How to cut mdf panels at home

Paint application

This stage is actually very simple. First you need to prepare the paint and varnish material according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Then you need to take a spray gun and set it up so that it sprays the material into small areas. So you can save paint, and the coloring itself will be of better quality.

panels, home

You should start painting MDF furniture and other products from the most problematic areas, such as cracks or damage. It is advisable to paint in several layers, letting each of them dry thoroughly.

Can MDF be painted?

To answer this question, you need to understand why this might be required at all. The material itself has a medium or low density and over time, for many reasons, various defects can appear on the surface, such as scratches, fading in the sun, and gloss is lost. All this spoils the appearance of the product. And then the owner thinks about how to fix the situation and at the same time not completely change the MDF.

There are a number of reasons why MDF painting is required at home:

Any mechanical damage. Any MDF products have a thin layer of laminated paper, which can burst from impact, exposing the core of the product;

Burnout color. In conditions when the sun’s rays constantly fall on the surface of MDF, it burns out. In addition, the surface loses its glossy shine, appearance;

Jumps in degrees also negatively affect MDF. This is a material that consists of wood fractions, and wood is known to absorb moisture well. Therefore, a product made of MDF can deform and swell. Conversely, with dry air, MDF dries and cracks. The adhesive in the composition of the material at high humidity loses its properties, which leads to the detachment of paper, shavings.

If you encounter such problems, you can fix it yourself. To paint MDF correctly, you need to carry out a number of preparatory work. In addition, you should have the following devices:

  • it is best to use a spray gun to apply a primer and paint to furniture facades;
  • brushes with a soft but elastic bristle will also do the job perfectly. Especially if there is MDF milling;
  • for products without milling, a roller is suitable.

How can MDF be painted?

Before painting an MDF facade at home, you need to choose the right materials for these purposes. It is worth remembering that painting should be carried out at approximately 20C and air humidity of 50-80%. All paints are not suitable for these works, because MDF is, in fact, wood, and therefore the paint should be designed specifically for this material. This includes:

water-based formulations (water-based). Often used for significant amounts of work;

compositions based on alkyd enamels. The coating turns out to be resistant to scuffs, but at the same time it can easily fade in the sun;

silicone materials. They are water-repellent and can withstand high temperatures;

polyvinyl acetate materials. suitable only when the product is not subject to heavy loads or damage;

oil-based formulations. have moisture resistance;

acrylic-silicone compounds. They withstand damage and also prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms;

special paint for MDF facades;

also many people prefer powder coating. it is more durable and the coating is smoother.

Any paint for furniture facades and other MDF products should be of high quality and as harmless to humans and the environment as possible. So you can be sure that the product will serve you for a long time and retain its original appearance.

All this is applied with a spray gun, but if it is not there, brushes will do. However, with a spray gun, the coating is more uniform and even.

MDF primer for painting

MDF painting technology includes several stages. And the first one is the primer. But before carrying out it, it is necessary to prepare the surface, grind, remove sharp edges and degrease the surface. If there are any cracks, they need to be putty. After the material has dried, the surface must be sanded again.

How to prime MDF before painting? The priming is carried out in several stages. The first is a primer-insulator, which is sprayed from a spray gun at a rate of 100 grams per m2. But this applies to non-laminated products. Otherwise, this step can be skipped.

This step is necessary so that the paint or varnish does not absorb and sag over time. The primer, as it were, fills in all the small irregularities and depressions. After it dries, the coating needs to be sanded again.

The second layer is a white polyurethane primer. Consumption. 150 grams per m2. At the same time, it dries for a long time. about 24 hours.

All this is done with a spray gun, but if it is not there, you can take a brush. The first layer is done along, and the second. across the first.

How and what to paint MDF at home?

Today, a material such as MDF has a very wide application. It is a material from finely dispersed fractions. The production technology is very simple: medium-density wood particles are pressed under enormous pressure.

Various furniture is made from MDF, as well as interior doors, wall panels, laminate. And if you have such products in your house, you can repaint their surface with your own hands.

From this article, you will learn from A to Z about how to prime MDF, how to paint MDF and what paints and varnishes are suitable for these purposes. And also about how to properly prepare surfaces for painting. this is the most important step that must not be skipped.


The last step is varnishing the wood. Here you need to adhere to the following recommendations:

the varnish is prepared taking into account the requirements of the manufacturer;

varnish should be started from the ends and milling points;

the first layer of varnish should dry well, and then it is treated with 1200 sandpaper;

dust must be carefully removed with compressed air from the compressor;

the second layer is applied;

some products must have a varnish layer of 0.5 mm, and therefore up to 4 layers may be required;

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after that, the final grinding is carried out with sandpaper 1500, 2000, 3000;

you need to polish the surfaces with a special polishing machine and a special paste.

As you can see, painting MDF panels with your own hands is not such a difficult task. The main thing. carry out all the steps sequentially, do not skip anything and use only high quality materials. And then your furniture, doors, laminate will sparkle with new colors, transform, and the room will look in a new way.

We will tell you how to paint MDF correctly: kitchen facades, panels and other products. detailed instructions

Briefly about the material

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is a board material made by mixing small wood fibers and synthetic binders, followed by pressing at high temperatures. The sheet material has a smooth surface and high density, has no external defects and internal voids. MDF boards are characterized by stable thickness, adhere well, milled and hold fasteners. Flame retardant material, non-mildew, moisture resistant.

MDF. the next stage in the development of sheet composite materials after particle board (left)

Despite their semi-synthetic nature, MDF panels are completely safe. As a binder, modified urea resins are used, due to which the emission of formaldehyde here slightly exceeds the emission of natural wood. For 55 years of mass production of MDF, there are no questions left regarding its safety.

Polyurethane and polyester primer. what is the difference?

Filling primers for MDF are of two types: polyurethane (PU) and polyester (PE). Each of them has its own characteristics and is reassigned for specific painting conditions. Like sealants, PU and PE fillers come in three separate components: base, hardener and thinner. If necessary, tinted in any color.

The main difference between PU and PE soils is in the percentage of dry residue, that is, those solids that remain on the surface after evaporation of the solvent.

✓ Polyester fillers have a higher solids content. After evaporation of volatile components, up to 90% of the initial volume of the applied substance remains on the painted surface. the substrate is thicker and does not repeat the surface irregularities. The PE primer is applied in two layers, without intermediate sanding at intervals of 40 minutes. The filler is recommended primarily for glossy coatings that place high demands on the quality of the substrate. Pot life of the mixture is about 40 minutes. Are more expensive.

✓ The dry residue of polyurethane soils is on average 45-50%. This means that after drying, the filler layer shrinks by about half. PU soils can exhibit surface curvature. over, their shrinkage often continues after applying the enamel, because of which the result of painting may change over time.

Enamel on a stable backing (left) and paint on a filler that continues to shrink (right)

Polyurethane filler is used mainly for matte finishing, applied in two layers “wet on wet” (without waiting for the first layer to completely dry and, accordingly, without intermediate sanding). The interval between coats is 40 minutes. It is more convenient to work with PU soils due to the incomparably longer pot life of the mixture. 180-240 minutes. Are cheaper.

How to apply filling primer: spray gun, brush, dipping.

Layer 2. Application of filling primer

Filling primer is the second layer in the structure of the paintwork on MDF. Its task is to smooth out all the unevenness of the plate and create conditions for high-quality application of enamel, so that the paint lays tenaciously, evenly, does not change color during the drying process.

Sanding MDF for painting

Before applying the first layer, MDF finishes are carefully sanded. This is done even if the surface of the slab is perfectly flat.

✓ Material without visible surface defects is ground in one pass with an abrasive of grain size P180.

✓ Slabs that have scratches or dents are processed in two steps. First, deep sanding with P150 grit. The second pass. with abrasive P180.

Abrasive grit sizes are specified in accordance with ISO 6344 (FEPA). You can choose analogs according to GOST or CAMI standard in this table.

How to grind a part correctly:

  • The process begins with careful processing of all edges.
  • When the end surfaces are rubbed, the part is ground along the face.
  • Next, all milled grooves are ground. It’s better not to mess around here. The density of the open inner layers of MDF is lower than that of the “baked” surface. As a result, the pile rises more strongly in the milled areas. It is not particularly noticeable to the eye, but may show itself after finishing.
  • Finally, all sharp edges are removed on the part to be ground. Rounding the edges reduces the likelihood of chipping and also prevents the formation of defects in the paintwork.

Sharp edges increase the surface tension of the paint material as it shrinks, which often results in defects in untreated corners.

At all intermediate stages, the part is thoroughly dedusted.

For work, it is better to use silicon carbide abrasives. Their sharp grains and the ability to “self-sharpen” provide a fairly aggressive sanding, which is perfect for the hard surface of MDF.

When grinding the milled grooves of kitchen and furniture facades, grinding pads, which are easy to make with your own hands, will become indispensable helpers. Here we have collected different options for these useful devices that provide high-quality grinding of the most difficult places.

Common problems when painting MDF and their causes

✓ Strong change in shade after mixing the enamel
Possible cause: overflow of one of the components of the composition, most likely a diluent.

✓Local peeling of dried enamel
Possible reasons: painting in two thin coats (less than 80 microns each), instead of applying one thick one (120-150 microns). Another reason is work at extremely low temperatures.

✓ Formation of paint smudges
Possible causes: Overflow of thinner; incorrect spray gun settings.

✓Crater formation (fish eye effect)
Possible cause: poorly prepared and grease-free substrate.

✓ Cracking or increased chipping of dried enamel
Possible cause: underfilling of hardener.

Why primer MDF?

The role of isolating primers is often underestimated, and this layer usually raises many questions. Some even refuse to use it in order to reduce the cost of painting technology. This is wrong and here’s why.

✓ The insulating primer provides the required adhesion when applying subsequent layers of paintwork materials. For MDF, this is very important, since not a single paintwork material normally falls on a composite surface, which also contains a considerable proportion of paraffin. Without a primer, local enamel detachment is possible.

✓ A high-quality insulator does not just form a thin film, but penetrates into the structure of the material. Thus, an impregnation is created over the entire MDF layer, which serves as a moisture-resistant barrier between the hygroscopic board and the paintwork layers.

✓ With an isolate, the problem of wood pile is finally solved: everything that has risen after the ground hardens and is sanded.

✓ The insulating compound reduces the absorbency of the substrate. So the consumption of subsequent layers becomes more economical, and their shrinkage is more stable. All this affects the quality of the final coating.

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✓ With an insulating layer, paintwork materials equally evenly fall on the face, edges and milled grooves. This is very important, for example, for kitchen or furniture fronts, where all these parts remain in plain sight.

✓ The insulating compound does not perform a leveling function, but thanks to it, the next layer, the filling soil, copes with this task better. Achieving high gloss without using a primer is almost impossible.

Layer 1. Application of an insulating primer

Insulating material is the first layer used for finishing products from panel materials. Paintable MDF primer is also sometimes called adhesive primer or filler.

Insulants for MDF come in the form of three components: a hardener, a solvent and the primer itself. They are kneaded immediately before application in the proportion indicated by the manufacturer. Viability of the mixture on average. up to 3 hours.

How to apply?
The best effect. with a uniform application of the material and its minimum consumption. is provided by the spray gun. It is the gold standard for all layers of paintwork on MDF. At home, a good synthetic brush or short-haired roller can be an alternative to a spray gun. But there is no need to harbor illusions. the quality of the final coating in this case will be incomparably lower.

Application process
First, the edges and milled surfaces of the part are processed. they are much more absorbent. Then the soil is applied to the layer. Finally, cover all edges and milled grooves again. The primer is applied in a thin layer at a rate of 70-90 g / m 2. precise figures on this matter are given by the paintwork manufacturer.

A distinctive feature of all primers is their fast drying. Already after 15-20 minutes, the layer of insulating material is gaining sufficient strength so that the parts can be stacked. However, it is best to wait at least 60 minutes before sanding.

A very important stage in the technological cycle of painting MDF. Sanding removes the pile that has risen from the soil and hardened when it dries. In this case, the surface itself becomes dull, which improves adhesion when applying subsequent layers. Sanding the insulating material is carried out with grain P180 and continue until the part becomes evenly matte.

How to paint MDF panels at home. DIY installation instructions, photo

Coloring of MDF products is made in two cases. The first is when a protective coating is required, the second is for decoration purposes. In this case, various paints and varnishes can be used. About how to paint MDF and will be discussed below.

Polyurethane primer

Thinking about what you can paint MDF panels with, you first need to take care of the priming of the products. It will prevent the absorption of paint into the material, thereby reducing its consumption.

In this case, a special water-based polyurethane primer is required. It will hide the texture of the material and create a layer with high hardness and adhesion. In addition, the resulting coating will be smooth and easy to sand.

The best way to apply this primer is by spray. In its absence, it is possible to use a roller or brush. Subsequent drying takes 8-10 hours and is carried out at room temperature.

Advice! To achieve the best result, this procedure should be carried out in full accordance with the prescriptions that are established by the instructions for use of this composition.

Benefits of staining MDF

Currently, this material is actively used in the creation of furniture, interior doors, as well as finishing panels. And all of them are subject to painting, which acts as a decorative and finishing coating.

Its use gives the following advantages:

  • The painted MDF element is not afraid of high temperatures. this makes it possible to use it in the kitchen, where hot dishes will be placed on it;
  • Decorating in non-standard colors will help add brightness and originality to the interior of the room. it can be “metallic”, “mother of pearl” or other unusual colors;
  • The absence of chemical compounds harmful to health is an undoubted advantage for painting MDF at home. the only condition for this is the use of high-quality paints and varnishes;
  • Durability. application of paint can significantly extend the life of the product.

Of course, this method of surface protection also has disadvantages. They consist in the fact that the price of painting parts significantly exceeds the cost of pasting such products with decorative film. In addition, the painted surface may fade when exposed to sunlight.

MDF varnish

In the photo. polyurethane varnish

This specialized varnish is used for finishing MDF items or for tinting them. It forms a smooth coating that is resistant to both mechanical and chemical influences. The resulting surface can be either matte or glossy.

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The specified varnish is odorless and two-component. This means that to prepare the working composition, you need to add a hardener to it.

After that, the mixture must be consumed within two to three hours. It can be applied by hand using a spray bottle.

Polyurethane enamel on MDF

Compared with other paints and varnishes, it has the following advantages:

  • the coating obtained with its help is wear-resistant and chemically resistant;
  • has no smell, since it does not contain volatile components;
  • can be used to paint components for both indoor and outdoor use.

It is produced by various manufacturers. Products of the Italian brands Sirka and Sivam are in great demand. Their popularity among polyurethane materials for MDF is akin to that of Zinga conductive paint, in a number of compounds for anti-corrosion metal treatment.

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This polyurethane paint is available in two or one component. The first type before use requires the addition of a hardener to it.

The second variety does not need such an additive and is available in a ready-to-use form. Both types are applied by spray, roller or brush.

These coloring compositions are sold, as well as fire retardant paints for metal Polistil, in special metal buckets. Their weight can be from 1 to 25 kilograms.

Along with the aforementioned Sirk and Sivam brands, other brands such as Tikkurila and Teknos are also successful. But they are all expensive enough.

Therefore, if necessary, instead of them, you can use paints and varnishes from other, less well-known manufacturers. Or use cheaper alkyd enamels instead of polyurethane.

You should also pay attention to acrylic and oil paints. In particular, when deciding how to paint an MDF arch, you can take a closer look at domestic acrylic compositions.

Advice! Choose moisture resistant dyes. The product covered with them can be easily washed in the future, which is very convenient.

How to paint MDF panels at home. DIY installation instructions, photo

Home »How to paint MDF panels at home. DIY installation instructions, photo

Materials for painting MDF

These include:

  • polyurethane primer,
  • polyurethane paint,
  • and also varnish for MDF.
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Let’s talk about them in more detail.


Can MDF be painted with a brush and roller? Yes, but this should be done very carefully. There is a high probability that streaks and streaks will remain on the surface. Therefore, it is best to use a spray gun.

The technology itself resembles priming. The paint is applied in several layers, each of which is pre-dried. It is important to achieve an excellent result, so the mixture is sprayed from the milled areas to the edges, and then passed along and diagonally. It is much more convenient to paint smooth panels.

To paint MDF, you can use brushes and a roller, but to obtain an even layer, it is better to use a spray gun.

On a note! In order to understand in more detail the drying time of the solution and its amount, it is necessary to carefully study the manufacturer’s instructions. And also select the desired operating mode for the sprayer.

How to paint mdf panels at home

MDF panels are a building material intended for finishing rooms, cladding facades of cabinet furniture or walls; it is produced from wood chips of low or medium thickness. These parts are considered an environmentally friendly finishing element, since synthetic adhesives are not used in their manufacture, but natural wood resin is used, which reliably fixes all layers of the product and forms a single whole. MDF panels have medium and low density, depending on the number of layers and the composition of the wood. Over time, during the operation of these parts, their surface can get scratches, the coating loses its gloss or has defects, as a result, the integrity of the entire panel is violated, and the appearance of the entire finish becomes unsightly. In this case, any owner is faced with the question: how to update the facade of the panel without changing them completely?

MDF panels on the wall

This article discusses the question of the possibility of painting products such as MDF wall panels, whether it is possible to paint MDF, as well as the process of carrying out such work at home.


You can paint MDF panels by any method. Drying completes any finishing process. It is carried out in compliance with certain conditions:

  • ambient air temperature no more than 50 ° C;
  • relative humidity less than 80%.

The duration of the final stage depends on the environmental conditions. It can be from 5 hours to a day. Painted MDF board will dry faster at lower temperatures and air humidity.

Regardless of what can be used to paint the wall panels, adherence to the steps, conditions of the technological process will allow you to get a rich color, an even surface, save time and costs. It is better to automate all work using special paint and varnish equipment.

Why do it?

Many people ask the question: is it possible to paint MDF at home, and why is it necessary? The answer to the first part of the question is yes. Indeed, you can paint the panels with your own hands. But right away it is worth making a reservation: if there is no spray booth at hand, then the result is not always perfect. And the staining procedure is necessary for the following reasons:

  • The painted elements become more resistant to high temperatures and humidity. Therefore, they are allowed to be used in the kitchen and bathroom, where they can fulfill different roles.
  • By decorating, it is possible to diversify the dull interior, refresh the look of the room. The shade is chosen based on design ideas.
  • Painting MDF panels is also needed in order to extend their service life.

Painting MDF allows you not only to diversify a boring interior, but also to extend the life of the product.

Of course, this option also has some disadvantages. For example, this procedure is sometimes much more expensive than using decorative films. In addition, the surface is prone to fading.

Dyeing technology

The process of painting MDF with colored polyurethane enamels includes several stages:

  • grinding;
  • primer;
  • directly painting;
  • drying.


Wall panels can be painted with a brush, roller or spray gun. The room temperature should be about 20 ° С, the air humidity should be in the range of 50-80%. Can be painted with matte or glossy enamel. But first you need to prepare the working compositions. For matte enamel, take:

  • 100 parts by weight of enamel;
  • 50 parts by weight of hardener;
  • 30 parts by weight of thinner.

For glossy enamel, 70 parts of the hardener are taken. The rest of the components are in the same quantity. For gloss, always use a slow thinner to ensure good flow.

Painting MDF panels should be done in a relatively spacious room if they are internal structures (for example, facades or wall elements). The house from the outside should be finished during the warm season. The enamel consumption should be approximately 150g / m2. Medium Density Fiberboard or MDF dries completely in 24 hours.

To obtain a gloss, polish should be done after 3 days. By this time, all polymerization processes will be completed. With the help of special additives on the surface of the product, you can create the effects of mother-of-pearl, metallic, corrugated waves.


For flat products, use LBR30 universal white polyurethane primer. a large amount of resin in it gives a minimal tendency to shrinkage. Suitable for matte and glossy finishes. For the latter, where every defect is visible on the surface, the preparation requirements are an order of magnitude higher. The best result is obtained by using polyester primers.

Before painting the panels, you need to prepare them carefully. Make a working mixture initially. For this you need to take:

  • LBR 30 soil. 100 parts by weight;
  • hardener LNB 77. 40 parts by weight;
  • thinner LZC 1051. 10 parts by weight.

All these components must be mixed together and the first layer of primer must be applied to the surface to be painted using a pistol with an upper reservoir. Nozzle diameter 1.8 mm, air pressure 2-3 atmospheres. Material consumption should be 120 g per 1 m2. The optimum film thickness is 120 microns. To completely complete the shrinkage process, the soil should be dried within 12 hours.

Before painting the product, it will need to be abraded again. For gloss, an emery tool with a finer grain is additionally used. After that, the surface will be prepared, and paint can be applied for MDF panels.

For priming and sanding MDF.

What materials to use?

Since MDF is a material that consists of wood fiber, it can also be painted with ordinary wood paints. However, in order to get a really high-quality result and uniform coloring, you will need special formulations, including:

  • primer based on polyurethane;
  • paint (also polyurethane);
  • MDF varnish (if necessary).

Polyurethane enamel does not contain volatile components, can be used for both indoor and outdoor work.