Tips For Staining And Painting MDF Wood Moulding

MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is a popular material for moulding in homes and commercial buildings. It is less expensive than solid wood and easy to work with. However, MDF has a few unique properties that should be considered when painting or staining it. To this end, here are some tips on properly preparing, staining, and painting MDF wood moulding to achieve a professional-looking finish. 


Before painting or staining MDF moulding, it is vital to properly prepare the surface. Sand the surface lightly with fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface for the paint or stain to adhere to. After sanding, wipe down the moulding's surface with a tack cloth to remove any surface dust. 

Always wear a mask and gloves when working with MDF, as it can release fine particles that can be harmful if inhaled. Also, work in a well-ventilated area.


When staining MDF moulding, it is vital to use an oil-based stain, as water-based stains can cause the MDF to swell or warp. Always test the stain on a small, inconspicuous area of the moulding before applying it to the entire surface. Apply the stain with a high-quality paint brush or roller, working it into the wood grain. Allow the stain to sit for the recommended time on the can, then wipe away any excess.

If you want to add more depth or variation, you can use a dark and light color stain on the same piece of MDF. 

Priming for Painting

MDF is a porous material, so it requires a coat of primer before applying the paint. An oil-based primer is recommended because the water in a water-based primer will soak into the MDF and cause it to swell or warp. Once sealed with an oil-based primer, swelling and warping will no longer be an issue.


When painting MDF moulding, it is best to use a high-quality paintbrush or roller. Use an oil-based paint designed explicitly for use on MDF. Apply the paint in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. A minimum of two coats is recommended, with a third coat if necessary.


Once the paint or stain has dried completely, a clear coat of polyurethane can be applied to protect the MDF moulding and give it a smooth, glossy finish.

In conclusion, following these tips will help you achieve a professional-looking finish on your MDF wood moulding projects. Remember to take your time and pay attention to the details, and you'll be sure to be happy with the final result.

Contact a local moulding company, such as Saguaro Moulding Inc., to learn more.