5 Things You Must Do When Working With MDF


MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is not expensive, It’s durable and a great suggestion when doing many woodworking, carpentry and craft projects. For more information about the actual make up of MDF wood vist However, MDF can be very dangerous! There’s a great article on the issues surrounding Sanding MDF and Cutting MDF wood, with the ways to solve these problems both  in the video and explained below in this blog.


1. Wearing a Face Mask with MDF

If you clicked on the link above you’d see that the dust reason WHY you must wear a face mask when working with MDF is simply because of the dust particles that are released in the air when we sand MDF or cut MDF wood. If that gets into your lungs, over time this could cause respiratory problems to occur.

According to the Guardian Online (Link HERE to the article) and Mick Holder, of the independent advisory service London Hazards, gas emissions from new MDF furniture could cause ill health.

‘If there is poor ventilation in a house or the inhabitants suffer from certain allergies or chemical sensitivities, we believe the formaldehyde emitted, although in a very small amount, can cause serious ill health,’ he said.

I also more often than not open the garage door and work close to the exit point where the air is purer and alongside having my mask on!


2. Wearing Goggles with MDF

Wearing Goggles, for me is a no brainer. There is dust in the air as we know and that dust can get into the eyes of any MDF Man or Woman. The goggles protect your eyes from the direct contact with the dust and once more prevent the long term issues that could arise. It’s also generally good practice to wear goggles when using any wood type for your projects. Get into a good habit and it becomes second nature to be safe.


3. Clothing and MDF with Children

Imagine if your kids developed lung problems because you didn’t have the sense at the time (each time) to keep your Dusty clothes away from them when they were very young children / babies. The next point is to clean your clothes regularly and keep them away from young children if you have been using MDF Medium-density fibreboard .


4. Tidy your Work Surface after working with MDF

Following my point above, the easiest thing to do is get into a routine of cleaning your area when you finish your cutting or sanding. Use a hoover then empty it out in your outside bin. Make sure and wear a face mask and goggles when emptying the contents of the sanded or when cutting out.


5. How to paint MDF


Painting MDF or Medium Density Fibreboard isn’t the easiest of tasks. This is because after coating your MDF board, the paint dries really quickly meaning it can dry uneven and blotchy..

The surface is very porous, meaning when you paint directly onto the surface, the paint is soaked in quickly.

Once you have applied one coat of primer or emulsion paint, it is a good idea to give the surface a very light sanding down. Then remove any dust and remember to WEAR MASK

Overall Benefits of Using MDF

Perfect for any home project with wood. as it works perfectly as a surface for:

  • It’s  not as expensive than other wood types like timber
  • You can buy it in many different sizes so it can fit in your car!
  • Itcan be curved easily without splitting or cracking in it has many different thicknesses. This makes it great for hobby work.
  • Unless subjected to loads of water penetration, it will not expand and contract, as normal timber would do- again making this great to work with.
  • If you have primed the wood, and sanded, MDF is then very easy to paint onto as there is no grain or varying surface texture

So there we have it! if you have any questions or comments leave them in the space below.

Interested in photographing your products / creations after they are finished? Look at our ‘How to create a professional backdrop’.




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