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Lynne
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.

A. Spruce
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?

Lynne
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.

A. Spruce
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 ).

Lynne
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.

A. Spruce
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.

JLMCDANIEL
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

Lynne
Re: Painting MDF base moulding

It's a daylight basement and never gets damp. But like I said, I already wish I'd gone with wood.

junkout
Re: Painting MDF base moulding

mdf should paint much better and easier than real wood. i agree about it following the curves of the wall sometimes that can be a good thing sometimes bad. if it were me i would get better paint and a better brush and only use the roller to get paint on the trim and then back brush it. the rolled sections will always look different than where you brushed ti will also make it easir to touch up once it is intalled if you have brush marks on the whole thing. I also would not choose mdf for a basment because i have yet to see one that has no moisture at all and in a few years if there is any moisture at all the mdf will look like crap. Mdf is a good product if it is used correctly in the right situations but it definatly has its limitations.

ordjen
Re: Painting MDF base moulding

MDF trim lumber comes with a very poor primer on it. One coat of finish paint will not look good over it. It will take a minimum of two finish coats.

It is a good idea to paint the edge that sits on the floor, especially in a potentially wet environment , such as a bathroom. MDF does not do well when it gets wet. It immediately starts to swell up.

Condoman
Re: Painting MDF base moulding

FWIW Behr is the reason I will never by anything except Benjamin Moore. A painting project 12+ years ago had to be done twice because of that.

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