Is MDF waterproof?

MDF, also known as medium-density fiberboard, is a strong material. Will it survive exposure to water? Can you leave it in the water for a long time?

MDF is a versatile material. You can choose it for a range of applications. As you can build your kitchen cabinets, shelves, tables, and other home furniture using the material. Read more: Is MDF strong?

Basically, it is a cheaper alternative to other solid woods. However, you shouldn’t expect the same level of durability that solid woods can provide. Mainly when there is water is the concern. 

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Related: Chipboad vs MDF.

Is MDF waterproof?

If you’re planning to buy MDF furniture just because you think it’s waterproof? Here’s what you should know. 

MDF is not waterproof, but it can be water-resistant by applying finishes or painting it. Applying finishes can protect MDF furniture to some certain extent.

But still, long-term interaction of MDF material with water or even short-term can ruin it, cause stretching, and expansion, and lead it to disintegrate. Therefore, don’t let water get in contact with the material. Or better yet, not choose MDF in highly humid areas.

Water and other liquids can easily penetrate the top surface of MDF. In fact, MDF material is nothing but a large number of wood fibers that are heated, glued, and pressed into sheets. It’s easier to guess that it will absorb water.

Is there a waterproof MDF?

You can avail yourself of waterproof MDF from Amazon. In the markets, you will find MDF boards have different finishes, painted, veneered, and laminate. Including the regular MDF sheet which is the cheapest of all the options.

Nonetheless, you’ll have to spend more money than you would on making an MDF board waterproof on your own. 

The waterproof MDF is a variety in which the sheet is treated with chemicals to ensure it won’t be damaged easily when exposed to water.

You can purchase waterproof MDF boards from bix boxes stores, Home depot, or lowes.

However, there are ways to make MDF waterproof by staining, painting, and using different kinds of finishes as we do with wood.

How to waterproof an MDF board.

If you want to waterproof an MDF for outdoor uses, or bathroom and kitchen flooring for instance. Here are the steps on how to do it in the right way. Read more: Using MDF for outdoors.

The method is going to tell you how to waterproof an MDF by applying paint. But you can use different finishes as a protective coat. 

Before painting, bear this in mind. The primer coat will help the paint adhere more effectively.

Things you need:


Start with sanding the surface if it’s rough. Use a smooth coarse sand grit, 200 or 220 will keep the surface smooth.


After sanding is done. You should Apply the primer now. 

Use oil-based primer if the paint you’re going to apply is also oil-based. Plus, oil-based primers are better at resisting moisture than water-based primers, suitable for such applications.

If you cannot reach certain areas with a paint roller, use a paintbrush instead to cover the edges of the MDF sheet. 

The primer must be cured for six hours.


Once the primer is applied and cured to the touch. Now you can apply the moisture-resistant paint. Brush some paint along the edges of the MDF. Roll some paint across the remaining surface. 

It is recommended to let the first layer of the paint dry for four hours, before applying another.

To make an MDF water-resistant, a minimum of 3 coats of paint is required. Mind, each of the coats must be cured before the second comes.

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