Painting mdf

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by RonnieT, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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    I originally planned on using melamine for my in wall shelves that housed my tv, components, and dvds. I was going to get 3/4" white melamine. We (wife) wants to have white shelves and white trim so I thought purchasing melamine would cut down on painting/staining anything else that we would buy. Plus I've heard that is what others are using. Now, I've called my local lumberyard and asked them if they had it. They (Carter Lumber) said they had showerboard (basically same stuff I thought) in 3/4" thick sheets for $10.99. I thought great...good price and 5 minute drive from my house. I went up there this weekend and said I needed 6 sheets and they told me they didn't have any. Wtf?? So I went out to my other lumber yard and they didn't have anything either. So now, I was thinking of getting mdf and painting it white. Can this be accomplished?? mdf at home depot is $13 while the melamine is $25. Do you think buying the melamine from hd for $12 extra dollars is worth the time and paint for the mdf?

    Sorry for long post. I'm a little upset with these damn lumber yards.[​IMG]
     
  2. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    I have painted MDF alllll ovvvvver my HT. Check my HT icon, if you want to see. I love the stuff and use it for many cabinetry projects. In fact, my whole front wall of my HT is surfaced with 1/2" MDF, including the recessed cabinets. Also, I made 3 countertops, 3 lighted poster boxes, a huge wall sconce, rounded hand rails (see first page of my HT site), and all of my door trim and base moulding out of MDF.

    The surface of MDF is perfect for painting (flat/even, yet still retains a very slight "tooth"). I prefer an oil-based primer and paint, although latex performs well, too. The edges route well and paint well, too... far better than melamine. Most people edge-band (laminate) melamine boards to finish them, as they don't take paint well. In fact, the melamine at your home improvement store is usually sold with one edge banded, so it'll be the edge facing out of the cabinet.

    On the flip-side: melamine is used for shelving and cabinets because the laminate surface is extremely hard and durable, at least compared to paint. If you will be moving things all over a painted MDF board, you'll eventually wind up with scratches. My MDF countertops are finished with several coats of a glossy black oil. It's held up very well, but then again, I'm not moving things all over the surface.
     
  3. Mark McGill

    Mark McGill Stunt Coordinator

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    It helps to use two coats of primer. The MDF does soak it up pretty well. Good Luck
     
  4. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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  5. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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  6. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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  7. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    Thanks. I'm sure their white poly oil will work well.

    re:quicktime-- take a look at the plugin help on the top of that page. The number one problem reported is the "Windows Media Player" issue, which requires a manual d/l and install from Apple's web site.

    I have a bunch of pics, but haven't pulled them together for the Web. I'm remodelling the room soon, so I'll try and pull them together during that process.
     
  8. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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  9. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    About 1-1/2 years ago (last time I purchased it), only one of the local Lowes stores sold 1/2" MDF. None of the other Lowes nor the Home Depots stocked it... only 3/4". Did you find 1/2" in your area?

    As far as the paint and primer:
    I bought both at Wal-Mart. I don't recall specific prices, but I would expect a quart to run about $8. I can't remember coverage for the primer or paint... check the can. You'll have a maximum of 192 sq.ft. According to the Kilz site, I think the "Kilz Original" coverage is 370 sq.ft. per gallon, so you'll need about 2 quarts.

    Krylon White Semi-gloss is KDQ6201. Not sure about its coverage, but I'd figure 1-2 coats, depending on how well the priming was done. You can always go by more (or return an unopened can).

    Soooo... 2 quarts of Kilz, plus (I'm guessing here) a gallon of oil poly.... that's about $35-40 in paint.

    BTW-- For you or others considering melamine: You can buy it in common shelf widths, which makes it easier to handle/cut and does not require edge-banding, if only the one finished edge will be seen. If you buy a whole sheet, you'll need to buy the white banding strips, as well. Additionally, many people find it extremely difficult to cut laminates without producing some chipping. A special laminate blade (or a triple-chip or ATB (alternate top bevel) blade) is recommended. They have more teeth per inch and are specially designed for laminates and vaneers. Here's a page that explains some of the problems:
    http://www.homeimages.com/cutting.htm
     
  10. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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  11. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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  12. Shervin

    Shervin Agent

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    if you want white shelves made out of very solid particle board check ikea out, they are quite afforable and you don't have to do anything except anchor them to a wall.
     
  13. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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  14. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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  15. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Torgny Nilsson

    Torgny Nilsson Second Unit

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    I am going to install some shelving in MDF, probably painted white.

    Sunset Magazine recently had an article on painting MDF. They recommended that you prime it, paint it with whatever paint you are using (with a roller, sponge, or spray) and then apply another coat of the same paint with a brush. They said that the brush leaves a slight grain in the paint, making the normally very flat MDF appear to be actual wood.

    I have not yet tried it, but it seemed like good advice if you want the end result to look like painted fir, ash, etc.
     
  17. RonnieT

    RonnieT Stunt Coordinator

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    Torgny,
    Do you know if that article is available on the web??
     
  18. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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  19. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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