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Stripping and Painting MDF

The cabinets in my kitchen are made of MDF and have several lumpy coats of paint from previous owners on them :eek:. I do not have enough money to replace them. I would like to know 1)how to strip the paint off the existing cabinets safely. Then, 2)if you can stain them to look like real wood or if/how I should paint them?

Re: Stripping and Painting MDF

Particularly what type of paint or stains are best to use?

A. Spruce
Re: Stripping and Painting MDF

You won't likely be able to strip MDF. It will swell and be destroyed with any moisture, be it water or paint stripper chemicals. Your best bet would be to carefully sand them to remove the lumps and bumps, prime and repaint. Staining MDF is out of the question, partly due to the damage that would occur, mostly due to MDF having the appearance of cardboard, so theres absolutely no aesthetic value to it what-so-ever. You could faux stain it, where you apply a paint base coat, then a stain over that. The results could be anything between simulated wood grain appearance and a crackled "antique" quality, depending on the technique and products used.

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