How to Paint MDF: Quick Tip




Posted in WorkshopFurniture

Introduction: How to Paint MDF: Quick Tip

About: Part MacGyver, part Martha, creator, host and producer of Engineer Your Space, an award winning DIY home design show dedicated to clever, affordable and stylish solutions for common challenges faced by rente...

I recently made this bench with MDF and when it came time to paint it, I had trouble getting a smooth finish at the ends of the MDF boards – all the paint was sinking into the MDF leaving holes and a rough finish. Here’s an easy fix I discovered which works like a charm.

Step 1: Brush on Glue Mixture

Dilute some wood glue with a little bit of water and apply it with a brush on the ends.

Step 2: Sand

After the glue is dry, sand it down and repeat step 1 and 2 a couple of times until the surface in smooth.

Step 3: Paint

Your paint will glide on easily and leave a perfectly smooth finish!



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    I was inspired by your initial post of this bench and made this window seat.

    1 reply

    Wow that's amazing! Thanks so much for sharing and I like your idea for the corners!

    Good idea.

    Yes, this works very well, but latex or acrylic wall paint is good too, and more direct. You can shop a can of your preferred colour. The finishing is opaque/matte, but you could add a varnish coat to convert it to shiny.

    2 replies

    That's the paint I was using - it works fine everywhere except at the edges which is why I ended up sealing them with glue.

    OOPS, pardon.

    Perhaps the paint you use is of better quality than mine, so it penetrates better between the fibers of the MDF.

    I should also say that I used a router to round over the edge for the bench top and then used your method of diluted glue brushed on and sanded before paint and it worked great. However, for the corners on the sides I used a different method. I used wood filler down the edges and a putty knife to smooth it down. Once dry, I sanded. It resulted in nicely finished corners that look like one solid piece.

    Thanks EYSpace, that's a really useful tip. I used to saturate / load those difficult areas with paint until I got the desired (smooth) effect, however, your method is much better looking.

    Thanks for sharing,


    You're welcome!

    So simple. I like it. Will add this technique to my project involving several MDF boards in the near future.

    1 reply

    Glad you found this tip helpful!

    You're welcome!