Author Topic: Paiting wood-look MDF  (Read 1958 times)

TabbyCat

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Paiting wood-look MDF
« on: April 05, 2016, 11:00:03 AM »
Wondering if anyone has painted wood-look MDF (medium density fiberboard) before? All the searches I've done just give advice on painting MDF that hasn't been finished before. Not sure if it needs to be sanded down or just cleaned before base coat. We'll be painting the baseboard and door trim in our new place, hoping to improve the look without replacement cost.

Drifterrider

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Re: Paiting wood-look MDF
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 11:06:59 AM »
If the trim is clean, a coat of Kilz primer will stick to almost anything. 

Le Poisson

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Re: Paiting wood-look MDF
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 12:08:57 PM »
Wondering if anyone has painted wood-look MDF (medium density fiberboard) before? All the searches I've done just give advice on painting MDF that hasn't been finished before. Not sure if it needs to be sanded down or just cleaned before base coat. We'll be painting the baseboard and door trim in our new place, hoping to improve the look without replacement cost.

If this is home Depot style mouldings, then it will have come pre-primed. Its white, right?

If that is the case, any paint will work fine, and you can just brush it on. When selling, I prefer to use a high gloss exterior white paint. I know this isn't what that paint was intended for, but it makes the trim "pop" beautifully and hides really well - just be sure to fill nail holes etc.

If the trim has been previously painted, you need to test whether the previous paint was oil or water based. I am going to guess water based since MDF didn't come into vogue for baseboard until recently. Once you know what type of paint was originally used, buy the same type to paint over it (latex), or use a coat of primer, then paint (Alkyd - oil). Again, I like high gloss exterior paint for this.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 12:10:57 PM by Prospector »

TabbyCat

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Re: Paiting wood-look MDF
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 07:07:48 PM »
Thanks! I think we'll clean it and just try primer. It isn't white right now, it looks sort of like wood, but in a cheap and unconvincing way so we want to try white instead. I just wasn't sure how to approach it since it isn't solid wood so sanding or treating it in some way seemed like it cloud just bust it up.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Paiting wood-look MDF
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 09:46:49 PM »
Is it just a wood grain veneer on the MDF?

Le Poisson

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Re: Paiting wood-look MDF
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2016, 05:12:45 AM »
Maybe post a pic? zolo is hinting at the plastic-covered stuff, which I don't know if you can paint. I've never had it in my house. It could also have been painted with stain, and then had a bristle brush run over it when it was nearly dry to create the grain.

andy85

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Re: Paiting wood-look MDF
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2016, 08:32:56 AM »
MDF is very porous and will suck up some paint. I'd put a coat or 2 of primer down first (depending on how well it covers). Then hit it lightly with some 220 to knock it down. Then at least 2 coats of paint. If you are going to put a clear coat on it then i would hit it with some 320 grit if you want a smooth finish before you clear it. (could also hit it with 320 between the coats of paint). If i were painting it by hand, that is how i'd do it.

I've only painted mdf for looks once, but we sprayed it...came out freakin great though.

edit: just saw it was for baseboards. In that case i'd skip the clear coat and probably all of the sanding (unless you have some dust on it after you prime it). I'd sill do 1 coat of primer and 1-2 coats of paint (or 2 coats of paint only). It is some seriously porous wood.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 08:35:56 AM by andy85 »