Painting MDF help needed


So i’ve been working on cutting out F1 tracks for a friends wedding.

and also a trophy for the winner of the Skaletric competition

My problem is i want to paint them up however painting MDF always leaves the MDF looking grain. Can anyone recommend a tip for priming MDF so it looks smooth and well not made from MDF?



I like auto style filler primer and a light sanding for mine. Always seems to fill those pits nicely.

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2nd that. Auto style primer. Also what works AMAZINGLY well is chalkboard paint. Covers like you can’t believe, leaves a perfectly smooth and solid surface and is even easier to sand. The downside is that it is black so you need to top coat well. The upside is that black stands out so you will know you have top coated well.

Here is an example of the chalkboard paint with satin sealer over the top on the background. And white top coat over the letters.

2 thick coats of metallic sparkle spraypaint did give me good results. No primer, just sanded obviously

You can get custom tinted chalkboard paints at Benjamin Moore stores.

I’m painting them Satin black anyway… so i’ll definatly give chalkboard paint a try, hopfuly it will be my primer and top coat all in one :slight_smile:


I have to use the rattle cans because I don’t have a sprayer, so I am not sure the custom tints will help me. You will need to put a sealer coat over the top, because the chalkboard paint mars, shows fingerprints, collects every speck of dust, etc. Post pics when you are done!

I paint tons of MDF. I use an acrylic primer (interior house primer), but you can use an aerosol primer. Typically I’ll brush the edges first and the spray the whole thing.

The next step is important, sanding! I use 220 to smooth all surfaces as the MDF will soak in the primer and become rough. I then prime again. Sand once more lightly with 220, not too aggressively though just enough to smooth out and small bits. If you are going to use a gloss, I’d suggest using 0000 steel wool to get all the scratches out.

Then paint with your desired color, I usually do a minimum of 2 coats!

These puzzle had 2 primer coats, sanded, at least 2 color coats and then a couple coats of water based Varathane clear satin. I use a HVLP spray gun which works great!

Good luck, with your project, it looks great!


Yeah, that little rascal Ivy has it too easy, Rusty! :slight_smile:

All these name signs are really cool! Thanks for the great ideas, folks.

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This is what i use. But i don’t pay that much for it.

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