Built these for a friend's daughter as a birthday surprise. The cubby shelves are made from MDF and provide storage and organization space. The desk is made from plywood and a laminate top. The desk uses collapsible shelf brackets so it can be dropped down when not in use.
Thanks. I applied Zinsser 123 stain block / primer to the MDF with a foam roller and once dry, lightly sanded before painting. I then used a general purpose paint (Rustloeum Painters Touch) in gloss. For small projects I've had good success applying paint on MDF projects with a foam roller. For big projects I use an HLVP sprayer, it cuts my painting time in half and provides a crystal clear finish without brush or roller marks. With my particular HVLP sprayer I have to slightly thin latex paint but many of the newer sprayers can spray without thinning.
For projects that have a lot of hand contact, I apply a couple thin coats of clear coat (Polycrylic) for additional protection. I really like using an HVLP sprayer to apply Polycrylic because it's super easy to spray and cleanup. I've used the same technique when applying a protective clear coat to kitchen cabinets after painting them and they're held up really well.
Good luck on your projects.