28 Nov 2020
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I'm about to begin painting a newly built entertainment unit made from Medite (if relevant) MDF. What paints would people use, they'll need to be hard wearing as the kids will also use them for toys.

Sponsored Links
Painting MDF cabinets used to be my bread and butter.

I primed them with Leyland Trade acrylic primer/undercoat. I then thoroughly sanded them with 180grit (using a DA sander). I sanded about 75% of the paint away until I removed the factory produced scores in the finish. I then followed up with two coats of Dulux Trade oil based eggshell.

You could go for waterbased finishes but they are far less durable. They do however cure faster and smell less.

Sounds like paint before assembly and sand outside, or somewhere well ventilated. I'm a bit limited on suitable space if I'm right.

How about the Leyland MDF primer, or is it the same stuff?
Last edited:
Sponsored Links
Paint before assembly works well when spraying units with 2k paints, largely because you don't get a big build up of paint on the edges of the shelves/etc. Hand painting can lead to massive build up at the edges.

The leyland paint I am recommending is this one

I have never used the dedicated water based Leyland MDF primer. I cannot comment on it, but the one that I recommended is a dream to sand flat. In my (extensive experience) most water based primers are a pain to sand back- they clog the abrasives. Once the paper is clogged you cannot sand the mdf flat.

All of the units that I hand painted were insitu, but because of the smell, the customers would move out of the room for a week. I was often painting 4 (double bay) wardrobes though.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local