How do you Paint the Edges of MDF?

Getting a good finish on the edges of MDF can be tricky. In this article I’m showing you how to paint MDF edges in under 2 minutes – really simple! I’ve made lots of videos about how to paint MDF so I’m keeping this one as brief as possible!

You can read the article below or just watch the video here:

How to Paint MDF Edges - Explained in 2 minutes!

Tools and products I’m using

The above are similar or the same as what I’m using – for a full list of products I use visit this page if you’re in the UK and this page if you’re in the US.

How to paint MDF

MDF is easy to paint if you know how. All you need is some half decent Acrylic Primer Undercoat and then your top coat. I almost always use water based paints these days but use whatever paint you’re comfortable with.

  1. Make sure the MDF is dust free – give it a wipe down with a damp cloth
  2. Prime the MDF using a good acrylic primer undercoat
  3. One the primer is bone dry, sand the edges of the MDF until they’re smooth
  4. Re-prime any bare edges after sanding and allow it to dry
  5. Apply 2 coats of your chosen top coat of paint

The above will work in 99% of cases and should give you a super-smooth finish. Here’s a bit more detail about painting the MDF edges.

How to paint MDF edges

When paint is applied to edges of MDF it will raise the grain, leaving a rough edge once the paint is dry. This applies on normal AND moisture resistant MDF. To overcome this you need to seal the edges of the MDF before sanding them – you’ll then get a perfectly smooth finish. You can use a 50/50 mix of water and PVA but I’m now finding I’m getting better results if I seal the edges using acrylic primer undercoat.

  1. Paint the MDF edges with acrylic primer undercoat and let it dry
  2. Sand the edges
  3. Apply your primer and top coat to the whole unit as normal

You should find if you follow the above steps you’ll get a perfect finish on your MDF edges. Don’t panic if you’ve sanded all of the primer away – the MDF should still be sealed, however you may want to apply an extra coat of primer before applying the top coats. With a bit of practice you can sand the primer smooth without removing it. Give it a try and see how you get on!

Andy Mac
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