I am wanting to get a slightly white-washed look on a desk that I am making
primarily from MDF. I am not too experienced or skilled at painting, so I
am seeking any advice or comments.
Some of the immediate questions that come to mind are oil or water based?
Brush or sprayer (I have a wagner)? Primer or not? Number of coats and
treatment between (such as sanding)? And of course, how to cerate the washed
effect while maintaining a durable and smooth finish.
Again, I would appreciate any help.
This isn't true. I've made a lot of bookshelves out of MDF and never
had any swelling when it was painted. It will swell when it gets wet,
but seems like it happens more when (what would be) the endgrain gets
By white-washed I assume you mean pickling... A white semi-transparent
pigmented finish. I don't see why you want to see MDF at all. Perhaps
painting with a base color, and then use a glaze (think of glaze as a
clearish paint that you can add as much pigment as need to make it it as
opaque as you would like).
Oil. It dries hard (if you let it cure fully, which can take a week or so if
you are reallt particular... longer is better) therefore, it is easy to sand
out surface imperfections between coats (dust pickies, drips or raised
Latex (water base) is like a plastic coating it remains flexible, but
doesn't sand. This is preferable for an exterior application where moisture
changes are more extreme and the wood will move more, hese the coating has
to be more flexible.
Good spayers can do nice work. Wagner is not a good sprayer... you can do
just as good a jub with less fuss with a brush.
Number of coats
What ever it takes to get the coverage you want.
Yup... I find a cabinet scraper makes very quick work knocking off any nibs.
I have always had trouble with MDF soaking up nonoil based finishes like a
sponge and have primed with Kilz before painting. Makes a really nice slick
finish but a fragile one that scratches easily. but if you are going with
white anyway it wouldn't show the scratches.
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