Techniques for Painting MDF to Get an Antique Finish

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Duration: 2:17

Many woodworkers have a love/hate relationship with MDF. The good news is that it’s very inexpensive, and machines well. The bad news is that MDF isn’t much to look at. This leaves a lot of woodworkers wondering about techniques for painting MDF.


The real gee whiz part of the technique we’re teaching in this video is that it can give your MDF projects an antique look. This is done by using a combination of paint types, and wiping through the top coat to expose the lower layer. When it comes together the way it should, it’s an amazing effect. When you use this technique to paint MDF not only will it look antiqued, but it will also look like it was made from metal, not wood.

Sheet goods

Although this video concentrates on MDF, it’s important to know that there are many types of sheet stock available to you. Choose the right sheet stock for your project is an important first step in ensuring that your woodworking project is well crafted.

Mastering finishing

Finishing can be intimidating, leaving lots of woodworkers concerned about messing up the project they’ve worked so hard to create. WoodWorkers Guild of America wants to help you get your finishing just right. One of the most important choices you can make is in choosing a brush for your top coat. Be sure to check out the info we have on that topic.

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4 Responses to “Techniques for Painting MDF to Get an Antique Finish”

  1. Daniel Jacob

    Would one be able to put this outside or the rock finish if using an outdoor finish on MDF?

    • Customer Service

      Hi Daniel. MDF isn’t a great exterior product, but if you do a good job coating it with a couple coats of a heavy duty primer such as Kilz, then several coats of exterior paint, you should get a decent life span for the piece, but I’d suggest keeping an eye on it and recoating as needed.
      Paul-Woodworkers Guild of America

    • Customer Service

      Hi Kevin. I am sorry you are having trouble viewing this video. I have emailed you a troubleshooting email that should help you with this.
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