Painting shelves?

I'm building a third set of bookshelves. The first I painted with flat latex, which is almost impossible to clean. The second set I used gloss, which look nice but the books still stick to them three years later.
This third set will be clear pine standards and MDO plywood shelves. What is the best paint?
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I wouldn't use any paint on shelves.
how about:
glass melamine poly laminate
ANYTHING but paint...
dave
Billy wrote:

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BAD hit the bull's-eye on the nose. I don't know of an oil-based paint that will not eventually stick to your books/papers. An epoxy-based paint might be ok. The one finish that will never ever get sticky, even after a hunnert years, is shellac. Yup. Don't bother with wax either. You can shellac right over the top of your paint/varnish, provided it's not one of those ultra-hard conversion varnishes/lacquers, which doesn't sound likely.
O'Deen
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Miller paint AcriEnamel in high gloss. I just did some shelves. Let the paint cure two weeks. Nothing sticks.
It is really, really, really, really hard to do a good job painting. The wife think it is perfect. I just see all the flaws.
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You want an OIL based paint. Glossy so that it will be easy to paint and oil based so that it dries to a harder finish. This is not a time to save a penny on a cheap paint.

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I've had excellent results with Benjamin-Moore Alkyd enamel. I use the gloss stuff, usually apply 2 coats over primer and allow to cure for at least 2 weeks before putting books on. I've never had a problem.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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I painted my bookshelves a with a high-quality gloss paint. Then I allowed the paint to cure for two months (I know it takes a month, but I wanted to be sure). Then I waxed and buffed the shelves. No sticking at all.
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As you found out, don't use latex. It is designed to stay "soft" for years, which makes it great for the outside of your house but not for wear and/or contact surfaces. The stickiness that you refer to is officially refered to as 'blocking.'
Either use a quality oil based enamel or a brushing lacquer to avoid this situation. Both should really be allowed to cure a week or so before adding books.
I have begun experimenting with Oxford/Target Coatings PSL (Premium Spray Lacquer) which works well for a water based finish. Can't tell you yet if it has the same type of blocking tendency as latex, although it does seem to dry hard, and both the manufacturer and users indicate it can be color sanded and buffed; just like a traditional lacquer finish. Jeff Jewitt caries these through his Homestead Finishing web site. The manufacturer also has web site and online forums to answer questions. Unlike a lot of manufacturer sites, theirs is pretty active, and they don't seem to be afraid of standing behind their products and addressing their occasional shortcomings.
David Glos

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