I’ve been asked this question about a thousand times so I thought a special post was in order!
Why did I build half the closet out of MDF and the other half out of Plywood?
First, MDF is my first choice of material for painted cabinets. It’s smooth and straight and doesn’t warp (unless you get it wet) and paints beautifully. But, IT IS STINKIN’ HEAVY! I had to lift and carry all the pieces of MDF and then after I built the cabinets, I had to lift the cabinet up to stand it on end. That was too much. So, after building the first half of my closet, my back MADE me make a change. :-)
(The reason I didn’t switch after just a few cabinets is because I cut the pieces for ALL the cabinets on the first side at one time before I started building.)
The plywood I chose, I would not recommend and will never use for any nice cabinets again. Workshop, fine. House, no! It was cheap and smooth on one side so I got it but some of the sheets were warped which I didn’t realize until after I had them home and was cutting them so I just pushed forward but it was a pain!
It’s Sanded Plywood…which is Pine…which is soft. It’s got a smooth knot free veneer on one side and the other side is knotty and rough which didn’t matter in this situation as none of the outsides are visible in the end.
Plywood is MUCH lighter than MDF so it’s a good choice for LARGE cabinets. I usually choose a cabinet grade plywood like Birch which has a nice, hard, smooth veneer on both sides. Birch Plywood is about $45 per sheet so it’s esssspensive! Which is why I went with the Sanded Ply!
So that’s why I switched from MDF to Plywood halfway through the closet. And, if you didn’t see all my status update photos, you would be none the wiser!