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post #1 of 4 Old 09-29-2017, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Materials choice

For a base cabinet in a laundry room, I'm planning a modern, clean look (painted). It will have drawers and doors. I'll use plywood for the interior, but about the face frame, doors and drawer-fronts:


My first thought was poplar, but would MDF be as good or better? (Will a very high moisture environment be unstable?) It seems like a lot of work to make the flat door panels out of edge-glued poplar, and plywood grain always seems to bleed through.
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-29-2017, 08:38 AM
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I wouldn't use MDF in a laundry. MDF is a thick sheet of paper, the same paper they make grocery sacks out of. Even though you are going to paint it you won't be able to paint everywhere and just the humidity from the laundry would make it swell. Poplar would work well for that as well as pine if you can find some that is clear. Painting pine often has problems with the knots bleeding sap through the paint. Maple or birch is also good to paint however may be more expensive. Using that wood you might want to finish it clear first and then paint in case some day you want to strip it off and stain it.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-29-2017, 12:50 PM
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In my experience, it's hard to seal MDF enough so that it doesn't swell the presence of a lot of moisture. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to the texture of wood grain showing through paint. I sort of like it. Knots can be sealed off with shellac.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-29-2017, 01:55 PM
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I built a new vanity and medicine cabinet out of plywood with poplar rails, stiles, etc. for our Master Bath. I finished it with two coats of Zinsser BIN followed by two coats of SW ProClassic. No grain shows through at all. I prefer poplar for painted pieces because it is easy to work with and very easy to paint.

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