MDF or mineral fibre density is a man made wood that has an extremely smooth finish. The best MDF primer adheres well to the smooth surface and supplies a layer for top.
MDF has become popular because of its versatility and use in furniture. The surface however can be a bit trickier to cover with paint than other types of wood.
Purpose made MDF and special universal primers have been developed to cover the smooth surface, normally requiring one or two coats before top coating with a lacquer or topcoat. We look at some of the options available.
Our site is reader-supported. To maintain the site we may earn commission on sales through our links at no extra cost to you. For further information view our policy.
The No. 1 Primer for MDF
Our preferred MDF primer choice is Leyland Trade MDF Primer. A trade paint available for both DIY and professionals that is purpose built to allow coating of MDF.
MDF Priming Paint Comparison
|Coverage M2 Per L
|Leyland Trade MDF Primer
|Rustins Quick dry Primer and Undercoat
|Dulux Difficult Surfaces Primer
|Rust-Oleum All Surface Paint
|Blackfriar MDF undercoat primer
The Best MDF Paint Primer 2021
1. Leyland Trade MDF Primer
Leyland produce an primer that is a specially formulated providing a quality sealing coat to MDF.
It is a trade product and his means superior quality to general commercially bought paints and primers
The paint can be applied by brush, roller and spray and covers well.
This paint is low odour, water based and quick to dry.
The main features of MDF Leyland Trade Primer:
- Part of the Specialist Coatings Range
- Suitable for internal and external MDF items
- Primes and seals MDF surfaces
- Quick drying can re-coat after an hour
- Provides great adhesion
The primer is a thick coating that covers well to an even finish and provides an excellent base coat.
The primer dries to a flat solid finish, ideal for overcoating with wood topcoats.
Available in 0.75L and 2.5L sizes.
For a durable bonding paint primer for MDF with flat finish this is a perfect choice.
2. Rustin Quick Dry Primer and Undercoat
The quick dry primer and undercoat by Rustin is the perfect priming undercoat solution for MDF and other hard to coat surfaces.
The primer is specifically designed to give a bonding surface and undercoat to ready for top coats.
It is drys exceptionally fast and provides a flat finish when dry.
It is an all in one coating but will take a 2 coats to cover and may be painted over with both solvent and water-based top coats.
The primer paint can be used over previously painted surfaces, plaster, brickwork, cement and other bare woods. This makes it a great option of primer for a variety of jobs.
Features of Rustins Quick Drying Primer & Undercoat:
- For interior and exterior surfaces
- Formulated for MDF and other hard to adhere to surfaces
- Dries to a flat finish
- Easy to clean brushes
The primer can be applied by brush, roller or spray. It is available in 0.25L, 0.5L, 1L and 2.5L sizes depending on the size of your tasks.
A good choice of primer for coating MDF and other surfaces.
3. Dulux Difficult Surfaces Primer
Coatings giant Dulux makes a special primer that is water based and is suitable for aluminium, galvanised metal and copper .
This primer for MDF provides a smooth even finish essential for top coating.
It drys fast and can be over coated in 4 hours, depending on conditions.
A nice primer to apply and will only take one coat to provide suitable adhesion over MDF.
It is also suitable for other materials such as tiles, melamine and uPVC
The features of Dulux Difficult Surfaces Primer:
- Top coat can be applied in as little as 4 hours
- Quick and easy to apply-.
- Tough & Durable.
- Smooth finish.
- Ideal adhesion
We suggest one to two primer coats, followed by a top coat of wood paint, either satin or gloss to create the best finish.
it is available in white.
If you have pieces of MDF to coat on a project, then this difficult surfaces primer is a great choice.
4. Rust-Oleum All Surface Paint
This universal all surface primer is an effective way of bonding and sealing MDF and other tough to coat surfaces.
The paint can be applied by spray, brush and roller. It is a primer and paint in one which will take a minimum of 2 coats if applying to MDF.
All surface primer can be top coated. It can also be used as a primer to plastic, wood, metals, radiators, tiles, laminates and more.
The paint is tough and durable.
The primer can be applied to most surfaces internally and externally.
Main features of Rust-Oleum All Surface Paint:
- For indoor and outdoor surfaces
- Durable and built to last
- For MDF and a a large variety of surfaces
- Easy to apply
- Available in different colours
It is available in 250ml and 750ml sizes.
This paint dries in about 2 hours in the right conditions.
The paint and primer gives a flat primer and top coat finish to MDF with great coverage.
5. Blackfriar MDF Primer Undercoat
Blackfrair produce a custom primer and undercoat for MDF.
The primer is tough and durable and is easy to apply, and creates a flat matt finish when dry
Main features of Blackfriar MDF Primer Undercoat:
- High performance coating
- Provides excellent base adhesion
- Primer and undercoat
- Specifically for coating MDF
- Very Quick drying Time
The primer can be brushed, roller or spray applied.
This primer is touch dry in 1-2 hours and ready to re-coat in 4 hours.
The paint dries to an even flat matt finish suitable for overcoating with a decorative finish.
Overall this primer supplies great adhering base coat and undercoat on MDF.
As with the majority of painting jobs, the key to a successful project is in the preparation. MDF can be a difficult surface to get a bond to due its smooth surface.
A quality primer is essential to bond and seal the surface which then allows subsequent coats of decorative paints and lacquers to create the desired finish.
If you have areas of furniture or other areas made with MDF that require coating make sure that you prepare the surface fully by cleaning and then sealing with a suitable priming paint for MDF.