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Stand/hood/surrond out of MDF... Need to seal??

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Hello all,
I will be building a stand/hood/surround for my 2.5G Hex Tank and I am using MDF (left over from other project)... It's 5/8" thick... I was wondering if I need to seal the wood with something or if the paint will seal it? Here are my questions:
1) Do I have to seal the MDF in case of evaporation or little leaks/spills?
1.1) If I do, what kind of sealer could I use that I can paint over or paint and then seal
2) Is there a kind of paint out there that also seals against water? I'm looking for black!

Thanks in advance!
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You could seal it with shellac, or with fiberglass resin. Both can be easily purchased at your local hardware store or big box hardware store. Some oil based paints are resistant to water and there is epoxy based as well. When connecting your pieces together, using liquid nails in the joints creates a very strong bond. And if you want a clean fastener less look, buy a low cost pocket screw jig. Again, all of this can be found at the hardware store.
 

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Don't use shellac or resin, you would be much better off with Minwax water based Polyurthane. It goes on very easy, water clean up, no vapors, and is hard as a rock. If you want your project to look professional paint the mdf with any color latex house paint, then 24 hrs later a coat of the poly, lightly sand with 600 grit after 1 hr and one more coat of poly, and repeat one more. It's very easy and remeber to wipe down after sanding (tack cloth or lightly damp paper towel) and you will look like a pro with a very hard finish that water can't touch (remeber to hit the end grain of the mdf as well, so it will be sealed everywhere) if you need you can send me a message for help.
 

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Don't use shellac or resin, you would be much better off with Minwax water based Polyurthane. It goes on very easy, water clean up, no vapors, and is hard as a rock. If you want your project to look professional paint the mdf with any color latex house paint, then 24 hrs later a coat of the poly, lightly sand with 600 grit after 1 hr and one more coat of poly, and repeat one more. It's very easy and remeber to wipe down after sanding (tack cloth or lightly damp paper towel) and you will look like a pro with a very hard finish that water can't touch (remeber to hit the end grain of the mdf as well, so it will be sealed everywhere) if you need you can send me a message for help.
+1

Easy to forget the end grain!

If you use screws to fix the joins together seal the end grain first then marry the join. So you can countersink any screws fill in the heads and seal over the top (sealing the screw in).

If you use any hinges (piano hinge for example) pay the extra for brass with the brass screws. Copes with water much better than the cheaper steel.

Take your time to do several coats - more than you would normally, it's a pain as you know to fix a bowed section months/years later if water gets in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
+1

Easy to forget the end grain!

If you use screws to fix the joins together seal the end grain first then marry the join. So you can countersink any screws fill in the heads and seal over the top (sealing the screw in).

If you use any hinges (piano hinge for example) pay the extra for brass with the brass screws. Copes with water much better than the cheaper steel.

Take your time to do several coats - more than you would normally, it's a pain as you know to fix a bowed section months/years later if water gets in.
I'm gonna use a nail gun, not screws... Then I'll put putty to fill the little holes and joints... Then sand the whole thing, paint it (roller) and then coat it!

I don't think I'm gonna use hinges, just a lid that pops off! So I don't have to worry about that!

For the cuts, like I said before my dad is a carpenter (as tons of tools)! He will be cutting the joints with angles (no exposed cuts)!!! This will make a cleaner look!!
 
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