How to Glue MDF

By Holley Prans
Learn how to glue MDF.

Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is often used instead of solid wood for many indoor projects, such as building furniture. The components of MDF can hold moisture, making it difficult to glue if you use the wrong kinds of glue. Learning how to pre-glue will allow you to keep the fibers of MDF intact and the fiberboard useable. You don’t need a professional handyman to teach you how to glue MDF. The process is straightforward and can be done by anyone.

Lay the pieces of MDF that you want to glue on a flat surface. This will prevent the glue from dripping down the board after you apply it and before it dries.

Apply a thin layer of polyvinyl acetate or polyurethane-based glue to the areas that you want to glue. Allow this glue to dry until it’s only slightly sticky. This is called pre-gluing and will prevent the MDF from swelling due to the moisture in the glue. You can use a paintbrush to spread out the glue or use the applicator brush that came with the glue.

Apply a second thin coat of polyvinyl acetate or polyurethane glue to the areas you want to glue together in the same way you applied the first coat.

Push the pieces of MDF together using a lot of strength. After the glue sets, you won’t be able to separate the pieces, so make sure that you have the MDF lined up exactly as you want it to set.

Clamp the pieces together to ensure that the pieces of MDF don’t get separated while they’re drying. Wait 24 hours. The clamps will guarantee a strong bond.

Remove the clamps and continue your MDF-oriented project.

Tip

Don’t forget to pre-glue or the MDF will swell and bulge.

Warning

Wear gloves to avoid getting the polyvinyl acetate or polyurethane glue on your fingers.

About the Author

Based in West Windsor, N.J., Holley Prans has been writing computer and health articles since 2003. Her work has appeared in “Wired” magazine and “Shape” magazine. Prans holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from San Diego State University.