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MDF panels are not strong

This painting was drying on a shelf, and fell off, landing on a corner.  It fell about 1.5m.



I didn't expect MDF to be this weak.  Let this be a warning to anyone painting on cheap wood panels, be very careful with them.  This applies to shipping panels through the mail also also: protect those edges.
SummerRenoirIrishcajun

Comments

  • edited September 2
    MDFs are extremely weak. I am using those and very thin ones just because they are perfect size for my box, easy to bend when they are wet (if there is some warping before priming) and after drying they retain that shape. But never lose sight of those. Handle with care. A lot of people including me are using MDFs but it is not recommended for finished pieces either. They absorb moisture and contain formaldehyde. I am using these for plein air stuff for now. But after some modification in my box in future I will move to good quality plywood or Masonite stuff.
  • Large pieces need to be cradled or reinforced; varnish or oil prime front and back to prevent warp and add some strength for accidental bumps but dropping it on a corner? only a sturdy frame would help that. the tempered hard boards are just as vulnerable in the corners.
  • @PaulB in response to your comment in Boudicca's thread, small brushes are hard for me to handle too I've used a number of things to try to help. one that works for me is foam tape. I cut it as long as where I grip the shaft and wrap it lengthwise around the handle overlapping the edges then cut through the overlap with a razor to remove the excess and form a perfect seam. 
    PaulB
  • I paint on this small store bought MDF board panels, I seal them with wood glue and prime with acrylic before painting, dont have any problems with it ..

    dencalPaulB
  • BOB73 said:
    @PaulB in response to your comment in Boudicca's thread, small brushes are hard for me to handle too I've used a number of things to try to help. one that works for me is foam tape. I cut it as long as where I grip the shaft and wrap it lengthwise around the handle overlapping the edges then cut through the overlap with a razor to remove the excess and form a perfect seam. 
    Good idea @BOB73.  I tried wrapping masking tape around the slippery brush handle, and that works for me so far.
  • Nikolina_ said:
    I paint on this small store bought MDF board panels, I seal them with wood glue and prime with acrylic before painting, dont have any problems with it ..
    I'm not sure that will help if you drop one on a corner.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited September 6
    PaulB

    Is the panel MDF or particle board? The pic posted looks like particle board (chip board).

    MDF is an engineered wood composite that is similar to particle board, but is much denser and stronger than particle board.



    Denis

    PaulB
  • @dencal that was a veneered particle board.  I have also dropped an unpainted MDF board with similar effects, although less "flaking", more like just deformation.  Attempts to straighten it cause it to crumble.
    Kaustav
  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 6
    I'm switching to canvas on aluminum.  Don't care for copper.  Two years in, sorry flexible stretched canvas and boards didn't work out for me.  I can see how plein air painters would benefit from AlumaComp sheets.  They come in small sizes.  A lot of customization can be done with them.  There is nothing like having confidence with the substrate you decide to use and leave for your family and posterity if you are a serious painter.     
  • My thinking is that I will use Dibond for anything permanent or intended for others, and cheap/weak wood panels for practice stuff that leaves the house the undignified way.
    Summer
  • Can you stick the MDF board onto a piece of polycarbonate so there is some edge protection whilst working on a painting?
  • Richard_P said:
    Can you stick the MDF board onto a piece of polycarbonate so there is some edge protection whilst working on a painting?
    That would work, but instead of sticking a thing to another thing, I'd rather just paint on the thing.

    Now I've just learned there are carbon fiber panels.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 6
    I may end up painting on aluminum directly - after priming - if I can't get the raw linen canvas to glue and prime properly onto the aluminum substrate. 
  • Summer said:
    I may end up painting on aluminum directly - after priming - if I can't get the raw linen canvas to glue and prime properly. 
    It's working for me.  Two coats of latex house primer, painted in alternate directions, directly on lightly sanded aluminum panel (watch out for the hazardous dust).  It creates a slightly absorbent matt surface, with fake tooth.  You can see this in the pencil lines I drew here:



    I think the trick might be in using an old stiff primer brush, and the thinnest coat possible.  In other words, zero levelling.

    The general filth you can see is me failing to erase lines with a fossilized eraser.
    SummerBOB73
  • @PaulB I did drop it and it hit the desk , wall and fell on the floor behind the desk and nothing happened cause I sealed edges good also, but was referring more to the moisture problem that someone mentioned.. paint and oil cant get through if its sealed and primed properly..well at least in my case :)
    dencalBOB73
  • size matters when you drop Masonite. Small and light weight don't seem to mind being dropped but the larger ones, because they are so heavy will disfigure easily. BTW priming Masonite front and back has always worked for me. It doesn't seem to matter what primer or varnish/shellac either but no amount of primer will protect the corners in a drop test. Three layers of carpet padding on the floor may help if you insist on dropping your panels.
    Summer
  • BOB73 said:
    priming Masonite front and back has always worked for me. It doesn't seem to matter what primer or varnish/shellac either
    And, I can hear voices in my head saying: "Don't forget the sides."  ;)   Summer
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