Can You  Paint MDF  With Emulsion?

Problems  You May Face

While there's no reason you cannot paint MDF with emulsion paint, working with it can be challenging due to the  fibrous MDF material that just loves to soak up the emulsion fast and in large quantities.

But by applying a couple of coats with emulsion and using a ‘mist coat’  technique, you should have no problem painting MDF.

A mist coat is a light water-downed first layer that acts as a sealer.  This coat uses little paint but aids in the protection of the MDF surface better.

When the surface has been sufficiently sealed with a mist coat, subsequent coats of paint will not soak into it to the same extent and will save the paint.

painting MDF with emulsion

Once a mist coat is applied rightly you can  now apply the  emulsion paint on MDF with the following steps:

Step 1. Begin by lightly sanding the MDF surface you're going to paint.  Doing this will help to create a ‘key’ that the paint can cling to. If you're going to be painting MDF that's already been painted, then make sure you remove any loose paint before you start.

Step 2. Next, you need to apply a sealer to the MDF.  This will help  to prevent the MDF from soaking up too much paint and becoming  distorted.

You can buy them from most good DIY stores, or you can make  your own by mixing PVA glue with water (just add a couple of tablespoons  of PVA to around 500ml of water).

Once you've applied the sealer, leave it to dry for around 30 minutes before moving on.

Step 3. Now you're ready to start painting the MDF with emulsion.  Begin by  stirring your paint thoroughly, then pour some into a paint tray.  When you're ready to start painting, dip your brush into the paint and then apply it to the MDF in a light, even coat.

Step 4. Once you've covered the entire surface with a light coat of paint,  leave it to dry for around 30 minutes before applying a second coat.   This time, you can apply the paint a little bit thicker than before.

Step 5. Again, leave the second coat of paint to dry for 30 minutes before giving the MDF a light sanding.  This will help to create a smoother  finish.

Step 6. Finally, apply a third and final coat of paint, using the same technique as before. Once this is dry, your MDF should be ready to use.

Swipe Up To Learn More About the Best Paints to Use on MDF and Plyboards