How to identify a quality powder coated MDF finish
The last edition of this column highlighted six common misconceptions of powder coated medium density fiberboard (MDF). One of the misconceptions revealed the fact that powder coated MDF finishes are not all the same. The truth is that the quality of finish varies across manufacturers and can be manifested visually or beneath the surface. A quality powder coated MDF finish is beautiful, durable, and consistent. The good news for end users is that the quality traits can easily be identified through visual examination, testing, or simply by asking the right questions. This installment of the column is meant to describe a quality powder coated wood finish, to help prospective buyers identify the differences, and to explain why these quality differences matter.
It is relatively straightforward to produce a flawless finish on a single mockup part, whereas accomplishing the same finish throughout a large run (or runs separated by periods of time) is a challenge that requires expertise and tight controls. Consistency is a trait that separates quality manufacturers when it really counts—during production runs. Several aspects make up the concept of a consistent finish on powder coated wood. The main aspects discussed here are color, gloss, and smoothness.