High Quality Custom Cabinet Doors

MDF For Cabinet Doors Explained

MDF For Cabinet Doors Explained

What is MDF? MDF is an acronym for Medium Density Fiberboard. It is made by breaking down left over pieces of hardwood and softwoods into small wood fibers, it is then mixed with resins and formed into flat sheets under heat and pressure. MDF is significantly stronger and denser than particle board, particle board uses larger chips of wood and has a coarser finish. Particle board is sometimes used for cabinet doors, but it is at the very low end, commonly found in high volume and imported cabinets and in our opinion should be avoided. Most cabinet door manufactures use MDF and that will be the focus of this article.

Using MDF For Cabinet Doors Has Many Advantages

MDF is used for a wide variety items, such as cabinet cases, moulding, shelving, and is also available with a wood veneer or melamine coatings. MDF makes a great affordable paint grade material for cabinet doors. Although when using MDF for cabinet doors MDF is usually always painted it can accept a faux finish using a gel stain along with graining tools to simulate the look of wood. We have also seen in some commercial applications MDF being clear coated for use as displays or other commercial store fixtures.

Using MDF for cabinet doors has a few trade offs compared to solid wood. One is cut MDF or MDF that is exposed usually will have a very slight “fuzzy” surface that can be smoothed out with fine sandpaper. This is always recommended prior to painting. For most applications a good quality coat of primer, followed by a light fine sanding will smooth out the MDF very nicely awaiting the final coat of enamel. Another trade off is weight MDF is very heavy in sheet form. This is usually not a concern for cabinet doors, some people like the heavy feel of cabinet doors as it tends to have a solid feel to opening and closing the cabinet doors.

Overall using MDF for cabinet doors is here to stay as an affordable alternative to solid wood and veneer core sheet products. Its ease of workability and paint-ability make it a good alternative for custom cabinet door construction.