Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product made from compressed wood fibers. It is generally cheaper than solid wood with a smooth, finished surface that accepts paint well. Before MDF is painted it has a papery top layer that can be scratched or gouged by sharp objects. Like wood, damaged MDF can be repaired with wood putty.
Things You'll Need
- Vacuum cleaner
- Cleaning cloth
- Paint primer
- Wood putty
- Putty knife
- Medium and fine sandpaper
- Tack cloth
Remove dust or small particles by vacuuming the surface. Use a cloth that is lightly moistened with warm water and all-purpose cleaner to remove any grease or grime.
Lightly brush a water-based or oil-based paint primer onto the damaged surface. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly. Drying time will vary depending on the type of primer used and the temperature and humidity in the air.
Use a putty knife to spread wood putty, also called wood filler, over the scratches and gouges. Force the putty into recessed surfaces. Allow the putty to dry thoroughly. If the putty shrinks while drying, apply a second coat to bring the putty up to the surface.
Sand the damaged area until smooth. Begin with a medium 80- to 120-grit sandpaper, followed by a fine, 150- to 180-grit sandpaper.
Wipe away sanding dust with a tack cloth. Paint as desired.
Tips & Warnings
- If the moisture from water-based primer causes the fibers on the edges of the MDF to raise, sand them smooth.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
Repairing a Water-Damaged MDF Baseboard
When baseboard made of medium-density fiberboard sustains water damage, your best solution is to replace it. However, if the damage is not...
How to Repair Baseboards
When in good repair, baseboards can enhance the look of any room in your home. When they are notched, nicked and broken...
How to Repair Cracks in Fiber-Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding is a commonly used alternative for homeowners looking for a wood siding look with the rot resistance, fire-resistance and...
How to Repair Water Damaged Particleboard
Particleboard is a composite wood that is used to construct furniture, door cores, floors and cabinets. The wood is made from sawdust...
How to Repair Damaged Ceiling Tile
Ceiling tiles in drop ceilings are generally made of fiberboard or acrylic. When the tiles become stained or cracked you can replace...
How to Laminate MDF
MDF is medium-density fiberboard. MDF serves the construction, cabinetry and furniture trades as an all-purpose building material. It provides sturdy doors, drawers,...