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Craftsman trim done with mdf?

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Forum topic by Canofworms posted 04-16-2014 02:01 AM 3426 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Canofworms

103 posts in 964 days


04-16-2014 02:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: trim mdf

So please don’t buy my head off I’m new here.
what are your thoughts on using MDF for craftsman style trim around doors and base?
I’m starting off on the second floor bedroom so they don’t need to be spot on like the first floor living room and dining room.


14 replies so far

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ShaneA

6472 posts in 2060 days


#1 posted 04-16-2014 02:03 AM

Other trims options at the big box are made of mdf. Can’t see why something in the craftsman style would not work.

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NoThanks

798 posts in 991 days


#2 posted 04-16-2014 02:07 AM

I don’t mind it for crown, but would rather have poplar for base and trim just for the durability.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

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Paul

721 posts in 1027 days


#3 posted 04-16-2014 02:18 AM

Like Iwud said, I think it’s fine for crown and seldom run into bumped places. The mdf stuff dents way too easily for my personal taste to use around doors, windows, baseboards or chair rails.

Paul

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Shawn Masterson

1297 posts in 1411 days


#4 posted 04-16-2014 02:44 AM

I prefer poplar. That being said poplar is just as soft a mdf. I think you will have trouble finding material over 12’ for base. I don’t like mixing materials on trim. I would think if you found a sawyer you could just do poplar and it probably be cheaper.

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Paul

721 posts in 1027 days


#5 posted 04-16-2014 02:50 AM

I guess I didn’t give my preference when stating that I think mdf dents too easily. Maple in the midwest is decently priced and I prefer to use it for windows, doors baseboards etc.

Paul

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NoThanks

798 posts in 991 days


#6 posted 04-16-2014 03:22 AM

The difference with poplar, although it is soft, it will not swell or deteriorate like mdf will in places that get moisture, like your bathrooms or base on floors that get moped frequently. Any wood is going to dent when you run into it with something.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

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Canofworms

103 posts in 964 days


#7 posted 04-16-2014 01:12 PM

You guys are great!! most of the time when I join a forum and ask a question the forum trolls jump all over me.
Bravo!
That being said I had to purchase last night so went through every stick of #2 pine at at the big box to find the ones that were usable as select grade.
It is getting painted and nods that couldn’t be avoided I’ll just stain block.
This is for the second floor so instead of doing crossbeam, the tops are going to be simple one by six with 35 angle each end and one by fours on the vertical
I’m in North New Jersey and to find a Sawyer and lumber would cost just as much money buying it after transportation and running around

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1832 days


#8 posted 04-16-2014 01:38 PM

I was recently looking into a similar question. I have to install some chair rail in a children’s bedroom I’m remodeling. All the existing trim is pine, and will stay that way. Like others, I wouldn’t use MDF on doorway trim or base, because of the abuse. I opted for MDF for my chair rail because a) all trim is getting repainted white, so matching is not an issue b.) the depth of the chair is the same as the depth of the baseboard, so any large objects (dressers, beds) are not going to be getting slammed into the chair rail (there are no actual chairs in this bedroom) and c.) price/availability (I can buy it long enough to span the 12.5’ wall in one single piece).

Long story short, I don’t think MDF is a bad idea in certain situations. Just not yours. Welcome to LumberJocks, hope your project turns out well!

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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cabmaker

1506 posts in 2271 days


#9 posted 04-17-2014 02:47 AM

MDF will hold up very well for you assuming you use a decent grade (which won’t be found at the depot)

It mills nicely but is a little tough on cutting edges and makes lots of fine dust.

My concern is that you will have no option other than painting, which would be blasphemy to the craftsman style!

( oh and it is more dent resistive than pine and a few others for architraves)

Enjoy! JB

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Canofworms

103 posts in 964 days


#10 posted 04-17-2014 02:50 AM

Ugh… My wife and sister want the trim painted.
Personally I would rather have it natural, but I do not have the money to do anything but pine or MDF.
So, paint it is.
That being said it will be a great improvement over the old trim that had 40 coats of pain and had no reveal left because of the layers of sheetrock and paneling.

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1832 days


#11 posted 04-17-2014 12:26 PM

Paint or no paint, it’s going to look worlds better. Paint does have it’s benefits. Gaps can be caulked quickly, you don’t have to worry about color-matching when filling nail holes…I’m in the same boat as you, with funds limiting me to pine/MDF. It’s going to look great, don’t sweat it. And, you’ll have a happy wife.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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Canofworms

103 posts in 964 days


#12 posted 04-17-2014 01:46 PM

So on the second floor I am thinking of switching to MDF from a supply house.
But I already have a minvan full of all the picked through number 2 pine from big box. So I might just keep it.
My plan on the second floor is to do a simple craftsman style with no beads or crown just a 33 degree at top and apron to imply crown.
What do you think? Suggestions?

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sras

4391 posts in 2591 days


#13 posted 04-17-2014 02:54 PM

My house is trimmed in MDF. Because of excellent caulk and paint, it looks great. My only complaint is that it does NOT hold up in wet environments.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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Shawn Masterson

1297 posts in 1411 days


#14 posted 04-18-2014 03:14 AM

One note on using pine, seal the hell out of it. I have seen painted #2 pine have the knots bleed through years later.
I personally always line up the leg up with the end of undersill trim (the 1×6). The sills are historically 5/4 material and they look better that way. The only other advice I have to offer is where the 1×4 leg meets up with the 1×6 head you need to use dowels or biscuits in that joint to keep them lined up in time.

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