MDF panels or Medium Density Fiberboards are suitable materials for producing home furniture, custom kitchen cabinets, and doors. These inexpensive wood products are engineered composite materials made from sawdust and resin, fused in considerably high pressure and heat. MDF panels come in various sizes and finishes. However, unlike other industrial wood substances, these fiberboards are free of knots, rings, and natural wood grain. Thus, cutting MDF doors with a CNC router is very easy, and as a result, they are often utilized for such applications as custom cutting and kitchen cabinets. Moreover, the hard and smooth surface of MDF doors takes paint and veneer with the highest quality.
MDF Doors and Panels Painting Process
Painting MDF doors or panels for kitchen cabinets requires a full understanding of the material. The smoothness of MDF panels comes from the factory sandings, and the face is already ready for further painting. However, the edges are often more porous and will need prep for a uniform, smooth finish. Additionally, the material’s porosity makes the MDF doors unsuited to water-based products for coating purposes. Follow the guidelines below, and you will achieve the best results.
Step No.1 of Paintig MDF Doors
Step one of painting MDF doors and cabinets starts with removing any additional hardware and setting them aside until thoroughly drying the paint. It is essential to protect the workpiece and area with extra clothes for making the cleanup easier. Doors and cabinets made from MDF panels will produce a considerable amount of dust when sanded, and the particles can irritate the lungs and eyes. Thus, using protective goggles and a dust mask is crucial.
Step No.2 is Cutting and Sealing the MDF Panels Edges
Whether the MDF doors or cabinets have a factory edge or feature custom cabinet cutting, the edges must involve sealing for accepting the paint and being matched with the smoother surface of the product. The painter should seal the areas by running a coat of drywall compound on the material with fingers. After the drying is completed, the product requires smooth sanding with sandpaper, and the scratches on the surface of the MDF panels should be filled with a special compound. Then the entire piece should be sanded with sandpaper. After sanding is completed, the carpenter should wipe the product down with a tack cloth for removing the fine dust and any remaining dirt.
Step No.3 is Mainly About Painting the MDF Doors
The third step of painting interior MDF doors or kitchen cabinets involves priming the MDF panel with solvent-based primers, which are available in various models in the market and online shops. It is crucial to avoid water-based primers as they cause swelling in the wood fibers, resulting in a surface that seems to have a raised grain even if there is a lot of effort put into the sanding process. It is practical to utilize a brush, roller, and spray gun to apply the suitable primer for the project.
Step No.4 is Applying the Primer
The fourth step of painting MDF doors and panels is the most critical stage and needs to be done with high precision. This step involves applying the paint and the preferred primer with applicators that can be brushes, roller, or spray gun, whichever is the best for the demanding project. After the first layer or coat of paint feels dry to the touch, apply a second layer of primer or paint if the work requires it. In case of spotting any patchiness, scratches, or other inaccurate finishes, the painter should cover the entire MDF door with another layer of paint. This will help the painter create a high-quality surface for the project, and it will also increase the durability of the MDF doors.
Step No.5 is Allowing the Paint to Dry
Step number five starts with allowing the paint to dry thoroughly on the MDF door surface. Then, this step involves applying the preferred sealer, including lacquer, polyurethane, wax, etc. If there is an expectation of the MDF panel project to have daily use in order to preserve the paint finish, the paint sealing must be done precisely. For instance, painted kitchen cabinet doors can benefit from an extra protective layer that protects the product from tear and wear. On the other hand, MDF panel crown molding will definitely be out of reach, and therefore it will not require a sealer.
Step No.6 is Assembling the Hardware
The last step of painting the MDF panel for doors and kitchen cabinets is to allow the paint to dry on the product’s surface. When the MDF door is dried thoroughly, the painter should replace the removed hardware and step back to compliment the work. After the paint finish is dried, the MDF paneled door will look similar to other painted wood. It is a fact that DIY people can create custom wainscoting, trim, or furniture partly with MDF panels and other practical wood materials. Once the product is painted, the final piece will blend seamlessly.