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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am making a shelf for a friend out of MDF. From experience I know the edges are a bit rough even after painting and I just want to finish it better. Has anyone found any type of edge banding appropriate for MDF?
 

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Old School
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I am making a shelf for a friend out of MDF. From experience I know the edges are a bit rough even after painting and I just want to finish it better. Has anyone found any type of edge banding appropriate for MDF?
You could use a high pressure laminate (Formica), applied with contact cement. Or, you could use one of many types of wood/PVC iron on edging (preglued). Or, you could use solid wood.

You could just apply glue, let dry, and sand flat.






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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm thinking solid wood is best for protecting the edge. Thanks for the ideas.
 

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I vote solid wood. For quick storage shelves I have a slot cutter and a long roll of t-molding. Comes in a few colors and is quick. Not for resale or posting as fine woodworking though.
 

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There is a paper edgebanding that will make the edges as easy to finish as the face of it. With sufficient primer or sealer one can finish the edges without it but it's easier to just stick a piece of screen molding on the edge and looks nicer too.
 

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I did solid wood once on mdf and I like it. Just remember to pre-glue the edge of mdf before. It sucks the glue very aggressively.
 

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I'm assuming it's a paint project. I just use a good quality bonding primer like Glidden Gripper or Zinserr 123 and hit it with 180 grit before top coating. Glidden works a little better as it seems to have a thicker body.:smile:
 

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I vote solid wood. I made a laundry room shelf spanning over two front loading machines and all the way back. The size of it made me worry about sagging. I applied a 1/2" piece of poplar around the front using glue and brad nails. I don't see any sagging and it looks better than what MDF would look like painted.
 

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I used sheetrock mud on the shelf I built out of mdf worked really well. Press into edges good then after its dry sand a little and paint.
 

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Cut a V out of the edge of the shelf, make edging out of solid wood cut on a 45° to fit into the V on the shelf edge. Make the edge wood wider than 3/4 inch so it can be sanded flush with the top and bottom.
 

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By the way, MDF is probably the worst material for shelves if they span more than a foot or so. Only plastic is worse in my experience. Plywood would be better, but almost any solid wood would be the best.
 

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By the way, MDF is probably the worst material for shelves if they span more than a foot or so. Only plastic is worse in my experience. Plywood would be better, but almost any solid wood would be the best.

I have a 3 foot wide by 18 inches thick 5/8 mdf shelf only supported on the two ends been built for 2 years and has absolutely 0 sag with pictures and vases on it so I have to disagree with you on this.
 
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