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Forum topic by EBenezer posted 01-19-2012 09:18 PM 2185 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View EBenezer's profile


3 posts in 2524 days

01-19-2012 09:18 PM

Hey all,
I am in the process of building a set of built in base cabinets that will perform the dual function of storage and a workspace for my wife’s sewing. I am making the base cabinets out of birch plywood and will have poplar face frames. I am looking for opinions on what type of material should I use for the countertop. My first thought was that I would use a single ply of 3/4” MDF with a poplar edging, but I am open for suggestions. I intend to paint the entire cabinet white. Also, what recommendations do you have for finishing these cabinets (materials & techniques), I do not have experience painting cabinets and am looking for a quality finish but it doesn’t have to be furniture grade by any means. My patience wears thin when it comes to painting so the simpler the better.

6 replies so far

View Tyler's profile


174 posts in 2891 days

#1 posted 01-19-2012 10:51 PM

What about adding a simple layer of laminate to the top? It would be more durable than a painted surface.

View TrBlu's profile


386 posts in 2824 days

#2 posted 01-19-2012 11:00 PM

I would suggest either laminate or a 1/8” layer of hardboard on top of the mdf. I would avoid a painted work surface.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View DS's profile


3030 posts in 2619 days

#3 posted 01-19-2012 11:06 PM

When I need a quickie counter top, I can usually buy a pre-made post-formed top at the Big Box Home store cheaper than what it costs me to buy the wood, laminate and contact adhesive.
Then there’s my time and the fact that it isn’t as pretty, etc.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View EBenezer's profile


3 posts in 2524 days

#4 posted 01-22-2012 04:13 AM

Thanks for the tips everyone. I am leaning more towards a laminate or pre-made countertop.

View oi2342001's profile


27 posts in 2544 days

#5 posted 01-22-2012 04:27 AM

A note on laminating the top yourself. You can’t create a rounded edge. You need special machines (or so I’ve been told, maybe a vacuum bag would do the trick) to get the laminate to bend around without snapping. It would have to be either a beveled edge or a 90 degree corner. With a pre-made one from a big box store you can buy one with the nice rounded edge.

-- If your not having fun you're doing it wrong.

View ShaneA's profile


7052 posts in 2797 days

#6 posted 01-22-2012 04:59 AM

Depending on the size, you may be able to get a natural stone remnant. Granite or marble, may put the project over the top. Just a crazy thought.

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