How to Paint MDF: Practical Guide to Make the Paint Correctly

MDF is a very used material for the production of handicrafts and is perfect for the elaboration of differentiated pieces for the decoration of your home, or even to give to someone dearly loved.

MDF (Medium Density Fiber) is a material made from crushed wood chips and compressed into sheets that look very much like wood.

These plates can be used in the construction industry, in the production of furniture, shelves, cabinets, niches and also for the production of handmade pieces, as we have already said.

You can find handicraft MDF pieces, already cut in different formats and models, in handyman shops or handicrafts. It is possible to assemble frames, decorative panels, jewelry boxes, vases and many other items from the MDF.

The pieces turned to the artisans are sold raw, that is, without any type of painting or decoration. As it resembles wood, it is a material that allows for various painting techniques and is precisely what we are going to teach in today's article.

Types of Paint for MDF Paint

How to Paint MDF: Practical Guide to Make the Paint Correctly

You will find a plethora of wood paints, MDF, particleboard and plywood in the paint shops and craft materials. Each of them has a specific function, an indication and require different techniques and equipment.

1. PVA, Acrylic, Automotive and Spray Paint

These are the most commonly used inks for this type of material. PVA inks are water based and can be found in an immense range of colors and sizes in specific craft store stores. If you want a glossy finish, use acrylic paint because the PVA has a matte finish.

2. Varnish

The water-based varnish is used to waterproof the part and is usually used in finishing, over the paint, after the last coat is dry. For those who want to keep the raw aspect of the piece, simply apply the colorless lacquer to the water base without applying paint.

3. Bitumen

Bitumen is a black colored substance that is widely used for aging techniques. When applied on a piece of wood or MDF it gives a rustic and aged look, in addition to protecting and prolonging the useful life of the object. You will also find the wax-like bitumen that can be applied over oil-based paints and water.

Materials needed to make the painting

How to paint MDF: practical guide to make the painting correctly 1

To paint MDF parts you will need:

  • Flat brushes of hard and soft bristles;
  • Wood sanding;
  • Old paper or newspaper to line and prevent dirt;
  • Foam roll;
  • Colorless shellac;
  • White paint for the base;
  • Paints and varnish of your choice;
  • Soft, dry cloth;
  • Rubber gloves;

How to Paint MDF: Step by Step Definitive

mdf pieces

  1. If you are going to work with pieces that have never been painted, they need to be sanded with fine sandpaper before receiving the paint. Use wood sanding paper number 300 or finer.
  2. Remove any dirt from the part using a soft dry cloth or vacuum cleaner.
  3. Parts that are ready for painting and do not need to be sanded should also be cleaned with a soft cloth, as they leave the store with dust accumulation that interferes with the paint.
  4. To prevent the piece from sucking too much paint you can apply a layer of colorless shellac with a flat brush. Expect to dry well.
  5. Prepare the ink as instructed by the manufacturer. If dilution is required, try to prepare the measurements correctly.
  6. If you do not want to use the shellac, paint the white piece to create the base and make the colored paint better.
  7. You can also apply a wood preparer bottom if you use oil paint or enamel, or wood sealer if you will use varnish. Sand and clean the part again.
  8. With the soft bristle brush apply the first coat of white paint. To finish, pass the foam ball over the paint bed to remove the bristle marks from the brush.
  9. Wait at least 3 hours to dry thoroughly and then apply the second coat. The number of ink hands will depend on the use of your part.
  10. Your piece is ready to receive other coloring or decoration techniques such as decoupage or fabric lining.
  11. If the part is only painted, apply a layer of clear lacquer to give a better finish and increase the durability of your work.

Painting Tips on MDF

How to Paint MDF

Although MDF is an easy-to-work product, we do not always know how to paint it properly so the part is smooth and flawless. Check out the tips:

  1. This is a more moisture resistant material than other types of particleboard, but it absorbs a lot of paint in the first coat, so it is recommended that you first paint with white paint to create the base and then pass the final color of the part.
  2. Some MDF pieces are already ready for painting and do not need to be sanded and treated. If you prefer to purchase parts like this, just ask at the time of purchase.
  3. The foam roll and brush should be washed after each application of paint or varnish to increase its durability.
  4. When purchasing MDF parts, always check that they are free from defects or defects.
  5. Buy quality materials and paints so that your craft work has a good result when finalized.
  6. Dark paints require more coats according to the finish you want to give.

We hope that today's article has raised your main doubts about how to make MDF paintings and that you now feel able to work with such cool material in your craft creations. And as extra content, check out the Dyicore channel video with additional tips:

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