How to paint MDF

leighton shearer
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Project Overview

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.   Continue to step-by-step instructions
paint roller
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How to paint with a roller

When you’re painting a ceiling with a roller, keep the end of the roller facing the side of the surface that you have already cut in. This will make sure that the roller’s metal frame doesn’t damage your walls.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Sand the MDF
2 Apply the first undercoat
3 Apply the second undercoat
4 Paint the MDF
5 Job done
  • Step 1. Sand 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.

  • Step 2. Apply 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, evenly apply the oil-based undercoat across the MDF. Paint the edges using a paintbrush or roller. Let it dry.

  • Step 3. Apply 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.

  • Step 4. Paint 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.

  • Step 5. Job done

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

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. 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. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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