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MDF edging

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tim

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I've got some built in stuff to make for a client. All to be painted. Normally when I make these I edge band everything to stop the edges soaking everything up and also looking less than great. But its time consuming and as a result eats into margin! Is there a smarter way. Does anyone know of a paintable veneer tape?

Thanks for any advice
 

Alf

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Welcome to the forum, Tim.

Someone suggested wallpaper paste as a good primer for painting MDF edges - it'll be in the archive somewhere. I haven't tried it, but fwiw.

Cheers, Alf
 

andrewm

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What about ordinary iron-on edging strip. Its quick to apply and will provide a seal if all you are going to do is paint it. Available either in melamine or wood.

Andrew
 

tim

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I can never get the edges really smooth when using PVA esp if its ultralight MDF. Has anyone come across any manmade or paper iron on edge rather than wood edging that can be painted - it just seems rather wasteful to use maple veneer tape and then paint it?

T
 

Sgian Dubh

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Tim, A method I've used quite often is thinned out water based wood filler-- Brummer is a name I recall from many years back when I previously lived in the UK which was up to the early nineties. I haven't needed to buy any wood filler since moving back to the UK a year ago so I'm not sure if that brand is still available.

Thin out the wood filler into a sloppy slurry, wrap a rag around your finger, pick up some of the slop and burnish it into the open pored edges. Sand smooth and paint once dry, assuming you did a good job of filling the pores-- sometimes a second coat is needed here and there prior to painting. This is one of my preferred methods.

I've used water based plaster repair products too with good success-- Polyfilla springs to mind although sometimes these products can be a bit coarse.

You can use plaster of paris in much the same manner as it's used to fill the grain of open pored woods like oak, walnut or mahogany. Lastly you might consider using proprietary grain filler out of a can-- the colour won't matter if you are painting over the top.

I've never tried the PVA trick so I can't say how well it works. I've never tried it because I've always had good results using the thinned out water based wood stopper/filler.

None of the solutions above provide an instant solution to an admittedly rather tedious process. The time required really ought to be priced into the job and charged for accordingly if you are to make a suitable profit. Slainte.
 

tim

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I have also used plaster sealer and thinned pasterboard compound with pretty good success but as you say its messy, time consuming and tedious. You are of course right that it should be factored into the cost which in part it is but that doesn't remove the tedious, messy bit. I'd rather be able to charge less and do a job quicker and more cleanly so I was just looking for a short cut. Obviously i'd really like to do the job more quickly and cleanly and charge the same! 8) .

Thanks for your help. We've spoken before over the pond. :)

T
 

Sgian Dubh

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Tim there are other ways to fill such problem areas if you have a spray set-up.

Finish manufacturers make spray grain filler and spray MDF primer. These can be used to quickly fill MDF edges with a narrow fan setting on the gun. You also need to back off the volume sprayed too.

I'm still working out who sells what in the UK along the spray finish lines so I'm not sure I could confidently suggest a manufacturer. I'd been out of the country for ten years until a year ago.

I've been looking at the Fiddes, Morrells and Becker Acroma websites today, and not had too much success getting the specific information I'm after. I'll probably call some of the contacts I've noted during the week to see what they've got.

It's possible we've 'spoken over the pond.' I get into a lot of places I shouldn't, ha, ha. Slainte.
 

WellsWood

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I've had cause to investigate this a little myself recently. I seem to get a lot of requests these days for "cheap" built in wardrobes and the like, which usually means painted 18mm MDF (I won't go near chipboard unless specifically requested by the client).
I haven't tried the watered-down filler method (but I might now) but I have had pretty good results using PVA diluted 1:1 with water and then sanded to about 180grit before painting. Trouble is I found it much more time consuming than my usual method because of the extra operation & drying time that has to be endured before painting can begin.
Thus I have returned to my original method which I have found to be the most cost-effective:

1. Buy good quality MDF with a nice flat, almost shiny surface. This will almost always mean a nice dense core and consequently a better edge to begin with.

2. Avoid using the "natural" edges of the board where it will show, if possible always use edges created by cuts for any exposed parts such as cabinet and door front edges.

3. Sand edges to be painted to 180grit and lightly "ease" all corners, then thoroughly brush and vacuum all surfaces to be painted.

4. Apply 2 coats of a good quality acrylic primer/undercoat, sanding the edges between coats, and all surfaces prior to topcoating.

I prefer to use a 4" roller for the primer/uc wherever possible, the ones specified for emulsion on smooth surfaces, and with the largest diameter I can get.
The advantage of this is that the edge sealing and priming of the components happen concurrently. Most people who want painted MDF furniture do so because budget is a primary concern, and it therefore becomes very difficult to price-in any extra operations/drying time.
I love my work, but I'm not in a position to give it away for free.
 
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