A veneer is a thin layer of wood, usually hardwood, that is bonded to MDF. The layers is usually an eighth of an inch or thinner. This layer gives the MDF a solid feel and look.
Veneered MDF can be painted, primed, treated and stained like any other type of wood. In fact, painting veneered MDF is one of the best ways to spruce up your MDF pieces and make then match with a new type of décor or make them look newer than before.
How to Paint a Veneered MDF
Preparing the Surface
If your furniture piece is not new, the MDF will have taken a beating. Therefore, it will have areas that are dented, chipped or gouged. These places have to be evened out before you paint. Remove any loose chunks of the veneer. Then, sand down the edge around all the holes.
Use the wood filler to fill every hole and then smooth them out using a putty knife. Allow the putty to dry out before going on with the rest of the process. Different putty manufacturers have varying instructions regarding the drying process of their putty.
Once your veneer surface is evened out, you should clean it thoroughly. You do not want freckles on the painted surface. Besides, paint does not stick well on surfaces with oil, grime and dirt. Apart from water, use a degreasing cleaner such as denatured alcohol or ammonia-based cleaners. You should always use a non-abrasive cloth or pad when cleaning the surface.
Finish off the preparation of the surface by sanding out the entire surface. An orbital sander or sandpaper gently scratches the veneer surface, which gives the primer a surface to stick on. Remove the sand particles with a damp cloth or a vacuum cleaner.
Priming and Painting the Surface
You have various paint options that can work on veneer surfaces such as hi-gloss enamel, chalk paint, water-based enamel, varnish and stains, acrylic and milk paint. Buy a primer that matches the type of paint that you intend to use.
Start applying the primer onto the surface. Give it at least three hours to dry before painting the surface. You can paint one or two coats of paint, depending on the desired results. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on applying a second coat. Use a clear coat or sealant to protect the painted surface. Do not put the veneered surface into heavy use before the paint is cured. This could take a week to a month.