Can You Paint MDF With Chalk Paint?

So you want to know whether you can paint MDF with chalk paint. Well, there is only one way to know for sure, and that’s to test it. I grabbed one of my handy MDF sample squares and got out my tin of Rustoleum chalk paint. I then painted the sample and did some testing, read on to see the results.

The MDF Sample To Paint

So this is what I will be painting with chalk paint. One of my trusty MDF sample squares straight out of the sample bin.

The MDF sample I will be painting with chalk paint
The MDF sample I will be painting with chalk paint

Painting The MDF

So now it’s time to actually get some painting done. The MDF was actually really easy to paint with chalk paint. It covered really well and also even covered the cut edges of the MDF well. This area can often be a pain to paint on MDF as the fibrous edges just soak up paint.

Painting the MDF with chalk paint
Painting the MDF with chalk paint

The Dried Chalk Paint on MDF

So now the paint has hide plenty of time to fully cure up. You can see that a single coat has covered the MDF really well, so far so good for painting MDF with chalk paint.

Next, we will do a scratch test to see if the paint has adhered to the MDF surface or not.

The Chalk Paint Has Now Dried Fully
The Chalk Paint Has Now Dried Fully

Scratch Testing The MDF

So to scratch test the MDF and see how well the chalk paint has stuck I will use some rough-cut timber. This is the same method I use in all my scratch tests.

I feel that rough cut c16 timber is a good test medium as it is not too hard but not too soft. If I used something really hard like metal then not much would stand up to it and the test would be pointless.

On the other hand, if I used something too soft it would never scratch anything and again it would be pointless.

MDF After Scratch Test
MDF After Scratch Test

So above is the MDF after the scratch test. It has stood up to the scratching really really well. There is not a single place where the chalk paint has come away from the MDF, this is a fantastic result.

This is all I need to see to say you can use chalk paint on MDF, at least indoors.

If you are planning on using it to protect MDF that it outdoors then we need to test how well the paint holds up when exposed to the elements.

For this, I will place the sample in my outside test area and just leave it exposed to the weather for months and maybe even years.

I have painted the full test sample with chalk paint so it is completely sealed with the paint.

The MDF Sample Outside
The MDF Sample Outside

Here is the sample outside. Make sure to check back for regular updates on how it’s getting on, for now, it is too soon for me to have anything to report.

Photo of author

Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

Leave a comment