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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys and gals, my names Zach and I am 21. Love building things and was a carpenter with my dad for 5 years which is where I got my start. I have a hobby of taking care of planted aquariums and just like everything with a brand, the better the more expensive. Anyways, I have been trying to build aquarium stands to match those sold for a very high price. So many, that I have made close to 12 and been satisfied with 0 of them.. I came here looking for some help as several hours of searching left me with nothing.. The stands are very easy to make as I've made several using birch, mdf, Formica, paint and so on. Here's my issue, the design of the name brand stands have no seams, wood grain or anything else. They almost seem to be wrapped in a colored film. It is impossible to find out information about there finish or construction. Formica leaves edges, and I can't get rid of edges with the paint - may just be my fault. Please any advice would be great. I will attach pictures of what I want to replicate.
 

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As far as plastic laminate, most of the big name manufacturers carry a color core laminate where the core is made the same color as the face to minimize the black line associated with formica. A build up of primer and paint would work but would be more labor intensive and less durable.
 

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You might try Rustoleum's Hammered Paint. The Pic Reminds me a lot of it...To get a good sealed edge on MDF Thin spackling with 20% water and some school house white glue and paint the edges of the MDF with it. When dry sand with 220 grit and it will take paint really well .



 

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The reason you don't see any wood edges is a lot of work was done to prepare the wood to paint. Then multiple coats of primer was put on sanding between coats so it has a thick coat of primer before it is painted.
 

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I think the easiest,quickest way, might be to just screw it together, with drywall type screws, or those special ones for MDF, if using MDF, then filling seams, ans screw head, with light weight bondo, then sand, prime and paint.
The bondo tries very fast.
I have a rental house, where the tenant had put holes in 5 hollow core doors. Instead of buying new door, and having to hang them, I pulled the caved in holes out, putting a piece of ply inside, behind the damage, then did the bondo thing. Fast and inexpensive.
 

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Thanks, so with say birch or maple could the same process be achieved through a lot of elbow grease? Even though its solid wood vs mdf.
Solid wood shouldn't be used. Over time the glue joints would show through the paint. If it were me I would use plywood however if it didn't add too much weight I think MDF would work better for the door. There would be warpage issues with plywood with that finish.
 

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If you use plywood, use birch or maple. Open grain woods can be hard to fill.
Like others, I would opt for MDF. It is stable and provides some mass.
Then, seal it with de-waxed shellac. Lightly sand.
When I need to do something like this, I use automotive glaze. It is basically a real thin filler like Bondo. Apply thin coats, sanding between. When you think it is perfect, put a couple coats of sanding primer on it, sanding as directed.
Finally, finish primer followed by however many coats of finish you want. Follow the directions for sanding and cure time and you will have a world class finish.
 
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