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How To Paint MDF Panelling 

With the rise of wooden panelling becoming a popular interior decor trend throughout the UK we thought we would put together this article to ensure you choose the most appropriate, durable paint for MDF panelling when you have found your perfect colour. Also if you are not great at DIY, don’t fret, we’ve included recommendations on how you can achieve the best results below.

 

1. Prep for MDF panel painting 

Before you start to paint, make sure you have taped up any areas you do not intend to paint like your skirting boards. In addition, there’s no harm in putting dust sheets down so you do not get any paint on your carpet or floor - as this can be difficult to remove.

2. Prepare your surface

The majority of wood panelling is already prepared for painting, however as MDF is porous it can require more paint. To reduce the quantity of paint that soaks into the panels, we always recommend that before you begin to paint the panel, you prime the surface. 

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3. Prime The MDF

The best primers we recommend for MDF wood panelling include those listed below. 

These primers will stop paint soaking into the MDF, meaning you can enjoy an intense colour and brilliant finish. In addition, these also maximise the adhesion between the paint and the MDF surface, reducing any likelihood of peeling, cracking and similar showing on the surface. For best results, we recommend 1-2 coats of your chosen primer, followed by 2 coats of your chosen topcoat. 

 

  1. Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer
    Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer
    From £10.61 £8.84
  1. BIN Primer
    Zinsser BIN Primer
    From £18.76 £15.63
  1. Smith and Rodger Blockade Primer
    Smith and Rodger Blockade Primer
    From £20.95 £17.46
  1. Dulux Trade Wood Primer White
    Dulux Trade Wood Primer White
    From £28.73 £23.94

4. Best Paints for MDF

Once your primer has had the required drying time, apply two coats of your chosen MDF paint. Depending on the finish you want to achieve, we've highlighted our top 2 matt, gloss, satin, and eggshell paints for MDF below. This will give you the confidence that the paint you select will achieve your desired look.

 

Eggshell - subtle sheen and can easily be wiped clean.

  1. Farrow and Ball Modern Eggshell
    Farrow and Ball Modern Eggshell
    From £35.50 £29.58
  1. Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec Scuff X Eggshell
    Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec Scuff X Eggshell
    From £111.50 £92.92

Matt - flat, brilliant to achieve a depth of colour and can be washed clean without compromising the colour or finish.

  1. Farrow and Ball Dead Flat
    Farrow and Ball Dead Flat
    From £33.00 £27.50
  1. Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec Scuff X Matt
    Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec Scuff X Matt
    From £103.00 £85.83

Satin - smooth finish that can also be wiped clean and resistant to wear & tear.

  1. Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood Tinted Colours
    Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood Tinted Colours
    From £39.32 £32.77
  1. Johnstone's Trade Aqua Guard Durable Satin Tinted Colours
    Johnstone's Trade Aqua Guard Durable Satin Tinted Colours
    From £27.10 £22.58

Gloss - high sheen finish that can be wiped clean, we always recommend water-based glosses as it minimises any yellowing that may become present in oil based glosses after years

  1. Johnstone's Trade Aqua Guard Durable Gloss Tinted Colours
    Johnstone's Trade Aqua Guard Durable Gloss Tinted Colours
    From £26.33 £21.94
  1. Dulux High Gloss (All Colours)
    Dulux Trade High Gloss Tinted Colours
    From £22.25 £18.54

5. Tag Us In Your Panelling Projects On Social Media

We always love to see your DIY projects, tag us @Thepaintshedcompany on Instagram & @thepaintshed on TikTok