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  • working with MDF

    I am building a bookshelf/computer desk combo out of MDF. I will painting it, but i was curious as to what to seal the joints with. When i say "seal the joints" i mean hide the line between but ended pieces.

    Should i use plastic wood? drywall mudd?

    Also, is it necessary to prime MDF before panting it?

    Thannks!

  • #2
    Re: working with MDF

    MDF will take up a lot of paint. I'd suggest priming it with something that dries fast so the soak up time will be minimal. Personally, I used white lacquer undercoater. It is a very heavy, high solid primer that dries fast. It can be sanded with 220 or higher for a super smooth finish. Once dry, it can be top coated with anything from latex to pigmented lacquer without a problem. I do it all the time.

    As far as sealing the ends if they come together, thats a tough one. If you use any kind of filler and the board flexes even the tiniest bit, the filler will get a hairline crack. My experience is to use biscuits on the joints and then just prime and sand the area smooth. If you have any small pinholes that you missed, a dab of drywall mud or spackle will do the job.

    One thing I do too if the joint is going to get some load is to double up on the biscuits. Set your machine so it cuts towards the top edge, cut all your slots, then re-set the machine so it cuts towards the bottom edge and cut those. You will end up with 2 biscuits at each mark and it makes for a super strong joint.

    Mark
    Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

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    • #3
      Re: working with MDF

      I use a product called water putty. You can get it a HD, it is a powder that you mix dries hard in just a few minutes easy to sand and will not shrink.


      http://www.waterputty.com/view.htm
      SSG, U.S. Army
      Retired
      K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

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      • #4
        Re: working with MDF

        Another endorsement for Durham's Water Putty. Great stuff!
        ================================================== ====
        ~~Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.

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        • #5
          Re: working with MDF

          Water Putty, or NP1
          Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

          http://www.contractorspub.com

          A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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          • #6
            Re: working with MDF

            this month's issue of shopnotes has a workshop organization project featured which uses rta mdf cabs. the author recommends sealing the cabinet's mdf edges with drywall compound.
            there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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            • #7
              Re: working with MDF

              Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
              this month's issue of shopnotes has a workshop organization project featured which uses rta mdf cabs. the author recommends sealing the cabinet's mdf edges with drywall compound.
              If it's a loadbearing joint (at all), drywall compount will crack in an MDF joint.

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              • #8
                Re: working with MDF

                Yes, drywall compound works great for edges, but that isn't what he will have. If I'm reading it correctly, you'll have something like a kitchen countertop joint except it will be painted rather than laminated.

                I haven't tried it, but you could use a small bead of silicone between the two pieces. If you use the type that doesn't harden when it dries, then a little flexing won't be a problem.

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                • #9
                  Re: working with MDF

                  NP1, great stuff, will not harden will not come apart!!!

                  Is paintable...
                  Last edited by garager; 02-27-2007, 08:16 PM. Reason: for painting purpose
                  Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                  http://www.contractorspub.com

                  A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: working with MDF

                    Originally posted by AllMetalWeaver View Post
                    Yes, drywall compound works great for edges, but that isn't what he will have. If I'm reading it correctly, you'll have something like a kitchen countertop joint except it will be painted rather than laminated.

                    I haven't tried it, but you could use a small bead of silicone between the two pieces. If you use the type that doesn't harden when it dries, then a little flexing won't be a problem.

                    If you are going to paint anything don't use silicone - paint won't stick to it.

                    Bondo makes a wood filler that works pretty well.

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                    • #11
                      Re: working with MDF

                      painting mdf is real easy .use a latex interior paint ,chose your brand ,b&m "moor spec" is real good for the price. dap makes a paintable silcone caluk that will last 25y and stays flexable

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