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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

My wife's a librarian at our local elementary school. She asked me to build a "Little Free Library" to put up in the neighborhood near the school. (See Little Free Library Website here.)

I made one out of 3/4 A-C Exterior plywood from Home Depot as shown in the picture below. It will eventually have a door on it and will be painted and decorated. The decorating is not my job, but I will be painting it and since this will be outdoors continually, I want it to be able to stand up to the elements. There's a door in the works and I'll be putting shingles on the roof, but before that I have three questions:

1. What kind of sealer/primer/undercoat should I use to keep moisture out of the plywood.

2. What kind of paint should I use? Oil vs. Latex? Exterior house paint?

3. Hinges for the door. I have a couple of kitchen cabinet Blum type hinges. Would they be suitable for an exterior application like this? Any other suggestions?

Lastly, there's not much funding available for this, so I want to keep the cost low.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Kevin H.
 

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I would use an oil based primer, and top coat with a good quality exterior.....your choice between oil or latex. One thing about latex paints is that objects that are sitting on it tend to stick to it. So maybe choosing an acrylic outdoor paint might be best if you pan on using the same paint inside the enclosure as outside. That will solve any problems with books sitting on it.
 

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Couple of questions: Did you use an exterior rated plywood? And, did you use an exterior rated adhesive?

As to finishing, I suggest you first apply a primer. You can get Zinnser Cover Stain Exterior primer in a spray can that is easy to apply. For a top coat, I would use an exterior oil based enamel. Apply 2-3 coats.

Be sure to thoroughly seal the end grain of the plywood
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I painted the Little Free Library with four coats of a Behr outdoor paint that also acts as a sealer. I really shoved a lot of paint into the exposed plys on the edges. I'm sure it will start to deteriorate after a couple of years but it will probably get smashed by some drunk teenagers before that.

Anyway, I'll post a picture of the painted 'box.' My wife is going to take it into school to have the Art teacher's class decorate it. All I did was paint it white. I'll try to post a picture of the final installation, too, once it's finished.

Thanks for the replies.

Kevin H.
 

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I would use an exterior oil based primer and an exterior oil based paint. Latex paint may look nice but it will let water penetrate through it. The blum hinges are really intended for interior use but I think they would last a long time in that application. Anyway it wouldn't take long to change them out if they rusted.
 

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I would use an oil based primer, and top coat with a good quality exterior.....your choice between oil or latex. One thing about latex paints is that objects that are sitting on it tend to stick to it. So maybe choosing an acrylic outdoor paint might be best if you pan on using the same paint inside the enclosure as outside. That will solve any problems with books sitting on it.
+1. :yes: The sticking problem (called blocking) can happen with oil base or waterbase. You might check with your dealer if the paint you choose is prone to that.




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