cabinet doors...mdf or

weedyacresJanuary 6, 2012

I've got a few places in my house where I've built in storage cabinets with plywood sides and shelves with 1x2 trim on the front. The only photo I've got handy is an in-process one of some bookcases, but hopefully it gives the basic idea. These are all painted our cream trim color.

I need doors on a pantry broom closet and hallway linen closet and I'm wimping out on the DIY and plan to buy unfinished ones and paint them. I've narrowed it down to 2 options:

1. paint grade maple frame with MDF panel, like this:

2. MDF, with what looks like a routered out recessed panel, like this:

#1 is about twice the cost of #2. I'd probably just go for the maple ones if we were sticking around, but we're actually going to be selling our house soon, so if I can save a couple hundred bucks I'd rather do so. IF they won't look completely tacky and obviously MDF once they're painted. Or if they'll fall apart or chip soon.

Any opinions? Can I get away with the solid MDF doors?

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If you are painting them anyway...

MDF is standard paint grade material. A good paint job should look like a factory finish. Maple is just stronger wood and will tolerate some water. Painted Maple shows more surface defects than painted MDF. Maple requires extra prep work; more putty and 2 primer coats.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 4:34PM
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So it sounds like MDF is more than OK, it's actually slightly preferable.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 1:40PM
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It's a little bit less work to get a really nice paint job on MDF. I think most painters prefer it. The average person can't tell the difference after they're painted.

Beyond that, I would not say MDF is preferrable. I rarely use the stuff because it's heavy, nasty to work with, and doesn't hold screws as well as ply or solid wood.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 6:42PM
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I buy either from Conestoga door company. They have an mdf door with sharp inside corners. Some mdf doors have rounded inside corners and they don't look as nice. Mdf does paint real nice.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 10:10AM
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