Check out my materials... tell me what to do with them. :)

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Alright. I'm ready to build my MDF coffee table! After a not-so-quick trip to the hardware store I came back with:

3/4"/19mm MDF boards
Kilz Original (Interior Oil-Based)
Zinsser B-I-N Primer
Rust-Oleum Flat Black Oil-Based Paint
Zinsser Shellac!

100, 220, 320 sandpaper

So... did I pickup a good arsenal for painting MDF?

My goal is to do a high-gloss MDF finish not unlike this (though that probably was covered in glass). And, for the recorc, I want to sand/smooth/spackle over where the boards of the table meet so it looks like one smooth cube.

So... in what order do I need to apply this stuff to get a high-gloss finish? Do I need to pick up anything else?

Could anyone give me a simple rundown of what I have to do and what order I have to apply/sand stuff?

I would be very grateful. :)

Thanks all! :LOL:
 
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I can't give you a simple rundown for a high gloss finish, because it isn't simple. (Unless you pack the whole thing off to a finishing shop, pay scandalous amounts of money, and let them do it.)

Anyway, here's a good resource: <http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Rubbing_Out_Wood_Finishes.html>

Short list of "more" that you need is finer grades of sandpaper, tack cloth, rubbing compound, and elbow grease. I'm sure I've forgotten a few things.

Good luck!

Nigel
 
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Is there any 'default' procedure? Ie Should I prime or seal first? How many times? I understand the process could vary but what is a general method?

Thanks for the suggestions. I will be picking up a few of those items stat.
 
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First, disclosure that may make you stop reading: I'm a working carpenter, not a painter. I have, however, finished a few things and am more than regularly called upon to swing a paintbrush.

I would sand the cut edges of the mdf progressively up to around 400 grit. I've heard people suggest sanding the flat face of mdf as well, but I've never done it (nor have I had professional finishers complain that I didn't do enough prep when a unit has been sent out). Maybe for good luck you can lightly touch it with 600.

Get rid of the mdf dust with a vacuum, and then the tack cloth. Get your painting area as dust-free as possible.

I'm not sure how thick the Kilz is, but knowing that the Bin is relatively thin, I'd use the Kilz as your priming and sealing substance. Apply a coat to the cut edges. Let it dry completely. Sand lightly with 220. After every sanding, get the dust off with a vacuum and then a tack cloth. Apply a coat to the whole thing; let it dry; knock down the dust/ ridges/ orange peel with 220. Do another coat, and if it looks almost perfect, then sand lightly with 320. If you go through the finish, you've got to do another coat. Once you're satisfied that your primer coat is as flat as possible, move on to finish paint.

Finish paint is the same sort of process: paint; dry; sand; remove dust; repeat. I'd shoot for at least 3-4 coats. Then after the paint has dried for quite a while (maybe call the manufacturer's support line for their guess at how long), you can refer to the rubbing out link.

I bet that glass top is looking pretty attractive right now, isn't it?

Seriously, though, good luck on the project.

Nigel
 
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Oh, one last thought: cheap brushes will probably frustrate you. They don't let paint flow nicely and they lose bristles at the worst possible moment. I'd be looking at the $10-20 range, plus a biggy sized container of mineral spirits for cleaning.

And looking at your other questions, a quality wood filler will cover nail or screw holes nicely. Just be sure to let it dry thoroughly and sand flat. If you use screws, make sure you pre-drill and countersink the heads.

Nigel
 
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Nigel, that's exactly the advice I needed! Great post! Thank you sir.

I forgot/didn't know about countersinking so I'm glad you mentioned that. That is perfect.

One last, question if you wouldn't mind.... would all-purpose spackling paste be a suitable replacement for wood filler?

Thanks, Nigel!
 
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This may not apply to the spackle you've got, but I tend to find that spackle is not dense enough for me to have much confidence in it. I'd still opt for a water or oil based wood filler.

Nigel
 
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