the smell of mdf
About six months ago I built a linen cabinet in my bathroom. I used mdf and painted it with melamine. The problem is that everything in the cabinet comes out smelling like mdf, which is quite unpleasant, especially on the towels.
Does anyone know how to get rid of the smell, or how long I have to wait for the mdf to finally stop smelling? This has gone on long enough!
Make bags of cotton and fill them with cedar chips.
my dear friend - do you and your family a favor and remove all of the MDF from your home and replace it with wood. Build things to store objects that touch your families skin out of wood and nails and yellow glue....MDF is a poisionous product designed to kill carpenters off at a young age.
Ok I take back what I said before. Get rid of the stuff.
Egad. Do you have a source of info about that?
I think RReed40 was referring to the urea-formaldehyde that is used to hold all those tiny pieces of fiber together. MDF is a hazard to work with, as millng it creates a lot of poisonous dust, so precautions need to be taken (dust collection, masks, etc.). However, if you built one or two cabinets without all that, I wouldn't be losing any sleep over it. (I believe good old wood sawdust is also classified as a carcinogen)
MDF does offgass that formaldehyde, but that is usually a concern when the piece is new, and a few coats of paint should help that out.
I have never heard of MDF being a danger to touch. I wouldn't panic.
Formaldehyde-free MDF is available now, if you have a project in the future.
IMHO, RReed40 is inciting you to panic, which is unneccesary. True, MDF is straight from hell, but a lot of that has to do with it's weight and razor-sharp-yet-easily-busted edges.
In the short term, you might try a shellac-type primer/sealer. Even if it doesn't seal in the MDF smell, it will destroy your ability to detect it...
I wonder if the smell is coming from the melamine finish? I have never used it so I am not sure what it is or what is in it.
But it "common knowledge" that you don't want to use an oil finish on drawners as it take forever the small to go away.
Unfortunately I have to agree with the popular consensus, If I have to have products made from MDF or Melanine I want all the edges sealed, not just the finished edges that are visable.
Working with the products without dust protection makes me physically ill. They never stop off gassing and the long term affects just don't go away. Too bad because of there clean smooth finished surfaces make projects so much easier to finish. hardly worth the consequences!