.
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:41 PM   #7
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Shellac primers or sanding sealers are so thin it is like painting with water. But, they dry so fast when the stuff runs it doesn't do much harm. I always just brush it on, using a very, very cheap brush and disposing of it when I'm done. I'm not sure I want to spray an alcohol based substance, because of the flammability and the stink. But, it does come in spray cans. My preference of those products is the "sanding sealer" variety, which is clear.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:26 AM   #8
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Thanks for the help Hoppy. Great point about spraying something so flammable.
I will get some pics up when its all finished up.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:31 AM   #9
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if you want to go another option other than painting, possibly try laminate sheeting, the stuff comes in millions of designs/styles and water wont soak into the stuff if depending on the type u use
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