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Thread: Painting MDF

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Mobile, AL
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    46

    Painting MDF

    Okay I need PRO help. I'm building some custom drawers for my wife's sewing patterns, I say custom because they're sized for the pattern envelopes. Anyway, the drawer fronts are 3/4" MDF with a 1/2" roman ogee edge and are going to be painted. I know I can't just paint the MDF cause the edges will just soak up all the paint then swell like a sponge. What can I use to seal the edges before painting? I read somewhere that you can seal the edges with drywall mud, but I question that since the mud is water based. Any advice would be helpful.



    Thanks, Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    10,600
    I've never heard of that method before, I would think that a product like Kilz, or Bin Sealer would work just fine.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Michigan, Usa
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    9

    mdf

    Bill I have heard of finishing with drywall mud but i gave it a try a while back and found it to be a pain in the butt. I believe I ended up sanding down to 220 grit and sealing first with an oil base primer then painting and it worked out great. Also recently a friend of mine told me he used an automotive primer i beleive a spray can and he said he had good results sealing with that after sanding of course.

  4. #4
    Bill,
    It's not that the edges will swell so much as it is the amount of finish it soaks up and sill leaves a rough finish. I know many like to use spackle on the edges. It's cheap, easy to sand and fills in the voids.
    Myself, I like shellac (as Bob suggested) because it makes the edge harder when it wicks in. I mop it on the edge, then when dry (shellac dries fast) hit it with fine sand paper. If the finish is high gloss, I'll hit it again just to make sure.

    FWIW, Wes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Remlap,Al
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    87
    sand mdf to 320, oil primer, 220, oil primer, 220, paint of your choice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    Doug's got it.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    5,987
    Another option is glue sizing. Mix white or yellow glue about 1/1 with water, brush it on, let it cure, then sand. Repeat, if necessary until smooth.

    Personally, I use shellac. Spray on a good layer, let it dry completely, then sand and repeat until smooth. I used this method on a project, then topped with a pigmented lacquer and it looked great.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Mobile, AL
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    46
    Quote Originally Posted by doug frazier View Post
    sand mdf to 320, oil primer, 220, oil primer, 220, paint of your choice.
    That worked like a dream Doug, thanks. Picked up a spray gun from HF for around 20. Thinned down some oil base primer and went to spraying, wow what a nice finish. Pics will be posted a soon as projects are complete.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lincoln AR
    Posts
    142
    your local auto part store that mixes paint carries a high solid primer. I spray a few coats of that then a light sand. We used it on cars to fill sanding scratches. A few coats of that and you can sand it smooth as a babies butt.. I like to spray a little sealer on before paint so the primer does drink up the paint. If you getting by with what your doing stay with it.

    Bill

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