Acrylic paint on mdf

by Lance

I am in the process of building a frame for a bathroom mirror using primed mdf board. I was told to give the boards 2 coats of primer and paint before gluing the boards to the mirror.

Thinking that the type of paint would not make a difference, I painted the back side, only, with acrylic semi gloss white.

Well, the paint is dry and I can peel it off like sunburned skin. In fact, the paint peels off so easily, at least in a small area i tried, that I can't image how the adhesive is going to hold up.

I am visiting my children and need to complete this project before I leave in 3 days. How do I get the acrylic paint completely off and what kind of primer and paint do I use so that the paint and adhesive will stick?

The mirror is 8'3" x 3'8".

Comments for Acrylic paint on mdf

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Mar 26, 2015
Painting MDF with Acrylic paint
by: Shawn

Hi Lance,

I'm actually a little surprised that it didn't work.

Even so, the first thing to look for is if the paint has peeled down to the primer or if the primer itself is also lifting. If it's just the paint peeling then the paint is most likely the issue otherwise it's the primer or the MDF itself (there are no absolutes though).

As far as removing the old paint goes you could either use some type of a paint stripper then follow up with priming and two coats of paint.

You could also scrape away the loose paint, power sand with an electric sander, do a couple of skim coats with filler (to level the surface) and then sand the filled surface smooth.

Once the sanding is done, roll on a primer that's compatible with the filler you just used. After the primer dries apply two coats of latex paint (being sure to scuff sand between dried coats of primer and paint). The sanding, between each coating, helps the next coat adhere to the last one along with the fact that the sanding shows how well each coat is sticking to the other.

If it peels again it could be either the original primer, that was on the MDF or the MDF itself, causing the problem.

As a final note, it really doesn't matter what type of paint or primer that you're using. The primer does need to be recommended for the specific surface (or filler) that's being painted over though. Also, the paint should be of good quality and have a flat sheen for the best adhesion.

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