not exactly a woodworking question, but...

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by jerkylips posted 07-01-2011 06:22 PM 1447 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jerkylips's profile


416 posts in 2592 days

07-01-2011 06:22 PM

I’m slowly getting the garage organized. I purchased a shelving system that hangs on the wall & has a lot of adjustability, so now I just need to get some material for the shelves & I’m set. This is an unheated garage, & I’m concerned about getting something like a particle board / mdf because I’ve seen what that stuff can look like after a couple years in unconditioned spaces – swelled up, breaking apart, etc. I was going to use plywood, but then the lovely wife commented that she’d really like for the shelving to look ‘nice’ & asked if I could get something white. It got me thinking, if I’m painting it anyway, is there any type of primer/paint I can use on particle board/mdf to seal out moisture & make it more acceptable for an unheated garage? Or should I just stick with the plywood plan?

5 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17421 posts in 3028 days

#1 posted 07-01-2011 06:25 PM

I think that most primers will do a pretty good job sealing the mdf. I wouldnt call it permanent ot totally sealed but it should work for you. You could also try using MDO, medium density overlayment, hwich is made for exterior applications.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4240 days

#2 posted 07-01-2011 07:11 PM

I think a good coat of paint would mostly solve the moisture problem, but I’d still be worried about sagging over time. I’d stick with plywood or solid wood if I were you.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2715 days

#3 posted 07-01-2011 07:25 PM

You could always edge-band plywood and get the best of both worlds. As long as the humidity in your shop is well controlled and the shelves are properly supported, I don’t think thick MDF is a bad choice; it’s a bit heavy itsself, though. Hard to beat 3/4” ply for stability and price, though.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View TechRedneck's profile


768 posts in 2879 days

#4 posted 07-01-2011 11:39 PM

Al had a good idea.. You could put an edge on the shelf and paint. I use 3/4 ply all over the garage, shelving, shop cabinets. I put a coat of paint on them and never had a problem. I bought some shelving with particle board shelves and if left unpainted, they WILL eventually sag, mold and flake apart.

Painted CDX should work fine and not cost much. Be sure to use pressure treated lumber where it touches the floor or block walls or paint with something like Kills or an enamel paint.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3182 days

#5 posted 07-02-2011 05:53 AM

+1 what Charlie said. I have to disagree with Al(sorry Al, really). A garage is no place for mdf. A garage is difficult to control humidity. Plywood is my recommendation. You’ll have many grades to choose from to target your wife’s desired result. And as Al mentioned, edge-banding would be appropriate. I’m talking 1/4” or 1/8” banding, not the iron-on stuff that comes in a roll.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics