mdf panels for frame and panel doors

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Forum topic by Pabs posted 526 days ago 840 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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175 posts in 2079 days

526 days ago

my next phase in my kitchen project is to give my existing doors a makeover.. They are made of solid oak… I will be using this oak to make a frame and panel style door.
So the rails and stiles will be from solid oak and then I will insert either glass or a panel in them.
It was recommended to me to use 1/4” mdf for the panels as they take paint very well and do no move like wood does

Is this pretty common practice?

-- Pabs

5 replies so far

View verdesardog's profile


78 posts in 1237 days

#1 posted 526 days ago

mdf works well for flat panels and DOES take paint well, just make sure to finish sand it first to get rid of all maufacturing lines and oils….

-- .. heyoka ..

View John's profile


182 posts in 2209 days

#2 posted 526 days ago

I use MDF for painted flat panels in rail and stile doors. I use 3/8” MDF and back cut the panels – I think they make for a more solid door and I prime them with two coats of BIN primer sanded between each coat then prime and paint. Makes for a real nice smooth, hard surface. Be sure to prime all edges of the panels before you assemble the door. The BIN dries in about 15 minutes so work fast and you can sand it and apply all the prime coats in one day.

-- John, Long Island, NY

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1245 posts in 698 days

#3 posted 526 days ago

+1 john I use 3/8 mdf and mdf core venereed for flat panels. I have also done raised panels from 3/4 mdf. It takes a tad more primer and sanding, but they paint quite well.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Loren's profile (online now)


7390 posts in 2273 days

#4 posted 526 days ago

I’d recommend seeing if you can get 3/8” MDF
and then cut a 1/8” rabbet in the back so the
back of the panel is raised flush with the back
of the frame. It looks better, imo.


View waho6o9's profile (online now)


4824 posts in 1202 days

#5 posted 526 days ago

MDO, medium density overlay, takes paint better imo.

MDF will work as well, if you like working with that stuff.

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