Painting and finishing a plywood bookcase

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eddy789
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Painting and finishing a plywood bookcase

Postby eddy789 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:38 am

Hi there!

I am building a couple of alcove units to fit in my chimney breasts. Basically nothing fancy 2 cupboards at the base with doors and an MDF top. Then a shelf unit above. I had originally made the shelves out of MDF but under load they sagged like crazy so have gone with PLY 18mm instead. Shelf unit version 2!

The upper shelf unit consists of dados and lipped shelves and is now much better.

The prototype out of mdf was painted in a water based MDF primer and leyland high gloss in brilliant white on top. I was reasonably happy with the finish but i was wondering if there was a smoother finish i could achieve using a different type of paint such as enamel or acrylic based paints.

The finish i would like to achieve is similar to old style Gloss paint i.e totally smooth. I remember old oil based gloss was almost self leveling. water based gloss is not like this. Certainly not leyland water based gloss anyway.

Im also a bit concerned about the ply warping. I had all the large bits cut at B and Q, however when i got them home a couple of the shelves begain to warp. I have laid these on a flat surface and put a bag of plaster on top of them to try and straighten them out. So should i paint teh bits first before assembly or assemble and glue then paint. Obviously paint after assembly will be more onerous but will in aid in reducing warping during painting? or does painting have no effect on warping? I assume once painted and sealed no further warping will occur?

Any help or suggestion tips would be greatly appreciated.

eddy789
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:24 am
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Re: Painting and finishing a plywood bookcase

Postby eddy789 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:37 pm

I was looking at painting in either leyland trade acrylic eggshell with acrylic primer or albany super primer and super satin.

All water based as dont want any yellowing issues

has anyone head experience of the above?

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will1983
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Re: Painting and finishing a plywood bookcase

Postby will1983 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:11 pm

I do quite a bit of the sort of construction you describe. I use the Wickes Trade range of True white paints, they are readily available in large tins and are all water based so easy to clean up.

My usual procedure is as follows;
Assemble
Caulk seams with white flexible decorators caulk
WT Super grip primer - MDF edges first, then faces, then edges again to ensure they are fully covered
Fill any screw holes and gappy joints, don't use caulk for this as it shrinks, use proper wood filler or 2K body filler
Sand filler and primer with 320grit on a block or RA sander, especially MDF edges
Spot prime sanded through bits as necessary
WT True White undercoat - 2 coats
Light sand with 320grit on a block to denib
WT True White Liquid Gloss - 2 coats

Sometimes I find that adding a bit of Floetrol paint additive to the liquid gloss helps it to level out if I find it is dragging or leaving brush marks. Also if I am doing a large flat face I will use a 6" roller to get the paint on quickly then back brush it to pop any bubbles. If you don't get water based paint on quick you can lose the "wet edge" so a roller helps to prevent it flashing off before you can get a nice level finish.

My system might be a bit to long for some of the commercial guys on here but I find it works for me and I can attest to it staying white. There are several wardrobes and doors in my house that are showing no signs of yellowing after several years. Finally I find that by priming before filling it is easier to see all the spots that need filling.

Hope this helps, lets see a pic or two once your finished.
Check out my Instagram account cheshire_cats_workshop for more stuff I have been working on.
Cheshire Cats Workshop Website


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