need advice on sanding/smoothing wood shelves

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Old 02-22-16, 10:41 AM
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need advice on sanding/smoothing wood shelves

Looking for some carpentry advice. Specifically Ė sanding/finishing for shelves.

Long story short, I had a family member house sitting for me recently. As a favor ("payment") for their extended stay (which was really not needed), he built be some cubbies/storage in my mudroom while I was away. And even painted them. He knew I was going to be redoing that room over the next few months. That was a very nice gesture. That said, the side is very rough in texture. Not sure what wood he used but I imagine something fairly cheap. I see what looks like basic plywood scraps out on the garage.

So again, it was a really nice gesture and while they donít look too bad structurally, my wife isnít really happy with the texture. You can see from one of the side shots, that its very rough. So I am wondering, can I just sand the crap out of the sides? If its rough plywood, will it even sand down? I donít care so much about inside the cubbies as we are going to probably have them packed full, or even have cube-inserts. Or is there a thicker paint or different finishing I should consider (like should I apply a veneer or something)? I see Killz and Behr latex paint in garage so am guessing he primed it and did one coat of paint.

Any advice is appreciated. Have a good one.
 
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Old 02-22-16, 10:44 AM
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You can try sanding but latex paint doesn't sand very well - tends to gum up the paper.

Additionally, is it Kilz latex or oil based? The latter is fine but the former has known adhesion issues.

Finally, I would use a waterborne enamel from a paint store (not a paint department) as the final coat of paint on this.
 
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Old 02-22-16, 11:28 AM
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Yes, that's a rough surface. Probably a combination of the wrong plywood and not prepping for paint.

If it's only the side panels you want to fix, I would cover the sides with door skin, 1/8" Luan plywood.

The Luan paints pretty well and has a sanded face. It can be cut with a utility knife.
Adhere the skin to the sides with spray adhesive, prime and paint.
 
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Old 02-22-16, 12:21 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. Yes, it would be just the side that is visible. Is that product readily available to a homeowner like myself?
 
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Old 02-22-16, 12:32 PM
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Thanks guys. I see 1/8 or even 1/16 inch paintable veneer I can try. But largest pieces I see (at least at big box) are only 36 inches tall. And mine is 86 or so high. I guess I could put some wood filler between sections

I may try to sand it this evening to just see how it responds. I will verify which kilz as well. Take care!
 
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Old 02-22-16, 12:47 PM
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The door skins are available everywhere in 4' x 8' sheets, just go to the sheet goods department and ask for help. This solution will save you a lot of heartache.
It looks like there's a small lip on the front of sides that will hide any covering you add. Cut and apply the sides, fill any small gaps with paintable caulk and you're done.
 
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Old 02-22-16, 01:22 PM
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There is a little lip where he added some trim/molding. Yes. So that is easier than just sanding ? Thanks again
 
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Old 02-22-16, 02:25 PM
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While a cheaper grade of wood may have played a part I believe the biggest culprit was not sanding [and maybe trash in the paint]

Laminating over it and painting it correctly would give the nicest finish but I'd try sanding and repainting first. No need for a primer unless you sand thru the existing paint. I'd start with 80 grit sandpaper and see how that goes.
 
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Old 02-22-16, 03:01 PM
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I don't disagree with Handyone's suggestion, nor can I say from here if it will work, but I agree with Mark. It's only going to cost a minimal amount of time and material to see if sanding will work, so I would give it a shot. Maybe not the way that a professional would do it, but I would probably run down it with an old tee shirt or whatever first, as it might give a better feel for how rough it is, and you'll have something to compare to after you sand a bit. Sometimes something that might snag a bit can be more discerning than your fingers.
 
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Old 02-22-16, 06:34 PM
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I did go ahead and sand. And honestly, everybody was pretty mush spot on here. it looks better for sure (hard to tell in my photos attached I know). and it would look even better with the veneer-like sides. but the "cost/benefit" in my head says this will be good enough for a mudroom. the pads did gum up as was stated and I did have a few spots (by the trim) where I must have lingered with the sander too long and it kind of bubbled up. so not sure how to blend those in without sanding the whole damn thing.

attached a photo of the Behr paint (+primer). it is in fact enamel. I did sand through the paint some...but not sure I really need to do a primer coat before repainting do I? I thought my cousin said he did and thought I saw a can of Kilz, but maybe I imagined. maybe because its one of the so called paint + primers.

so would upgrading to a better enamel help you think with final finish? do I need to prime between the old Behr and the better paint if I do go that route?

thanks all. wife will be happy/happier now
 
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Old 02-23-16, 04:57 AM
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I don't have much experience with that brand of paint but it doesn't have the greatest reputation. The biggest difference between the cheaper latex enamels and the better quality ones is how well they cover and how hard the dried film is. A big complaint with cheaper latex enamels is blocking - when heavy items are set on top of the dried paint for a period of time they will stick, sometimes pulling the paint loose when removed.

I doubt the brand of paint will make much difference in how smooth the finish is. If you aren't repainting the shelves and have enough paint on hand to finish I'd be inclined to use what you have.

Ideally any raw wood should be primed but minor areas like in your pic aren't critical. Can you feel a low spot where the paint is missing? If so, you should either sand the transition smooth and prime or use a filler over the bare area and then sand it. There is rarely a need to prime over existing paint prior to repainting, including when switching brands of paint.
 
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Old 02-23-16, 05:56 AM
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Thanks Mark. I will check those bare areas and see how low/noticeable and fill as appropriate
 
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Old 02-23-16, 07:43 AM
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We have some bookshelves and a built in desk around the corner that also need repainted, so I may upgrade the paint. There will be a lot of items set on all these so needs to be tough. So waterborne enamel can be had at sherwin Williams or Ben moore or any of those places I assume?

Thanks all! Have a good one
 
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Old 02-23-16, 08:09 AM
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While probably not at a big box paint dept, waterborne enamel is available at SWP and BM and should be available at most dedicated paint stores. It costs more but IMO it's worth the extra expense. It's comparable in hardness/wear to oil base enamels but dries quicker and whites won't yellow.
 
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Old 03-15-16, 04:34 AM
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I have known the Melamine paints to be self-leveling and at the same time create a durable, thick finish. I think that might work well with the kind of texture you're having with those storage. But yea, that may need several coats to hide the grain and they are not cheap. However, as far as I think you are more concerned about the looks and therefore I think it is a good option.
I had the same problem when I visited a local repair store at one occasion. And that was the solution given to me. I think that could work for you too. Hope it helps!
 
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