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Other => Basic Concepts => Topic started by: C.Bodine on June 06, 2015, 06:27:38 AM

Title: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: C.Bodine on June 06, 2015, 06:27:38 AM
I have seen several lessons where part of the material list is masonite or MDF as a canvas. As a woodworker, I know what MDF is, but didn't realize it could be used for fine art. Is it the same material? What is masonite board? How do you prepare them? I have only used stretched canvas and canvas board.
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: Annie. on June 06, 2015, 06:56:22 AM
For those who are not carpenters, what is MDF?   :). thanks, Annie
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: Annie. on June 06, 2015, 06:58:09 AM
Oops! Should have googled first....MDF = medium density fibreboard.

sorry :blush:
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: C.Bodine on June 06, 2015, 07:51:39 AM
Not at all, Annie. That's my point. Although these items are brought up on the sites, they don't really explain what they are or how to prepare them.

MDF is a mix of woods made into fibers then pressed together using binders, pressure and high temps. It comes in 4'x8' sheets that can be cut into any size you want.  It is smooth. You MUST wear a mask when cutting it, because it creates a very fine dust that is hazardous. You can purchase it where ever you buy lumber.

I have no idea what Masonite is.  I would like to know how to prep them and opinions on their use.
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: musika on June 06, 2015, 10:22:41 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardboard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardboard)

MDF and hardboard both need to be primed all over with something like Golden GAC 100 or an artist's PVA glue. You can then gesso the side you are going to paint on. Larger sizes can tend to warp so should be cradled on the reverse
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: ncwren on June 06, 2015, 10:29:04 AM
Christina I think masonite is the same material they make pegboard out of.

I've only seen where artists have put gesso on the surface or used these surfaces to glue down a final piece whether it is canvas or paper.

I believe the Ampersand company is one of a couple if art supply manufacturers who use these materials to make scratchboard and other items.

I put a link in Lynn's question about waterproofing. That artist uses masonite and she has a video on youtube.
I would post it for you, but I am on my phone and it is too clumsy.
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: lynn p. on June 06, 2015, 04:52:58 PM
Hi Christina.  You must be a young thing! ;)  When I was growing up, EVERYTHING was made of masonite--doors, furniture and even some house siding.  I believe it was invented around the 1920s and was a cheap wood substitute, made something like MDF but first with a steam process and then with pressure to lock wood fibers together.  My mom gave me some masonite panels to paint on a few years back and I gessoed them a few times and they provided a very smooth surface for oil or acrylic.  I did a painting on one and it was much smoother than canvas.  I assume the artist Natalie is speaking of does this as her Resin finish is so thick and heavy that it does best on wood panels.  I think these types of panels would be good for Cassein as it can't be used on a ground that gives, I believe. The panels I have are thin, maybe 1/4 or 1/8th inch.
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: C.Bodine on June 06, 2015, 05:57:45 PM
Thanks Natalie, Ray and Lynn, for the information. I think I may try something on an MDF board.


Lynn, I guess when your grand-daughter comes up and asks you, "Are you gettin' old, Mimi?' you know you are past the "young thing" stage! lol!  ;D
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: Judy Weeks on June 22, 2015, 09:11:43 AM
I love painting on Masonite?  For a while it was all I used. It's great for fine detail. Nothing worse than trying to paint a delicate birds eye and have a canvas bump in the wrong spot.  Here we can get 4 x 8 sheets and cut it any size you want.  Then I always prime it a few times first with regular house painting primer, being sure to seal the edges good. Then I gesso it 5 or 6 times.   A lot of work, but well worth it I think. 

Another advantage is you can paint on the back also.  I did this for Christmas presents.  Then when you have a change of season you just turn it over and veola! 2 paintings in one. :2funny:
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: ncwren on June 22, 2015, 02:45:10 PM
Clever idea Judy.
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: C.Bodine on June 25, 2015, 06:51:02 PM
That is a great idea, Judy!
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: KathyKuz on September 18, 2015, 06:17:05 PM
Christina;  I paint on high tempered Masonite for my oils and acrylics.  My son is a cabinet maker and he uses Masonite for the back of cabinets.  He told me all I need to do is paint a cote of acrylic paint on the side I am painting on.  You apply it with a dense roller for an eggshell finish.  It works beautiful.  Kathy
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: C.Bodine on September 19, 2015, 05:34:52 AM
Thank you, Kathy!
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: Annie. on September 26, 2015, 08:03:11 PM
Christina and other PB carpenters,
I wonder if, as a carpenter, you can give me your input on the following.

My daughter make a drawing of an animal, almost 8x4'.  She want me to cut the shape in a piece of wood, so far so good... I can do that.  But she wants to attached it to the fence at the end of the garden.

My question is, what is the best wood to live up to strong sun, rain, and freezing weather.  I understand none can in the end, but wonder what I should us for best resistance to harsh weather.

I was thinking of 5/8" plywood, smooth finish on one side, coated with that copper green solution... and then multiple coats of acrylic varnish spray if she goes with acrylic paints.  Should she use oil painting instead?

Someone (who barely know more then I do about wood) said only cedar would do, I that true?

Thanks for your comment/input.
Annie
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: KathyKuz on September 27, 2015, 05:15:07 AM
I would use cedar but use marine varnish not spray ). Kathy
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: Annie. on September 27, 2015, 06:03:18 AM
Thank you for your reply Kathy.   :flowers:

Can marine varnish (as in boat being waterproof?)  be apply to either a painting done in oil or acrylic?   My daughter mostly uses acrylic these days, but she had painting in 'water-soluble' oils before.



Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: Val on September 27, 2015, 06:14:40 AM
If you want the wood to survive for a number of years, seal the wood with a good epoxy coating.  (like West System) 2-3 coats is ideal. Light sanding between coats. Keep in mind that you MUST paint over the epoxy as it has no UV inhibitors. This can be done with just paint, varnish, or a combination of good marine varnish over the paint to help protect the paint from UV. You will need to recoat the varnish every year or two to maintain protection.

My old boat that we lived on up in Lake Ontario, Canada for 17 years had a lot of exterior wood. We were laughingly referred to as 'The Gold Plater' due to her varnish work.  ;D
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: KathyKuz on September 27, 2015, 09:22:58 AM
Val; That's the perfect solution.  Varnish over the painting. Kathy
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: Annie. on September 27, 2015, 02:52:42 PM
Perfect!  Then, that is what we shall do.

In Summary:
wood - I assume that plywood, smooth one side, is fine for this project
epoxy (West System)- 3 coats both sides
gesso - both sides, this way I know all the epoxy surfaces will be covered
painting - likely acrylic (Golden is her favorite)
marine varnish - both sides, repeat every 1-2 years (I will figure out what marine varnish is when I get there)

If you see any problems with above, please let me know.  Without your help, Val and Kathy, I would have done this completely wrong.

With my sincere appreciation, thank you  :thankyou:
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: May lynn on September 27, 2015, 06:52:18 PM
Dear Friends,


I purchased a product called G2S Crezone, at Home Hardware.


It has a masonite back and front with a plywood core.  It was recommend
to me by a signpainter.   Prep is easy just Gesso (1 or 2 times) and then paint
to your hearts content.  Both the back and front are smooth surfaces.   The cost
per 4 X 8 sheet is approx. the same as a 'good' sheet of plywood.  The Hardware store
will cut it to your spects.  They even sell 1/4 or 1/2 sheets.  Nice product!!!!


I hope this helps.    :painting:


May lynn 
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: Val on September 27, 2015, 07:09:50 PM
Be sure to seal and protect the edges as well.  O0
Title: Re: MDF and Masonite?
Post by: May lynn on September 27, 2015, 08:03:44 PM
Thanks, Val, for the Hint.   I'll do that.


May lynn