is it safe to use MDF without painting?

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by smizzy, 25 Feb 2016.

  1. smizzy

    smizzy

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    Hi, I want to use a large amount of mdf for utility shelving and wall covering however I dont want to paint it. I just want to cut it and put it up. Is it safe to do this. I have read that mdf may be dangerous - chemicals, formaldehyde etc. Is it really that bad once cut and installed?
    thanks

    forgot to say... it is in the home not a garage or shed or anything outside.
     
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  3. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    It's really the dust from MDF that causes the panic......once installed everything should be dust free.
    Formaldehyde gas is present in the atmosphere and any emissions from MDF are considered to be no worse than from natural timbers.
    John :)
     
  4. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Unpainted MDF as a wall covering ??!

    What sort of area are you thinking of? It may be necessary to use fire-resistant materials if it's a large area.
     
  5. smizzy

    smizzy

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    Thanks that's a relief to know
     
  6. smizzy

    smizzy

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    It's mainly shelving really but tight fitting almost like small racking boxes. The occasional large sheet would be for hanging stuff on. It doesn't need to look good just be functional. It won't be around any heat but obviously will burn if the rest of the house goes up. Fire treating that particular room would be the least of my worries then though! :eek:
     
  7. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Wipe over with a danish oil on a rag, take minutes and leave a dust free, water resistant surface.
     
  8. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Since the mid-1990s most MDF made within the EU has had to meet the "E1" class spec. The levels of free formaldehyde in boards made to class E1 are thought to be insignificant (less than 0.1 ppm or parts per million). Some boards are made to E2 spec (0.1 ppm and 0.3 ppm), but not many. At these levels the resin is fully reacted (polymerised), you'll therefore get less outgassing of formaldehyde from MDF than you would get from, say, pine timber.
     
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