When redecorating or re-designing a home, you may have a need to replace a wall panel or install new panels of MDF (medium-density fibreboard).
In our article, we are going to cover a step-by-step process for how to panel a wall with MDF easily and quickly.
#What You’ll Need
For panelling a wall with MDF, you’ll need the following:
- MDF panels
- Tape measure
- Power drill
- Paint (optional, for design purposes)
- Step Ladder
- Decorator’s caulk
Step One: Take Measurements
The first step in adding or replacing MDF panelling for your wall is taking the appropriate measurements. To measure your wall:
- Use your tape measure to first measure the length of your wall. Be sure to take two measurements and verify the wall length down to the millimetre.
- Set up your step ladder and carefully measure the height of your wall to the nearest millimetre. Always take two measurements.
- Note your measurements down.
Top Tip: always round up for measurements, as excess can be cut away from your panelling.
Step Two: Source Your MDF Panels
MDF (or medium-density fibreboard) is a fairly common wooden sheet material used for internal construction. At MGM Timber, we provide a wide variety of MDF panels for internal use. Be sure to select a panel that will fit your measurements.
To find out how many panels you’ll need, take the length and height measurements and divide them by the panel dimensions.
For example, if your wall is 12 ft in length and you are buying 4 ft MDF panels, divide 12 ft by 4 ft to give you 3 – meaning you’ll need three 4 ft MDF panels.
Always make sure that the height of your MDF panels matches or exceeds the height of your wall. If an MDF panel is too big, it can be cut to size.
Top Tip: moisture-resistant MDF is a great choice over standard MDF for rooms or climates that are particularly humid.
Step Three: Cut Your Panels To Size
When you’ve purchased your MDF, let it sit in the room it’s to be installed in for a minimum of 48 hours before working with it. This is to account for the humidity levels in the room and to prevent any expansion or warping from throwing off your measurements.
After the 48 hours have passed, confirm your measurements and use your saw to cut the MDF panels to size. You can also use a sander for finer details and to smooth out any rough edges.
Step Four: Install Your Panels
Once you have removed your old panels, line up and mark where the new MDF panels will be screwed into place on your wall frames. Use a pencil to mark on the MDF panel where you will be screwing them into place.
You can accomplish this using equal spacing between the screws and using your tape measure to mark the MDF panel appropriately. Mark along every 300mm for a screw, and be sure to mark around 15mm from the board edges.
Now gently prop the MDF board in place and screw the board to the wall frame using a power drill with a screw bit of the appropriate size.
If you cannot use the pre-existing holes, or don’t want to, space the screws out along the length of the frame where there are no holes present.
Finally, using the decorator’s caulk, fill any small holes or gaps. Sand the caulk after it’s dried to create a smooth, seamless joint.
Top Tip: always drill or nail into a wall where you know it is safe to do so – don’t hit any cables or pipes!
Step Five: Decorate
With the hard part out of the way, all that’s left to do is paint your new MDF board. Be sure to use wood paint and get creative with it!
Panelling a wall with MDF may seem harder than it is when you first consider the idea, but before long, you’ll be an expert!
As a late piece of advice, always take two measurements and buy around 10-20% more MDF than you’ll need – this is to account for any breakage or human error.
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