I have been thinking of making several cabinets for my detached garage. I w
as thinking plywood carcass, but maybe poplar face frames with raised panel
s made out of mdf. The garage is insulted but not heated/air conditioned un
less I am in there and then only a propane heater.
I need to make several of them and I figured painting them a dark color wou
ld be best as they will probably get dirty. I work with everything from woo
d to cars. My shop is a 30x30.
I want them to look nice, but I also want them to hold up. I would like to
attempt to paint them with a sprayer. I have a large air compressor and a c
raftsman gun which may be siphon fed or HVLP, I am not sure. It has the cup
at the bottom.
What kind of paint would you use? I am concerned with humidity and paint pe
eling. When I built the house around 97, I painted all my outdoor door fram
es with enamel. Every single piece of wood I painted with enamel ended up p
I am not sure I can spray latex through the sort of gun I am talking about.
What about laquer? I have never worked with it. It seems maybe I read it is
prone to cracking, I don't know.
I appreciate any advice you can provide!
On Tuesday, January 6, 2015 8:32:22 AM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
was thinking plywood carcass, but maybe poplar face frames with raised pan
els made out of mdf. The garage is insulted but not heated/air conditioned
unless I am in there and then only a propane heater.
ould be best as they will probably get dirty. I work with everything from w
ood to cars. My shop is a 30x30.
o attempt to paint them with a sprayer. I have a large air compressor and a
craftsman gun which may be siphon fed or HVLP, I am not sure. It has the c
up at the bottom.
peeling. When I built the house around 97, I painted all my outdoor door fr
ames with enamel. Every single piece of wood I painted with enamel ended up
is prone to cracking, I don't know.
Personally, unless building that kind of stuff gives you pleasure,
I'd just look at buying some utility grade cabinets that are premade.
Might also find some discontinued ones, some with some small defects,
etc that would be good for a garage and cheap.
I know you didn't ask about the wood, but I
think your plan there is more vulnerable than
the paint choice. If the garage gets damp at all
then both MDF and poplar are bad choices. Poplar
is very bad in exterior use. It rots easily. MDF is
just sawdust and glue. It makes a good substrate
for countertops, but it's brittle and vulnerable to
moisture. (I know a lot of plastic-encased cabinet
doors are now MDF. That does help avoid the
drawbacks of moisture vulnerability and easy chipping
of corners, but it's not a good product for painting.)
You didn't mention the case plywood. Birch is also
very vulnerable to moisture. I have to avoid storing
birch plywood scraps in my cellar because they
quickly grow mold and mildew, while fir ply scraps
So if you're concerned about holding up in the
garage I'd suggest fir or MDO ply, with pine trim.
Fir trim would be even better, but it's a pain to work
with in that usage. It chips and cracks easily due
to the large cells. It's also more expensive.
Enamel just refers to
paint that forms a film. It's better at keeping out
moisture but also peels easier, simply because
there's something to peel. (As opposed to ceiling
paints or stains.) That's why oil stains were so
popular starting in the 80s. They didn't have a
film to peel. But they also didn't last nearly as
long good oil paint over a clean surface. (Now
there are "water base stains", which aren't much
good for much of anything. They're OK for siding
that doesn't get a lot of water exposure, but on
trim or decks they just rub/wear off. ...But they
don't peel. :)
For a tough finish I'd normally use exterior oil,
like Benj Moore high gloss Impervo. Unfortunately,
they've all been reformulated and I'm not sure
there are any as tough as they used to be.
Most companies make a urethane-reinforced
acrylic paint, which should give you a tough finish.
I don't like those paints for decks/floors because
while they are tough, they're a mess when they
finally do peel. The film is very tough and hard to
scrape. But with inside cabinets I wouldn't worry
about peeling. Being in the cold shouldn't have any
effect, unless your garage is very damp and the
cabinets will tend to grow mildew.
If it were me I'd probably use some leftover interior
oil trim paint if I could, but not because I worry
about the paint holding up in the garage. It's just
that oil paint film is tougher and less permeable than
latex/acrylic, so it's good for the shelves that may
end up having oil, glue, bleach, TSP, or various other
substances spilled on them. You could also use
polyurethane, but that wouldn't look so great on
poplar/plywood, and would show dirt somewhat.
On Tue, 6 Jan 2015 05:32:14 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
When I paint garage items (studs, walls, shelves, workbenches) I use
cheap white interior flat latex. It's held up well, and white makes
it easier to see everything. If I get dirt or oil stains, I just
clean them and paint over them when I get around to it.
If you want "nice looking" its up to you. Probably be better to buy
cabinets than make them. If I made them, and painted them, I'd go
with an enamel. You can wipe that down to clean.
Some people like to build stuff, and that's great.
I like to build buildings, frame them, and do most or all of the
exterior and do the wiring nd plumbing. But but not do the sheetrock,
or build cabinets. To me, that stuff involves too much precision and
Far too many cabinets these days are made from particle board, unless
you want to pay a fortune. Particle board is crap.
I got some well made kitchen cabinets from probably the 50s, made from
plywood and solid lumber. They were on their way to the landfill,
because that house was being modernized. They worked great in my
garage, and didn't cost a cent other than the gas and time to haul them.
They had a varnish finish. I just washed them up a little and hung
them. They serve their purpose well. It's just a garage, I'm not
looking for "pretty" just function. I did put some actual latching
handles on the doors though, after damn raccoons got in the garage and
into the cabinets, spilling plaster and other stuff all over the place.
Those magnetic latches didn't keep them out.
Anyhow, to the OP, if you want a durable paint, consider an oil based
epoxy paint, or cheaper would be an oil based floor and deck enamel.
Or just a poly varnish with or without stain. Latex wall paint is not
durable, but an exterior glossy house paint might hold up fairly well,
but not as well as the oils.
Yes, you CAN spray latex paint with one of those air powered sprayers
made with the cup on the bottom. I've done it. You should be able to
spray almost any kind of paint with them. But unless you're doing a lot
of surface, the preparation, and cleanup may take more time than just
using a brush or roller. You need to protect other stuff with tarps and
so on, or the overspray gets everywhere.
I agree. Plus, you can go to places like Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores and
buy good used cabinets that fit the space etc. And, as someone else
suggested, getting solid wood cabinets (including used ones) would be better
than building or buying MDF or particle board cabinets due to moisture
On 01/06/2015 7:32 AM, email@example.com wrote:
For painting shelves and the like, latex paints end up sticking to
surfaces that set on them for any length of time with any weight. Like
tool boxes, or even worse if you have another painted surface.
Oil-based enamels will not do this but they're getting harder and harder
to find and in some areas don't think they're available at all any
longer (can you say "CA"?).
I repainted a set of shelves in the shop a couple of winters ago with a
leftover good quality interior latex and they've been a real nuisance
since owing to that. I had built a set of wooden parts bins and painted
them at the same time. After they've sat on the shelf for a couple of
weeks it takes a solid blow to separate them. Needless to say, this is
For this reason, I've used heavy cardboard and made "shelf liners" for
all the horizontal shelves which has a secondary benefit of also being a
grease absorber and can be refitted if/when they get excessively dirty.
On Tue, 6 Jan 2015 05:32:14 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The paint will stick better if you shoot a coat of primer on the
cabinets first. I would also suggest cutting all the panels and test
fitting them. Then take it apart and shoot all 6 sides of every piece
before you put them back together.
When you are spraying paint, you usually thin it about 50%. Be sure
you use the right thinner (usually on the label)
Shoot several light coats, let them try and shoot them again. When I
am doing this I make a spray booth with visqueen. Set up as many
pieces at a time as I can and start shooting. If you are outside on a
sunny day, things dry pretty fast.
If your garage is so wet that it destroys poplar, fix that before you
even think about storing anything in there.
I think one of the posters here has confused particle board with MDF
tho. I would not use particle board for much of anything but MDF is
pretty good stuff
1. I wouldn't bother spraying. Why? Because - unless you do a LOT of
surface prep - the grain is going to telegraph through the paint, sprayed
or not. Not pretty, especially rotary cut fir or pine plywood.
2. I wouldn't paint them dark. Why? Because dark colors show dust and
the like more than light ones.
3. I wouldn't worry about using MDF and poplar in a garage. I have some
cabinets on my covered screen porch using both, nary a problem and they
have been there for several years now. And I live in humid, sticky
4. I wouldn't use latex paint. Why? Because my experience with them
(unless they are very low sheen) is that the paint is a kissing cousin to
glue...stuff sticks to it for months and months. Maybe years, don't know
because if I have to use it I topcoat with water poly.
What I use on cabinets in my shop is Glidden Porch & Floor oil poly paint.
White. It cleans easily and is very durable. Some of the stuff painted
with it is now 18 years old, no peeling ever.
BTW, I often use melamine board for cabinets. All my shop cabinets are
made of it except for the face frames and doors. Yes, the substrate is
particle board but it is no problem as long as it doesn't get wet and the
melamine is a built in, durable surface, no painting required.
| I think one of the posters here has confused particle board with MDF
| tho. I would not use particle board for much of anything but MDF is
| pretty good stuff
Just to make sure we're all alking about the same thing:
Particle board usually refers to hardboard made of
glued-up, small chips of wood. MDF is basically sawdust
and glue -- "micro-particle" board. MDO is fir plywood
with kraft paper embedded in a layer of plastic on both
sides, providing a smooth exterior plywood with a flat
surface. (At least flatter than fir ply alone.)
MDF has great compressive strength but low shear
strength. It's put together in layers, which easily
chip off if a corner is hit. It doesn't hold screws very
well. It's also *very* susceptible
to moisture, swelling up and disintegrating when it
gets wet. So MDF is good for laminate backer and
in situations where a very smooth surface is needed
that won't see any water exposure and won't have
Okay. And then there is OSB -- Oriented Strand Board.
I have to admit that I have a hard time remembering what all of these
different types of materials are called, what they are best used for, etc.
I can always go online and look them up each time I need to know if I am at
a computer. But, that doesn't help much when I am in Home Depot etc. and
trying to decide what to get or if I am having a discussion with someone
about what to buy for a specific project.
Lots of choices, lots of different uses.
I have trouble remembering all these initials too. i was not sure what
MDF was when I first read this thread. It would be nice of posters
would spell out the full name at the start of a post for stuff like
OSB seems to be used a lot for exterior wall covering on new buildings.
(under the siding). It seems more durable than the "glued sawdust
boards". Personally, I prefer to spend a few dollars more and use
either solid lumber, or plywood, for any permanent structures.
| >I have to admit that I have a hard time remembering what all of these
| >different types of materials are called, what they are best used for,
MDF - medium density fiberboard. Basically untreated
masonite. A hardboard the color of kraft paper made of
sawdust. Good compressive strength. Very bad for uses
where water exposure is possible. Takes paint and can
be used to build shelving, but the result is very heavy
and has lower shear strength than plywood.
MDO - medium density overlay. Kraft paper sealed to
fir plywood with a plastic resin. Good for signs and any
exterior use that requires smooth panels.
I assume that OSB is what I call flakeboard, and particle
board is the old-fashioned stuff that sort of yellow color
and made of wood particles the size of small crumbs.
There's also HDO - high density overlay. That's the waxy
looking stuff used for concrete pouring.
I think all of this stuff probably varies by region, too.
Then there are the kinds of plywood. Lauan plywood,
for instance, doesn't seem to always be called lauan these
days. Which probably makes sense. Lauan started out
as fake mahogany but as I understand it, lauan isn't even
usually real lauan in most cases anymore. :)
On Fri, 09 Jan 2015 23:30:26 -0600, email@example.com wrote:
Waterproof glue plywood - good one side or sanded both sides
(preferred) for storage units in garage or semi-finished basement,
painted with a good exterior paint or enamel stands up for a LONG time
and is easy to keep clean and looking good.
OSB (oreiented strand board) has no structural strength, and depending
on the type, can be anything from absolutely awfull to mediocre for
durability, and nothing better than terrible for finishing.
MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) takes a finish quite well and has
decent strength if assembled using the specialized "semi-knock-down"
furniture connectors, but cannot stand any moisture exposure on
unsealed edges etc. OK if you use "clip feet" like used on a lot of
SKD furniture to support it off of the floor.
The "compressed sawdust" usually sandwiched between melamine surfaces
for most cheap SKD furniture is the worst of the whole bunch - no
strength - no durability and no moisture resistance at all.
You can easily tell the difference between MDF and compressed sawdust
by the weight. MDF is HEAVY!!!!
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