We've never really used MDF for anything before, but we were in Lowe's looking at wood tongue and groove options for another project and stumbled upon a rack of these:
I didn't read about painting MDF at all until after I started this project. You know, I just dove right in with zero research and learned the hard way....as usual. Claaaaassic Jen [insert Target lady voice here]. Let me just tell you....this stuff seems easy. ITS NOT. I figured, oh I'll just slap some paint on them and put them on the ceiling. Wrong. Fortunately, at only $2.11/pack, this was a pretty inexpensive trial and error project, and I actually managed not to waste any in the process.
When you first take the panels out of the package they feel somewhat gritty. I tried wiping the grit off with a wet cloth...first mistake. The "primer" (or so they claim) started coming off and made it worse. For attempt #2 I tried just wiping them with a dry cloth to remove the grittiness. Didn't do the trick. Obviously. I feel like I should've seen this coming. So I took one of my favorite DIY tools ever, the sanding block...you've seen her here before ladies and gentlemen...
|Source: NickMom.com (as seen on Pinterest)|
So here's the MadeWithLoveAndOats steps for conquering MDF Pre-Primed Panels:
1. Sand lightly with a fine sanding block and then dry with a cloth. (DO NOT wet them)
2. Give one good coat of primer.
3. Sand lightly with a fine sanding block and wipe with a dry cloth.
4. Paint 2 coats of semi or high gloss paint, lightly sanding and wiping in between.
5. Condition the panels by leaving them in the room for 48 hours prior to installation.
Pretty simple, and you get an amazing result...