White Dressers for my Granddaughters
This project is poplar and MDF, both of which are excellent
choices for a painted project. The side
panels, top, and all the drawer fronts are MDF, while the structural frame is
poplar joined with loose tenons utilizing the “Festool Domino” machine. This machine is a dream to use and makes the
loose tenon joint simple in much the same as a bisquit joiner.
I chose General Finishes “Endoro” water-based finish for the
undercoat and topcoat. Enduro is a
lacquer type high solid water-based finish material. Since I was using a water-based product on
MDF, I first applied a coat of Zissner B-I-N Shellac-based primer sealer on the
MDF. The shellac primer sealed the MDF
so the water-based finish would not raise the grain.
The edges of the top and drawer fonts have a routed profile
that had to be sealed prior to any finishing.
I used DAP drywall compound on all these edges to seal them. This turned out to be a very difficult,
messy, and frustrating step because of the difficulty sanding the profile
created by the router bit. I would dip a
finger into the DAP and get a glob on my fingertip and work the DAP into the
edge, trying to keep it uniform and not build too much material in the crisp
contours of the edge. After drying, I used
various sanding pads made from foam to conform to the profile. As much trouble as this step was, it was
absolutely essential since it totally sealed the porous edge of the MDF.
I applied two coats of undercoat and two coats of top coat
using my HVLP spray system, sanding lightly between coats. Since this was my first attempt at achieving
a “furniture quality” white finish, I was realistic in my expectations. This project was an excellent learning
experience and reflected the adage that when you are finished with the
woodworking, you are less than 50% done with the project!