Ping Leon: Sewing Desk painting

While admiring your most recent project I had another look at the the sewing desk.
A friend of mine, who has evidently overestimated my abilities, asked me for advice about building some white built-in cabinets. The sewing desk, at least in the pictures, looks like the kind of finish I think he wants, but I have no idea how to achieve it.
He'll probably want to make his cabinets out of plywood, as he'll have shelves with wide spans and heavy stuff on them. I should add that he has pretty good woodworking skills, but does not have a shop to work in now. He may be able to borrow a space for a while.
On that point I suggested having a shop at least cut the pieces for him. I even did some quick checking to see if plywood was sold pre-"finished" with some sort of white coating or laminate. That does seem to exist, in Europe, but I'm not sure about on our side of the pond.
Any thoughts?
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On Tuesday, August 5, 2014 10:45:24 AM UTC-5, Greg Guarino wrote:

I don't know if it has a specific name, but I purchased primed 1/2" ply at Lowes, for upholstered room divider panels. I didn't look for 3/4", since I only wanted 1/2", but I would suppose it's available in 3/4".
It looks more white-washed, rather than primed with a normally thick coat of primer, as if I would prime it myself.
Sonny
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On 8/5/2014 10:45 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Thank you Greg

There is Melamine.....but if you don't know what you are doing you are going to damage it before it is built.
Sooo what I did was use a paint grade plywood. Typically a closed grain veneer, like maple or birch, for the wide panels. The solid wood, use the same type closed grain wood, I used poplar.
I used a water based primer and rolled it on for the wide areas using a 4" small diameter foam roller. I cut in with a 4" Wooster synthetic brush. When dry I hit all surfaces with a Scotch Brite pad to knock down any bumps.
I used the same type roller and brush to apply the color coat. I used Sherwin Williams for both the primer and the color coat. The specific paint I used for the color coat was Oil Based Pro Classic enamel. A single coat of each was all I needed. If you can't get oil based buy the best Acrylic Latex. I can't stress enough buying the best you can get. Especially for storage you want a surface that will dry hard, oil based will typically be my first choice but a TOP QUALITY Acrylic enamel, these days, will yield good surface in relative short time.
Top quality oil based paints are normally ready to go with out any thinning necessary. If you put a few drops of mineral spirits on the clean brush bristles the brush will work better and be easier to clean. Be careful to not get too much mineral spirits on the brush as it will thin the paint too much, in the brush, and you you will have paint running down your hand if painting with the handle pointed down. Knowing how much to use is an experience thing which I still have not mastered.

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