How to Paint Over MDF
MDF is essentially sawdust that is held together by glues and pressed into board shapes then constructed into things like furniture. You can tell your piece is MDF by looking at the sides or edges – or sanding off the first layer – to see if it looks like pressed sawdust. Sometimes water-based glues are used so if you paint over with water-based paints, which Country Chic and Fusion Mineral Paint are, then the furniture will crumble apart.
I recommend first sealing with shellac. It’s a common misconception that varnish/varathane/lacquer and shellac are the same thing but they are not. The former is designed as a hard top coat while shellac is simply a sealer. It doesn’t dry hard enough to be a top coat while varnishes don’t always seal.
We apply shellac with one of Country Chic Paint’s sponges ($2.95) and then throw it out as it does not wash up with water. The shellac dries in about 10 minutes and then you can put another coat on or begin to paint.
Tip, shellac is excellent for sealing in stains and smells too! ReLoving sells small cans for $12.95.
At ReLoving we paint every day and we like to share with you what we learn along the way.
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