MDF finishing advice

I have tried many things to plug up the raw surface of routed or worked MDF panels. The material is easy to work other than the dust. It is the finishing that drives me nuts,
I have used: drywall compound acrylic wood filler shellac water based urethane oil based urethane latex paint multiple coats of primer 55 coats of spray paint
I have yet to find a material or method that I consider fool proof, easy, quick - I can't even say to pick any two.
Advice on method, material, and application would be appreciated.
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DanG
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Hey Dan. Since you mention drywall compound straight off, I would guess you've seen the FWW article. http://www.finewoodworking.com/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id=26508
JLC http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25428
You didn't mention glue, so... http://www.woodsmithtips.com/2010/06/03/painting-mdf /
Sand, sand, sand. http://shoryuken.com/f177/how-paint-mdf-mirror-finish-worklog-191692 /
R
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On Tue, 2 Nov 2010 22:43:22 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

[...snip...]
I've used drywall compound and found it easy and quick. I *think* it should be fool proof. I just spread it on with my finger and sand the excess it off after it dries.
What didn't you like about it?
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says...

The accepted method is to use what's called a "glue size" or "glue sizing", you can buy it pre-mixed from the Titebond folks or just dilute any white or yellow glue 10:1 or so. You will probably have to sand after.
M.L. Campbell "Magnaclaw" primer is intended specifically for use on MDF--one good wet coat gives a good seal. Note that it's a precatalyzed lacquer base and take appropriate precautions (i.e. remember that it will burn merrily and has toxic solvents).
I haven't tried it but gray automotive primer should work.
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=========================================================
Sounds like Magnaclaw would be the ticket. I don't know if this is what will work for you, but something possibly available locally would be a product called "gesso." It's like this glue idea. It's what artists use to prime canvas before painting.
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A thin coating of contact cement followed by another thin coating of veneer hardwood would do it.
I have tried many things to plug up the raw surface of routed or worked MDF panels. The material is easy to work other than the dust. It is the finishing that drives me nuts,
I have used: drywall compound acrylic wood filler shellac water based urethane oil based urethane latex paint multiple coats of primer 55 coats of spray paint
I have yet to find a material or method that I consider fool proof, easy, quick - I can't even say to pick any two.
Advice on method, material, and application would be appreciated.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DanG
Keep the whole world singing . . .
  Click to see the full signature.
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I use MDF for frame and panel\cope and stick construction where I have items that won't take much contact wear like wainscoat or fireplace surrounds, etc. I use sharp bits, never sand the routed edges and use dry wall primer followed by house paint. Pretty smooth to my eye. Not usre what application you are after but maybe real wood would be better?
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