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A painted sheet of MDF sitting on two saw horses


MDF is great to work with  it's strong, durable and versatile. We'll show you a few handy tips to make sure your paint job looks great for years to come.


1Sand the MDF

The first step to prepare MDF for painting is to sand it. Sand the surface and edges using an orbital sander with 180-grit sandpaper. Wipe away as much dust as you can with a dry cloth. Then use a damp cloth to make sure all the dust is removed. Wear the appropriate safety equipment when sanding.

A sheet of MDF being sanded before painting

2Apply the first undercoat

Put a drop sheet down and place the MDF on the saw horses. Stir the undercoat thoroughly, then pour it out into a paint tray. Using a paint roller, apply the undercoat evenly across the MDF. Paint the edges using a paintbrush or roller. Let it dry.

A sheet of MDF being given a white undercoat

3Apply the second undercoat

Once the first undercoat has dried, give it a light sand with a fine-grit sandpaper. Wipe away any dust, then apply the second undercoat and let it dry.

A second undercoat being applied to a sheet of MDF

4Paint the MDF

Once the second undercoat has dried and been sanded, it's time to paint the MDF. Use the roller to apply the first coat of paint to the surface and edges. Let it dry and then apply the second coat of paint.

A sheet of MDF being painted Bunnings teal

5Job done

Once the second coat has dried, your project is complete and ready to use.

A painted sheet of MDF sitting on two saw horses

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.