What can I use MDF for?

A popular material due to high levels of durability and low cost, MDF has been around since the 1980s. But what exactly is it and how can you use it for your home DIY project or large construction development?

What is MDF?

Firstly, MDF stands for medium-density fibreboard. This should give you some clues about what the material consists of, but let’s break it down further.

MDF is created by first breaking up other woods into fibre. This reconstituted material is then bonded together by adhesives and heated and pressured to provide a curing process. During the manufacturing of MDF, other chemicals can be added to provide waterproof finishes or other types of protection.

What can I use MDF for?

One of the reasons MDF is so popular is that it is so easy to work with. Whether you’re creating something simple and solid, or you’re creating something more decorative, it can all be achieved with MDF and the right tools. Here are some basic ideas to get you started:

Skirting boards – The trim which goes along the bottom of your walls can be created from MDF. You make make them as ornate or simple as you wish, and they will look exactly the same as genuine wood once painted.

Panelling – If you want to go one better than simple skirting, you could try panelling in your rooms. This is a bigger project to undertake and won’t fit aesthetically for many homes, but if you’ve always longed for panelling on the lower half of your wall – or you want to replace any current panelling which is damaged – then MDF is a cost-effective way of doing it.

Shelving – When it comes to simple shelving, MDF will certainly do the trick. Not the most glamourous material, you might turn to MDF shelving for a garage or shed space where aesthetics aren’t quite as important.

Storage cabinets – With the right finish, MDF cabinets could save you a pretty penny. You’ll need to be pretty handy (or know someone who is) if you want to build and fit cabinets, but MDF is a great material for this purpose.


Tips for working with MDF

As easy as MDF is to work with, there are a few pointers you might need if you’ve never used the material before. The first is that, given the composition of the board, any cutting will create quite a bit of dust. It’s recommended that you wear a mask and protective eyewear when working on MDF, and you might want to do your cutting outdoors if you’re looking to keep mess to a minimum.

The other tip for MDF is that trying to put screws in close to the edges can sometimes result in fracturing and chipping of the surface. To create a tidier finish, it is recommended that all screws are countersunk – this also makes driving screws into the board easier.


If you’re looking for MDF supplies to get your project underway, look no further than Elsons. We provide high quality, low cost MDF for London and the north Home Counties – simply contact us or visit our branches for more details.