Finishing MDF Edges

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Forum topic by John posted 11-30-2007 11:34 PM 2619 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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100 posts in 3886 days

11-30-2007 11:34 PM

I was wondering if anyone could give me some tips on how to finish edges on plaques made from MDF. I had a CNC company route some oak veneered MDF sheets into plaques, on which I will be mounting antlers for customers. I have been using oak veneered plywood, but painting the edges is far too time consuming. I am attempting to make the switch to MDF (in order to avoid having to paint the edges ) and hope to be able to simply stain and polyurethane the edges the same as the veneered surfaces.

Thus far I have been using MinWax oil base stain, and have been topcoating with two coats of MinWax water base Polyurethane. Will I be able to use the water base polyurethane on the MDF edges as well? If you have any experience whatsoever in this area I would really appreciate your input.

-- Thanks!

6 replies so far

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4057 days

#1 posted 12-01-2007 02:00 AM

You don’t indicate how the edges are shaped. If flat just glue oak veneer to the edges or, if available in your area (or by mail) there is edge tape with heat activated glue that you just iron on.

If it is a curved edge you can make a complementary mold that will hold oak veneer which you can then glue on the edge.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3844 days

#2 posted 12-01-2007 02:02 AM

You can also get edge band with pressure activated glue (as opposed to heat). Miight work with curvy edges.

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View John 's profile


100 posts in 3886 days

#3 posted 12-01-2007 03:24 AM

Well, the eges have far too many curves to put any type of banding on them. So, will the stain and polyurethane work? Any idea?

-- Thanks!

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3844 days

#4 posted 12-01-2007 03:32 AM

MDF will take stain – the edges will drink it up. I’d do some experimenting. Poly will go on okay, but the first coat may soak in a lot. I just discovered that poly works great on stone!

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View SPalm's profile


5318 posts in 3851 days

#5 posted 12-01-2007 03:44 AM

MDF and water do not play together very well. I have had terrible results with latex paint if I did not seal it first. I have not tried water based poly or stain on it, but it does sound dicy.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3960 days

#6 posted 12-01-2007 07:13 PM

I really hate MDF and someday, you will too! Try an oil based paint, stains or poly. Anything water based will cause the fibers to swell. Experiment too. Make up some samples with different coatings.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

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