You can paint damaged MDF Furniture or paint fake wood furniture and hide those ugly poofs and bubbles. The poofs, bubbles, and raised areas on the furniture means it has gotten wet or damaged at one time or another. Maybe from someone sitting a drink on the surface or maybe a wet towel.
Did you know you can make those bubbles disappear or hide them? Yes just paint the damaged MDF furniture instead of trashing it. The procedure is pretty simple. I can walk you through it step by step.
MDF Furniture Paint Project
The technique to paint damaged MDF furniture in a nut shell........First you should sand any bubbled areas, prime with a good primer, and then paint with latex paint. Add a stencil design if needed to help mask the damaged areas. The complete process is shown in detail below.
You would never guess by looking at the top of this chest of drawers that it had a bunch of poofy spots where the fake wood (MDF) got wet. I made them disappear.
how to paint fake wood furniture
I’ve always used stencils for decorative accents. Well, they can be used to cover-up furniture flaws too. But first we have to take care of the damaged areas.
This is the not-so-pretty before picture of the chest. I purchased this piece at My Favorite Junk Shop. The chest had something sitting on top if it and I didn’t notice the damage until we were loading it into the truck.
What Is MDF Furniture?
The long name for this type of wood is Medium-Density Fiberboard. I just call it fake wood or not real wood.
Definition from Wikipedia....Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibres, often in a defibrator, combining it with wax and a resin binder, and forming panels by applying high temperature and pressure. MDF is generally denser than plywood.
All I know is that f it gets wet it bubbles up like this chest did. I don’t normally buy mdf furniture, this was a slip-up on my part. So I went about finding a way to paint the chest so the bubbled up part didn't show.
How To Paint Damaged MDF Furniture....
Step 1. Sand The Damaged MDF Furniture
This step is a must and you don't need any power tools, just a piece of sandpaper. It's not necessary to sand the whole chest just the damaged areas.
I decided to sand down the bubbled areas and try using a light coat of primer before painting it. I did the sanding by hand. I was afraid to get out the power sander and take off too much stuff.
The best thing to do is just sand the damaged area and no more. I didn't want to enlarge the areas fearing it would add to the poof when I brushed the primer on. Sand the bad areas until they are flush with the rest of the chest top.
Step 2: Prime The MDF Furniture
Primer is great for what ails furniture. I have a great video on my favorite primer and how to use it here. I applied a very light coat of Glidden Gripper primer in Grey. I was afraid to saturate the top too much because it might poof up again. I held my breath while waiting for the primer to dry. But......it looked good. No poofing from the primer. I even added a second light coat of primer.
Step 3. Paint The Furniture With Latex Paint
A lot of furniture painters rely on specialty furniture paints but you can get great results with latex paint and it's cheaper. After the primer was dry I put on a coat of the pink paint, latex based. I could still see some slightly raised bubbled areas.
The bubbles were only noticeable from a certain angle when the light hit them just right. I probably could have sanded them a bit more than I did before using the primer. Too late now. I didn’t like those bubbles…..so on to trying to hide the mdf damage.
Step 4. Add A Stenciled Design Over Damaged MDF
Stencils are inexpensive and can be used on any home decor including furniture. Next up was a cute little circle dot stencil. I’ve discovered stenciling a design on furniture can cover up some big flaws. I selected the circle dot stencil because of the random pattern.
I taped my stencil in place and painted the design with a stencil brush. Remember the secret to stenciling is using a very dry brush. Dip the brush in your paint then wipe most of the paint off with a paper towel. (click the pink words for the in-depth stenciling tutorial)
I went a little nuts and did a lot of overlayed circles. I thought it turned out pretty darn cute! You can’t even see those little furniture bubbles.
But seriously. I probably could have used my sander and smoothed out all those bubbles then primed, but I didn’t. I was afraid it would be overkill. Maybe next time. You notice I also had to add a bit of stencil love to the diamond design on the dresser front.
This pink paint is a special mix by me. I had a little light pink paint in a can and I poured it into a can of darker pink and this is the color I came up with.
5. Paint The Hardware
Spray paint the original hardware pulls. This is one of the easiest things to do and it makes such an impact when redoing a piece of furniture. I spray painted the drawer pulls white and replaced the top drawer knobs with porcelain ones I had on hand. I think I got them at the Habitat Restore.
You can often find old furniture pulls and sometimes new ones at thrift stores, flea markets, etc. If you make over furniture very often buy those pulls when you see them.
The little chest of drawers is stylish now. You would never know the top was damaged before. The chest of drawers would be perfect in a nursery. Make Mom and little girl smile.
Watch my video on how to "faux distress" problem furniture or fake wood furniture like this piece. Another way to make fake wood furniture look good.....
How To Paint Problem Furniture
What do you think? Even inexpensive furniture with damaged surfaces can be made beautiful. Do you have any poofy mdf furniture or fake wood furniture with major damages? Maybe you could try this technique.
Try this process for distressing mdf furniture.... How To Distress Fake Wood Furniture And MDF Furniture
Thanks for being here and have a great day, Kathy