MDF is very often used for shelving and in closets and cabinets because it’s inexpensive and smooth.
Because of this smooth finish, ready built MDF shelving looks great when it’s painted.
However, very often people struggle to maintain this smooth finish after painting when the MDF has been cut.
The main reason for this is that MDF is less porous on the front and back sides (about 150 grit) whilst the cut sides are much rougher and therefore much more porous.
This means that any cut sections of MDF must be prepared in order to create a uniform substrate ready to paint.
Thankfully, none of this need be a cause for concern as preparation is the foundation of every DIY project anyway and this particular process is relatively straightforward.
To achieve our desired result, we used a finishing coat from Frenchic Paint. You may be familiar with this product as an application for newly painted furniture that is applied after painting.
In our cut MDF preparation however, we’ll be applying the finishing coat at the start.
Remembering that the smooth sides of out MDF boards are around 150 grit and therefore very smooth, we chose to use a similar grit sandpaper to begin smoothing out the edges.
Working lengthways along the edges, lightly sand until it feels smooth to the touch. Remembering to wear a dust mask for your personal protection.
If you have any holes or countersunk screws on your smooth sections of MDF you can simply fill with some general-purpose wood filler and then sand down using the same 150 grit paper.
Wipe down any of the newly sanded areas with a damp cloth to completely remove any dust, then you're ready to begin applying the Frenchic finish coat.
When painting with the Frenchic Finishing Coat, you can use a brush or a roller. It’s up to you.
We used a brush to apply the finish coat to the cut edges and a smaller radiator roller to cover the smoother areas.
Once completely covered, we left our MDF shelving unit to dry overnight.
Before starting our second coat we gave our cut edges a very light sanding. This time with some 200 grit sandpaper and again, painted on our Frenchic finishing coat and left to dry overnight.
For our paint choice we decided on ‘Ivory Tower’, again from Frenchic Paint range.
We opted to use the small radiator roller to apply the paint, and then one of Frenchic’s thick brushes to simply feather out the paint and leave it free of any mottling.
After about two hours of drying time, we gave our first coat of paint a very gentle sanding and again wiped away any dust or debris with a damp cloth.
On with our second (and final) coat of ‘Ivory Tower’ and our painted MDF shelving unit was finished.
If you’d like to watch the entire process, simply click on the YouTube link below. Or, to browse the incredible paint selection available from Frenchic paints, just follow the link provided.