Painting MDF - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Painting MDF

This article:

recommends against water-based primers for MDF. That means no latex, right? Pretty sure I've used SW latex primer on MDF before, without problems, though. Anybody have any experience/recommendations on this? Also recommends sealing edges with drywall compound. Thoughts?

Finally, should I lightly sand the MDF before priming?

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post #2 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 02:10 PM
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I can't open the link with my internet. I've used latex primer on MDF many times without any problem. I do a little light sanding on the face of MDF though. Sometimes the chemical in the MDF can have an adverse reaction with any finish. Before I started sanding it I've had clear lacquer that wouldn't dry using it on MDF.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-20-2013, 01:41 AM
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never tried drywall

I have never heard any complaints from anyone regarding the use of latex primer on MDF. The usage of drywall products on the edges is something i have never heard off. worth giving a try though.. i guess...
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-20-2013, 06:44 AM
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I don't entirely agree with the article. A non waterbase primer should be used, but as a prep, 320x would be better to use than 150x. Edgebanding can be quicker and smoother than using drywall mud. As for any seams, once painted, they get covered.

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-20-2013, 09:58 AM
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Finer sanding may not allow enough texture for adhesion. I don't sand any of the furniture I build past 180 as the farther I go past there, the worse it stains up. That said, I have to admit I've never had a problem painting MDF, even though I didn't mud the edge or do any face sanding.

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post #6 of 11 Old 08-20-2013, 05:49 PM
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Well, in the last few years, I have found that it is easier to ..

seal, and sand MDF. I normally don't go beyond 150-180 and a thin de-waxed shellac before sanding. The shellac kinda acts as a sealer and helps the sanding. Then I've used latex over the surface after getting rid of dust. I do the edges too. I like the finish, maybe it is an over kill.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-20-2013, 07:39 PM
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I don't think I'd use drywall mud on MDF. Talk about water!!
I've used latex base primer, oil base primer and BIN (shellac) to prime MDF and they all seem to work about the same. The edges and any machined surface will be a little rough after priming. I hit them with a 180 grit sanding sponge (dry) to knock that down and the top coat is usually fine.


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post #8 of 11 Old 08-21-2013, 08:42 AM
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I've painted many a MDF cabinets and I always sand to 150 and seal the edges and nail holes with bondo. I've never used water bourne on them though.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-21-2013, 08:53 AM
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The water based finish isn't going to affect MDF that much. You could leave a sheet of it out in the rain once and still be able to use it. It would just fuzz it up a little. I used to work for a company that routinely bought MDF that had gotten wet. We just called it fuzzyboard. It was usually covered with plastic laminate so the fuzz wasn't too bad.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-21-2013, 01:40 PM
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Last edited by mikeshawjr; 08-21-2013 at 01:42 PM. Reason: double post
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post #11 of 11 Old 08-21-2013, 01:40 PM
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Drywall mud works great for mdf I only use it on the edges and screw/nail holes. Light sand to smooth out and prime and paint. I have used latex without problems
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