Rough stuff & frugality

About a year ago I wanted to make a cabinet for my recently finished screen porch but really didn't want to have to haul stuff from HD so I used what I had...
Vertical partitions were made from whitewood 2x4s ripped up into 1/2 x 1 3/4 +- pieces. They were glued up into rails and stiles with a 1/4" through dowel in each corner. There was a mid-stile between rails as I planned to use shelf clips for a less than total depth shelf. The frames were covered both sides with glued on 1/4 ply or hardboard, or 1/8 ply doorskin material...whatever I had available. Takes a lot of clamps for that, I used 1" rings of 2 1/2" PVC pipe with a slot so they can be spread apart. I didn't have to make the clamps, had them left over from onetime I made a pram and needed them to glue on gunnels.
Face frames were more ripped up 2x4s.
The cabinet is about 72 x 24, all one piece but looks like two because half of it is about 10" lower than the other to fit under a window. Cabinet bottom was a piece if 1/2 (or maybe 5/8) mel board I had left over from something or another. Tops were pieces of 3/4 fir ply. The top of the lower portion is actually two pieces of ply, didn't have enough odds and ends to make it one piece.
Door frames (four doors) is poplar I had left over. I did buy a piece of 1/2" MDF for the panels, hated to do it but I had nothing suitable. __________________
Now as to the finish...
We have one of those PVC patio sets on the porch. The table top is round and fiberglass, top surface is irregular; i.e., "controlled roughness"...textured.
I wanted my cabinet tops to have a similar appearance but wasn't about to make a mold from the table and make a fiberglass one so I used drying type joint compound; smeared it on and around with a trowel, let it dry, smoothed as desired with a damp sponge. Once dry, it got 2, maybe3, coats of glossy white polyurethane (I had it on hand) rolled on. Looks great, was cheap and is easy to clean. True, it won't resist a sharp blow but it is just fine in normal use and whenever we have flamenco dancers as guests I tell them to stay off the cabinet :)
My main reason for this post was to tell you about creating a furniture finish with drywall compound. One of the hardest things for me to do is get a *GOOD* painted surface as I lack spray equipment; consequently, I don't try. One can get a uniformly pebbled finish by rolling on paint - I use a 1/4" foam roller - and rolling again when the paint is tacky enough to form little peaks and not so tacky that the peaks won't sag a bit.
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dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

Nice. Last year I bought a utility shelving unit with particleboard shelving. The plan was to paint the unfinished shelves, with the biggest issue being the edges of the particle board.
I ended up using a drywall patching compound (flexall) to fill in the edges before I painted, and it turned out perfectly, nice and flat and I only needed one coat of primer.
Jon
p.s. You need to put some pictures of your cabinets
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