Working with MDF : Paintbrush Alley

Working with MDF

by Written by WAA Members on 03/10/16

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

Have you ever wondered what an MDF painting surface is and whether it is a good support for your artwork?  The following is excerpted from

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is a dry-process type fiberboard panel with a density below that of HDF and hardboard. This lower density makes MDF the most warp-resistant wood panel available. Unlike the very dense hardboard fiberboards, fibers in MDF panels have the necessary room within the internal structure of the board to expand (from moisture or heat) without distorting the panel. While this lower density gives MDF somewhat less structural strength than other fiber boards, it is still very hard and strong, and more than adequate in that regard for use as an artist panel, for which it is very well suited. It is much stronger than particleboard, a product with which it should not be confused. MDF and HDF are very similar panels and share most of the same qualities; they tend to differ only by a small amount in density. The manufacturing process of these products usually results in the thinner panels having slightly higher densities. Panels of a half inch or more are generally MDF; panels of a quarter inch or less usually fall into the category of HDF, though these are generally called "thin MDF" (TMDF) since the public is more familiar with the term "MDF' than "HDF'.