MDF - How to seal and paint?

New with my GF - I am working on a nursery sign for my cousin’s baby and using PG Draftwood to cut out the name. I know I need to sand so that there a smooth finish. But I have read that I need to prime/seal before painting. I want to leave the laser sides like they are and only paint the top. Please help!!!

Draftboard soaks up paint like nobody’s business, so you’ll definitely want to start with a primer. I don’t have any great tips for not getting paint on the edges, other than maybe putting the pieces into the board they were cut from and spray painting?

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Shellac makes a good sealer for MDF. Then you can paint over top of it. I think @ geek2nurse has the best suggestion on keeping paint off the sides. It’s either that or tape.


Some spray paint will still get onto the edges if you leave the part in place. The only way I know to avoid that is to paint before cutting, which then means you have to use masking that won’t damage the painted surface, or have a durable finish that can be wiped clean once cut.

A firm roller with the parts in place, and very light applications, might be better. I’ve never tried it.

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Geek2nurse gives you the best solution.
You could also tape the edges. My experience is that painting with an airbrush on low pressure gives less paint on the edges. You can also use low pressure spray cans like Montana Gold. Adding a cap 1, 2 or 3 gives better control of where you paint.

Read more about caps/nozzles here:


Before painting you could coat the edges with a finish wax for wood or other slippery material that paint won’t stick to, then just wipe the paint off the edges after it’s dry.


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