Spraying Black Gloss Lacquer on MDF

Good priming and pore filling are important. October 13, 2008

I am attempting to spray some MDF panels gloss black lacquer. How can I get the best results?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor C:
I would have my primer tinted to a dark or black color. I would first treat the edges with a couple of coats, then I would spray a couple of coats on the whole panel, then apply a couple of coats of the finish lacquer.

From contributor S:
I agree with contributor C. Also if you have high humidity, use a lacquer retarder to slow drying. Otherwise you will have highs and lows in your shine.

From contributor D:
You're nuts if you don't use a filler primer. I use Valspar's but all CV manufacturers make these specifically for MDF. These block the routed pores of the MDF and prevent it from adsorbing, which if you don't use them takes a minimum of four coats of normal finish to stop.

From contributor B:
Depends how many edges are routed... but I've gone ahead and applied a heavy coat of finish with a brush on just the routed edges. This gives you a good, quick build/seal without spraying twenty coats to do it. Sand off any lap-over on the flat surfaces with a palm sander and some fine grit. Do at least two (might take three) pretty heavy coats this way and you should get good penetration into the fibers and allow for some smooth sanding. Then spray your final coats as usual. I usually do this with a high pigmented primer, but in a pinch I've done it this way as well.