MDF as artboard?

I wonder does anyone have any knowledge about any concerns with using MDF as a piece of artboard – other than the concern of it being bound with urea-formaldehyde which can release in the dust when cutting. Apparently sealing with 3 coats of gesso will stop further release of the u-f, plus any acids from the wood fibres.

I may have access to some left over from a packing case and would appreciate any advice y’all may have.


5 thoughts on “MDF as artboard?

  1. Thanks Bill, a few people have said similar and no one seems to have a problem with archival issues with regard to the binder which is great.

  2. I hate it…Water always seems to find its way into the board in my experience and then it swells. I’m fairly sure it could be ok if carefully primed.
    But I have a very expensive lithograph on which some ignorant framer used an unsealed mdf backing board, and acid marks have been appearing on the print surface.

    I have used a lot of Masonite well primed with at least 2 layers of sealer/undercoat, and have not seen any problems with that 25 years later.

    I would welcome any advise people would have on restoring my print. cx

  3. That print attached to masonite is just nuts Chris, what were they thinking :-[
    Such a divine print too. Could it be masonite too, were they making MDF 20 years ago?

    From what I’ve read so far, masonite can also leak acids from the wood fibres and sealing either product will stop this. It seems their manufacture process is very similar except the type of wood fibre structure they make for masonite does not require a binder, but the fibre they make for MDF does. Though CC has advised me one can order a formaldehyde-free version of MDF.

    All the forums etc I’ve been reading say 3 coats of gesso on fronts, backs and edges will do the trick, and CC has found a light sand of the face before priming to be helpful too.
    Thanks everyone.

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