Sanding MDF: What you need to know to get a smooth finish

Hand sanding edge of MDF board
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sanding MDF might seem unnecessary as it’s a manufactured board that already has a smooth surface to work with. But the manufacturing process can leave imperfections that need to be dealt with and then there’s the edges to think about as well.

Admittedly, if you are using high density MDF compared with standard MDF, there is less sanding involved. However, MDF typically needs to be sealed or painted which will raise up the fibres of the board leaving a less than smooth surface. 

Here we look at what sandpaper, tools and methods you need to use for a fine blemish-free finish.  

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.