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Old 12-09-2009, 09:17 AM   #1
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Painting an MDF desktop


I have an existing desk made from Bush Furniture that I purchased some years ago. It has a black speckled finish on the top and black stain on the bottom. It has four detachable tops. I would like to change the color to a "sand" type of color.

I took one sample to a furniture refinisher and he identified the wood as MDF. He said he could paint it with an oil-based enamel, using a chemical solvent on the top surface. However, I am concerned about the wood getting damaged. He also suggested that I could powder coat it and gave me the # of a guy but he said that the piece would get baked and so the wood would most likely burn. His third suggestion is an epoxy paint from Sherwin Williams.

I would like to recoat these desk tops so that they have a sturdy finish and will not flake or scratch. I am attaching a photo I just took of two parts of the desk. Also, I plan to get new "C" legs for it as the existing ones are particle board laminate. I just need the table top resurfaces redone.

Any suggestions on how to accomplish this is appreciated.

Chris
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:02 PM   #2
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Painting an MDF desktop


MDF is basically cardboard. It's wood powder glued together and faced with paper. You can:

a) prime it and paint it with oil paint, or
b) cover it with something else, like plastic laminate or a sheet of thin plywood.

I kind of like option b.

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Old 12-09-2009, 11:28 PM   #3
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Painting an MDF desktop


Thanks. I think option B would be difficult. The desk top surfaces have some contour that I would like to retain. Option A might be okay. I may try a test run with primer and oil paint.

I am also thinking of using an epoxy paint, such as the following:
http://www.quikretecoatings.com/epoxyMultiSurface.jsp

I used the garage floor version for my garage and it works great! I figure it may work with the wood as well.

I bought another set of it so that I could patch the garage floor if needed:
http://www.quikretecoatings.com/epox...eFloorCoat.jsp

I masked a small area on the back of the desk with a small mix of the stuff to see how it would turn out. I will see tomorrow how it looks and feels. I figure I could get the tan color variety and mix in some tiny specks or something to give it a decent look. One challenge is determining how to etch the desk. It is fairly smooth and so I may need to roughen it with sand paper which means I will have to really go for it. I'll post tomorrow after I check it out.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:37 AM   #4
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Painting an MDF desktop


I would use an alkyd primer and then you can use either an oil-based or latex based enamel. Let the latex cure for 30 days before setting anything on it. Melamine would be an alternative to Epoxy.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:15 PM   #5
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Painting an MDF desktop


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
I would use an alkyd primer and then you can use either an oil-based or latex based enamel. Let the latex cure for 30 days before setting anything on it. Melamine would be an alternative to Epoxy.
Thanks for the input! I found a link on Melamine and that might be good as well. I would like to horizontal surface to be smooth and both the epoxy and Melamine appear to be self-leveling.

One issue though is that the result of the epoxy and perhaps enamel and Melamine is a shiny surface. I would really like a non-shiny matte finish.

Any recommendations for a matte finish? I will see if any matte finish enamels are available.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:44 AM   #6
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Painting an MDF desktop


The epoxy paint worked fairly well. That is, it stuck to the surface well. However, it is still not quite durable enough for a table top. It scratches fairly easily and is too shiny and plain.

I am looking at the following options:
1. Call the factory and ask how they created the original coating. I don't like the black speckled color any more but it is very durable. It would be great if I could somehow get the same type of coating on it but in a "sand" type of color.
2. Use the existing tops as a template and have someone create new tops just like it but made of a lighter wood. I'm thinking a light cherry color would be very cool.
3. Leave it as is.

I plan to take one of the tops to Sherwin-Williams and see what they have to say as well.

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