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MDF for wainscoting: durability and joinability

MDF for wainscoting: durability and joinability


  #1  
Old 12-27-12, 07:01 AM
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MDF for wainscoting: durability and joinability

Hi:
I'm planning a wainscoting project for the dining room. I've been reading that MDF is an option, so I want to get opinions from this forum.
1. How durable do you think MDF will be from normal bangs and dings from furniture?

2. How well does MDF join, if I use if for rails and stiles?

3. How well does MDF route? I'm thinking of creating raised panels.

Thanks for the input!
 
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Old 12-27-12, 08:22 AM
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.


MDF is a good choice for a variety of reasons on a wainscoting project like yours.

It's very stable and will not expand and contract as much as real wood.

The joints will remain tight when properly glued.....and it takes paint very well.

The rails and styles can be joined with a biscuit for a superior hold.

Just be aware that it is pretty messy to work with and you should wear a mask.

It will be especially dusty if you plan on machining it with a router etc.

If you cut it in the house realize the dust is very fine and will get everywhere despite your best efforts.

You can also buy the pre-formed raised panels to lessen the amount of machining needed.

Or you can apply some molding to the face of the blank panels to simulate a raised panel.


.
 

Last edited by Halton; 12-27-12 at 10:13 AM.
  #3  
Old 12-27-12, 10:38 AM
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The only caution I see is using it below grade, or in a basement that is humid. It does absorb moisture, and you need to be aware of that. Otherwise, it is a great product for wainscoting and shadow boxes.
 
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Old 12-27-12, 04:06 PM
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You also have to sand down any nail holes you drive in it, as the MDF tends to mushroom around the nail. I'd glue behind it with construction adhesive to reduce the nails needed as much as possible.
 
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Old 12-28-12, 08:59 AM
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Thanks for all the responses.
 
 

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