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post #1 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Wainscot Material

Hi Again.

Just a quick question on wainscot material.
Since I'll be painting the wainscot white, will mdf work for this (will the edges hold a shape when routed?).
Seems a shame to use expensive wood if it's just going to be painted anyway.

Thanks!

-Ric
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 10:43 AM
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MDF would be OK for that use and would hold an edge. As long as the edge doesn't taper off too thin, which would make it fragile.






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post #3 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Great, that's what I was hoping to hear.
Thanks!
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 11:13 AM
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I would not use MDF for ANY project that I cared about. Especially one I would hope would look as good and last as long as wainscoat. If it ever gets a significant bump or gouged it will be the devil to repair. It is not forgiving of damage.

A couple of years ago I made wainscoating for my dining room. I do not remember just what wood I wound up using, clear pine, fir or whatever I found that was the best. The top chair rail was shaped and you could not do that with MDF. I also used quarter round and plywood. In all I used over 120 seperate pieces of wood.

George
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
I would not use MDF for ANY project that I cared about. Especially one I would hope would look as good and last as long as wainscoat. If it ever gets a significant bump or gouged it will be the devil to repair. It is not forgiving of damage.

A couple of years ago I made wainscoating for my dining room. I do not remember just what wood I wound up using, clear pine, fir or whatever I found that was the best. The top chair rail was shaped and you could not do that with MDF. I also used quarter round and plywood. In all I used over 120 seperate pieces of wood.

George

George, I'm sorry you feel that way. The last thing I would want is for you to think I would use shoddy materials. Being a composite you might think that MDF is pure junk. But in reality, IMO, it is the perfect material for painted mouldings and wainscoting, and I'll tell ya why.

*It's consistent in density with no voids.
*There is no knots.
*There is no grain.
*It's harder than pine or poplar which lessens its ability to be damaged.
*It's easy to repair as fill adheres well and can be touched up.
*There is no movement issues.
*It's consistent in thickness.
*It requires no surface prep in sheet form.
*It cuts and shapes easily and can accept most any profile.
*It glues well to other substrates and to itself.
*It's easier to store (versus lumber) when intended to be cut up for moulding.

For now those are a few reasons I use it. Care has to be taken in handling and fastening.






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post #6 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 12:07 PM
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Hey don't you watch HGTV it's used for everyhing on there.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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The old purists will never accept anything besides wood.
Saying that, I have to admit to being an old purist. "If" I use MDF on this upcoming project, it will be a first for me.

HGTV . . . <cough>
They only care about how it looks when it's first completed. They DON'T care about how it's going to look 15 or 20 years from now.
I admit to having my doubts about it's ability to stand up to long term wear & tear.

It does have it's advantages over wood, and similarly, wood has areas where it excels. It's really a matter of weighing your requirements, and making a judgment call.

So far, I'm still surveying the options, which is why I asked this question to begin with. :)
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 01:29 PM
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Cabinetman, I do not think you use shoddy materials. I certainly think that MDF has its place. It is great for speaker cabinets and I am sure has other uses as well.

I once used an MDF type of material for wainscotting in one of my kitchen renovations. I will never do that again. It was subject to damage and I do not know how to repair damage of those type of materials. In our last kitchen renovation I ripped all of that out and replaced it with solid wood. Well, not entirely solid as the field was plywood.

I really do not even like plywood. I try to stay away from it as much as possible. At times this gives me trouble. I also like oak. As most people know, when you build table and desk tops out of solid there is a very real risk of splitting over time. This is something that I have learned to work with.

Different people like different materials. I just have little use of what I think of as wood substitutes. If you are used to working with and like that type of material I am sure it is good for easy work and speed of work.

George

Last edited by GeorgeC; 07-30-2009 at 02:00 PM.
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