Paint for garage cabinets

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 eeling badly.
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!
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On Tuesday, January 6, 2015 8:32:22 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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.

ood to cars. My shop is a 30x30.

craftsman gun which may be siphon fed or HVLP, I am not sure. It has the c up at the bottom.

ames with enamel. Every single piece of wood I painted with enamel ended up peeling badly.

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.
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Interesting challenge.
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 do not. 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.
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On Tue, 6 Jan 2015 05:32:14 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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.
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On Tue, 6 Jan 2015 05:47:54 -0800 (PST), trader_4

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 nit-picky details.
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.
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In wrote:

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 issues.
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On 01/06/2015 7:32 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.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 quite annoying.
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.
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On Tue, 6 Jan 2015 05:32:14 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com 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
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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 central Florida.
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.
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| 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 exposed edges.
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In typed:

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.
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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 this.
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.
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| >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.
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. :)
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On Fri, 09 Jan 2015 23:30:26 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com wrote:

(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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