Asked on Feb 22, 2020

How can I repaint MDF furniture that has an existing finish?

by Canela15

It's Saucer med computer cabinet with dark brown finish. I want to repaint it Wedgwood blue for impact,but fear it won't take. Anybody ever tried to paint mdf with any success?

  13 answers
  • Nan W. Nan W. on Feb 22, 2020

    Hi! Oh ya... this paint will go over everything! (I recommend it so much on this forum that I should get a commission! LOL)

  • on Feb 22, 2020

    You need to start with lots of sanding and a really high quality primer - then it should take paint well! :)

  • Dee Dee on Feb 22, 2020

    Get a sanding sponge and lightly sand just to let the primer get a good grip. Use a good bonding primer such as Kilz Premium or BIN123. Prime twice. Lightly sand and paint in your choice of color.

  • William William on Feb 22, 2020

    No sanding or you will go right thru the fake surface. Clean it well. Prime with Kiz primer. Then paint your color. Seal with three coats of a water based polyurethane. Z

  • Tom Stuart Tom Stuart on Feb 22, 2020

    You have received good answers so far and while I believe in doing a good job I also have learned that quick and easy sometimes works fine. I would give the finish a good cleaning with just about anything you have to remove accumulated dust. Lightly and quickly sand it. Wipe it down to remove the sanding dust. Paint it.

    Depending on which model of cabinet you have this should take about an hour of work with extra time between the steps to let the surface dry. Because you have a dark finish now you might need two coats but I would start with one and see how it looks. Wedge wood blue sounds like a great color

    A long time ago I got a Sauder desk for my daughter’s room and repainted it white. Every year or so I did a touch up where she had dinged it. After she went to college I repainted it and donated it to a local pre-school. It still looked great.

  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Feb 22, 2020

    Hi this is Peggy. Yes the experts say you can paint mdf. Wedgwood blue sounds beautiful. Good luck with your project. How to Refinish MDF Furniture | Hunker › ... › home design & decor › home decor

    Add a little color to your MDF furniture with paint. Clean the furniture with degreasing cleaner to completely remove any grime or residue from the surface. Sand the furniture to create texture. Prime the surface of the furniture with a bonding primer. Paint the furniture with interior latex or acrylic paint.

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Feb 22, 2020

    Hi Canella,

    I painted a dark MDF coffee table this past summer. I DID sand it lightly in order to smooth some of the rough areas. I also used Kilz primer on it once I had it sanded down and clean. I did find that the MDF soaked up the liquid in the primer so it took a little extra time to get those areas smooth. I sanded, cleaned, painted, let dry, then repeated the process until I was happy with the spots. Once I had it all cleaned and primed, I used spray paint for the final color. I sprayed on 2 light coats - letting each coat dry before continuing. It turned out looking great. Just be sure to pay attention to the look of the MDF as you go and don't skip any steps. I think your color choice will look wonderful. Wishing you the best.

  • You will need to use a primer with MDF for it to stick.

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Feb 23, 2020

    Yes, I have done this. First off, just mdf takes primer and paint with little prep, but it sounds like you're describing a laminate finish that is over the mdf. This laminate finish is usually a type of vinyl. It really should be deglossed with a little sanding. It doesn't need aggressive sanding, just rough up the shiny surface. Then I recommend using Kilz primer. For furniture, I want a finish that is going to look close to factory, so I use either a spray can of Kilz or use a roller with an extremely fine nap roller. The paint will require at least two coats. I recommend using a high gloss latex enamel paint because there are more hardeners in it and it will withstand more friction and abuse without scratching. Again, use either an hvlp or a very fine nap roller for a near factory finish. Surfaces I've treated this way have been extremely durable.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 24, 2020

    Scratch the current finish with fine steel wool so it will adhere. Clean with denatured alcohol. Then you are ready to prime and paint. We did this bench turned toy chest 3 years ago with Lowe's store brand spray paint and it is still holding up well. That says a lot because she is a rough kid. It was one of those dark brown pre-finished pieces that comes in a box. I added her name & the Minnie heads from vinyl.

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  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Feb 27, 2020

    I would be sure to prime it first

  • Lucie - Oh my sander Lucie - Oh my sander on Feb 27, 2020

    I have painted MDF using chalk paint. But like someone said above, I would prime first :-)