I bought some particleboard to make a small thing to put our shoes in near
the door. The area was a tight fit and I couldn't find anything with the
right dimensions which is why I made it myself. I'd now like to paint it.
I planned on using some leftover interior house paint but I read that I
can't use that because it's water based and the particleboard will aborb the
water like a sponge. I have some old stuff that I think is shellac but I'm
not positive. I've done tests with it on plywood and it works well and
makes the wood waterproof. It's definitely not water based as I hard a
really hard time cleaning my brush! My questions are:
- Can I use the shellac for the particleboard? I like the thought of making
it waterproof because we've already had 2 floods this year (our apartment is
on the bottom floor).
- How do I rinse the brush after using shellac? I tried alcohol as well and
that didn't work very well either.
Are you sure it's shellac? Maybe it's lacquer or some sort of
varnish? What did you use to try to clean the brush?
For the best water protection, get some exterior polyurethane spar
varnish at any paint store or home center.
It's "gomme lacque" in French which translates by my dictionary (not the
best) as shellac. My dictionary says Shellac & Lacquer are the same. I
tried to clean it with water and then alcohol, after about 20 minutes I
finally got the brush semi-clean. I decided I'd throw it away if it's not
If you are really worried about another flood, particle board is not the
right choice. Since you have already made the "thing", I suggest that you
seal at least the bottom of the piece, inside and out, with thinned epoxy.
It should be sealed with this as high up as you think the water might go.
You can thin the epoxy with a little acetone and let it soak into the
As for painting the piece, after the epoxy has cured, prime the entire
thing with an oil based primer that is meant for outdoor use. I suggest
this since you are worried about water exposure. Once dry, cover it with an
outdoor acrylic paint. Since the piece has been primed, a water based
acrylic will not swell the particle board. If you can't find one, use an
outdoor oil based paint.
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