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  1. #1
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    Default Painting MDF base moulding

    I tested painted some 'preprimed' MDF baseboard with a semi-gloss enamel and it looks terrible, even with a second coat. It's all splotchy. This is the first time I've used MDF. Is this typical?

    I'm going to try priming the next one and see if it's any better.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Painting MDF base moulding

    What kind of brush are you using, and what condition is it in?
    What brand of paint?
    Did you wipe the dust off the trim with a damp cloth before painting?
    Are you painting in direct sunlight/heat?
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Painting MDF base moulding

    I'm using Behr semi-gloss enamel (I think it's a latex enamel, if there is such a thing, because although the label says to clean up with water).

    I'm using a mini-roller on the flat, and a brush on the detail. The brush is not a natural bristle.

    I used steel wool between coats and wiped it down before painting.

    I'm painting in a garage, but it was 80+ degrees yesterday. I thought that might be part of the problem, so I painted another one today (65 degrees) with the same result.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Painting MDF base moulding

    There are a number of people who may disagree with me on this, however, Behr paint is utter garbage! It doesn't go on, harden, or cover well. I personally refuse to use it because I've never had anything but troubles with it.

    Wiping with steel wool isn't necessary, and could be causing adhesion problems with the existing coat. Before you start painting a piece, wipe it down with a damp rag to remove any dust and dirt. You should be able to apply your top coat without additional primer, but, since you're having difficulties already, applying a coat of primer wouldn't be a bad idea to see if it helps, it certainly isn't going to hurt anything.

    Your brush could be part of the problem too. A good quality brush, such as a Baker or Purdy, and also make sure you read the paint label for the recommended type of brush (natural or synthetic bristle ).
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Painting MDF base moulding

    I think I might agree about the Behr. I didn't purchase it, but since it was only for trim I didn't think there'd be a problem. This afternoon I painted some with Zinser primer, then the Behr, and it looks a lot better. I'm sorry I didn't just go wit hem/fir though. I thought the MDF would be better for the basement, and easier to finish. NOT.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Painting MDF base moulding

    The only time I've had an issue with MDF trim is when it gets installed in a damp/wet location. Never try to run it in a bathroom, EVER! You need to run either real wood (paint grade is fine ), or plastic.

    I will say that if you've got wavy walls, wood trim will bridge the waves a lot better, then you simply caulk any gaps. The thing with MDF on a wavy wall is that it follows all those contours and looks like poop. It's better to have straight trim and fill gaps than wavy trim.

    At least the primer is helping with your problem, saves you running to the store for new paint, though don't expect the Behr to hold up too well, especially in a high traffic area where the base gets banged a lot.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Painting MDF base moulding

    To me a basement is a poor place to use MDF, of course I wouldn't have MDF anyplace in my home.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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