How to Paint Over Fiberboard Cabinets

Fiberboard cabinets paint easily.
Fiberboard cabinets paint easily. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Fiberboard cabinets are usually made out of what is called "MDF," or medium density fiber. This is a product created from finely ground wood fibers densely packed together and glued under steam. Fiberboard is lightweight and cuts like wood, only dustier. Since fiberboard is not made from a solid piece of wood, there is no wood grain, and the end product is very smooth and somewhat flexible. You can paint fiberboard cabinets to give them a new look if your cabinets made of fiberboard have grown dull.

Things You'll Need

  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • Short-nap paint rollers
  • Latex primer
  • Latex paint
  • Drop cloth

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Take the cabinet apart and remove all the hardware so you can give each surface a clean finish.

Sand the surfaces with 150-grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections and to give the paint better adhesion.

Wipe down the cabinet with a slightly damp rag to remove any sanding dust. Let the surfaces air dry. Set the cabinet up on a drop cloth where any extra paint might fall.

Roll on a layer of primer paint over all the surfaces on the outside of the cabinet. Allow the primer to dry according to the directions on the can.

Roll latex finish paint over all the surfaces, using a short-nap roller over the smooth surface of the fiberboard. Allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours before using.

Reapply the hardware and assemble the cabinet so that it is ready for use again.


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