Paint for MDF?

I have some raw MDF shelving that I'd like to paint. The shelving might be subjected to some heavy/sharp items or oily items, so I need something that is durable and won't bubble up when oil is spilled on it.
What would be the best paint to use?
Thx!
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Noozer wrote:

As the other (so far) responder says, use a primer first. I'd suggest that a latex enamel will be perfectly adequate as a finish coat for most any application. For cleanup and durability, I'd recommend a gloss finish.
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Primer/sealer FIRST. Then look around for epoxy paint (first choice) or porch paint (oil enamel) 2nd choice.

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Would it make more sense to really thin the first coat of primer, so it will soak into the wood? I'd follow this with a coat of normal primer.

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Noozer wrote:

Not really. Primer is designed specifically to have the proper surface adhesion properties for the following topcoat. Paint isn't intended to serve nor function as a stain. Use the proper primer for the surface and the selected topcoat.
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If it were mine, I'd use oil based stain and polyeurethane on it.
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I use the following product to paint MDF that I use for shop shelving / cabinets
Rustoleum High Performance Industrial DTM Epoxy Mastic
http://www.rustoleum.com/tds/9100%20System_RO-51_2032990.pdf
They call it mastic but its really a two part epoxy paint / activator paint system.
It goes on pretty thick; two coats needed to develop suggested film thickness
I have used it to make waterproof (temporarily) containers.
The stuff isn't cheap (~$80/gallon) but its bullet proof......not recommended for longterm direct sun exposure (outside)
The stuff I've painted hasn't needed re-coat in 10 years +
cheers Bob
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Noozer wrote:

Polyurethanes have it all over other coatings for abrasion resistance. Since adhesion is not an issue with polyurethanes, simply thin the first coat for penetration and apply second coat normally. System gives excellent rsults on MDF with a $20 spray gun from HF and would likely do just fine with a Wagner Whoopee Sparayer. HTH
Joe
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