This is a similar but more general question to one posted by Morris Dovey.
I'm making a workbench with an MDF top. I'm a little concerned about
eventually ruining it with drops of glue, oil, paint, etc.. Has anyone ever
applied a coat of Polyurethane to the top of MDF? How did it turn out?
Thanks for your help.
I have an MDF top workbench also. Lots of stain splotches and glue droplet
stains. I wouldn't consider it ruined... after all, it's a "work bench"
How does "drops of glue, oil, paint, etc" ruin a work bench? Does it double
as a kitchen table for you?? :)
My workbench is MDF, covered with 1/4" masonite. When it gets covered
with too many globs of glue, I grab a scraper, knock them off, hit it
with a sander for a few moments, wipe on a coat of shellac, let that
dry, and then apply wax. Now I've got a semi water resistant, SMOOTH
work surface again. Total time: around 6-8 minutes. (I just refinish
the center section where all the glue mess occurs).
I don't mind colour stains on a workbench, but I don't want raised drops
MDF is a good workbench top. Coat of hard poly or floor varnish, then
definitely well-buffed wax to stop spilled glue from sticking. You
could even skip the varnish, but get that wax on there.
I've done that for several years. With a workbench I want something that dries
quickly, and can be easily restored. Have used both shellac and wb poly, with
the poly convenient as it's more resistant to alcohol and such. Every so often
I run a hand scraper over the top lightly and may sand it down just with a
rotary 220. A coat of wb poly is dry enough in a few hours to scuff sand and
it's ready for a few more months.
A tempered hardboard cover holds up better, but is harder to fix. With MDF I
can easily smooth over any scratches or digs, then recoat it. I've got 1-1/2
MDF with hardwood edging, and its survived glue, oil, paint and pounding.
Thanks to all of you who eased my fears that a coat of Poly wouldn't make
MDF disintegrate. I'll definitely be giving it a try. No, not to keep the
benchtop looking pristine but to keep it smooth and give me a safe place to
park my cold beer (after the tools are locked up of course).
I appreciate all your help.
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