4 Steps to Refinish MDF Furniture

Medium Density Fiberboard, abbreviated as MDF is a type of commercially generated wood. Although, there are various kinds of wood species that are used to make furniture, MDF has gained significant popularity over the past few years. MDF is formed after fine wood fibers are subjected to high temperature and pressure for a limited period of time. The high pressure fuses the fine wood fibers together, leaving no space in between, which is responsible for the durability of MDF. It is especially known for its long-lasting and easy to work with properties. Not to mention that MDF is extremely inexpensive.

MDF is conventionally used to make kitchen cabinets, doors, lightweight shelves as well as tables however; MDF wardrobe carcasses and closets have become more popular recently. With the increase in the number of MDF furniture, it becomes important for owners to know more about this material so that they can take care of it completely. Just like other wood furniture, MDF is also bound to loose its texture and color over time. Fortunately, you can easily refinish it. Here are a few simple steps to refinishing MDF furniture.

Step #1: Thoroughly Clean the Furniture

Before starting the refinishing, it is important that you clean the MDF furniture thoroughly. Take a clean cloth and go over the whole surface of the furniture. Remember to not use washcloths or wet wipes to clean the furniture because MDF is vulnerable to moisture damage. The same goes for water based commercial furniture cleaning solutions. However, you can use mild chemicals to remove any grime or stubborn stains from the MDF furniture.

Step #2: Preparing the Furniture

In order to refinish the furniture, you need to sand it beforehand. Take a 20 grit sandpaper for small furniture such as coffee table and 150 grit sandpaper for larger furniture like wardrobes and kitchen cabinets. You can easily buy these sandpapers from anywhere. Now, start sanding the MDF furniture but be very careful. Do not put too much force into sanding and stop before reaching the top layer of the furniture. Since MDF is made of fine wood fibers, they can disintegrate very quickly if damaged.

Step #3: Applying the Primer and Refinish

As said earlier, MDF furniture is susceptible to moisture damage and can swell up rapidly when it comes in contact with water, leaving the furniture deformed. That’s why it is essential to apply primer before refinishing the furniture. Oil based primers are the best for MDF because they allow paint to adhere better to the wood. Apply the paint with a roller or paint brush after the primer has dried. If you are refinishing the furniture with stain, then dip a washcloth in the stain and wipe it over the surface of the furniture, keeping in consideration the texture of MDF.

Step #4: Seal with Topcoat

After the paint or stain has completely dried, seal the furniture with a sealant or lacquer. The topcoat of the refinish should be smooth and free of dust particles; otherwise it will give it a gritty look. The sealant also protects the furniture from scratches and stains.


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