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I will be starting a master closet unit project very soon and would love to get opinions on what type of plywood to use, MDF or Birch? I will painting it white and love the way MDF looks painted but will it hold up like Birch? This will be a whole unit with shoe shelfs, cubbies, ect.
 

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Properly supported the mdf would be fine. I like to use mdf for projects like this for the ease of painting. I built shelves in my pantry from 1/2 mdf that easliy support probably 35 to 40 pounds of canned goods no sagging whatsoever.
 

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Your biggest problem with MDF may be the weight of the finished unit. That aside, remember you have to treat exposed edges in some way to get them to finish as nicely as the flat field. I like glue size (4 parts water to 1 part glue) but guys use drywall mud, spackling compound, and probably several other things I'm unaware of. Just a good primer may do it.
 
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Your biggest problem with MDF may be the weight of the finished unit. That aside, remember you have to treat exposed edges in some way to get them to finish as nicely as the flat field. I like glue size (4 parts water to 1 part glue) but guys use drywall mud, spackling compound, and probably several other things I'm unaware of. Just a good primer may do it.
You could also use an iron-on birch veneer on the edges. The grain is tight enough not to show through the paint.
 
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