Tempered hardboard is a form of fiberboard. This engineered wood surface is often compared to particle board; however, it is much stronger and heavier than cheap particle board surfaces and tends to resist cracking and chipping much better. Paint won't permanently bond to bare tempered hardboard. To create a strong finish, you must apply a coat of bonding primer. If the hardboard is stained, it won't accept water-based primers. Be sure to choose the correct base, depending on the condition of the hardboard, or the finish will peel.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Tack cloths
- Professional painter's tape
- Canvas dust sheet
- Shellac primer
- 2-to-4-inch natural-bristled paintbrush
- Denatured alcohol
- 2-to-4-inch polyester paintbrush
- Gloss latex paint or acrylic enamel
- Latex or acrylic primer (optional)
Wipe down the tempered hardboard with tack cloths.
Cover areas next to the hardboard, using tape. Use a low-tack painter's tape that will peel away without leaving adhesive residue.
Slide a dust sheet beneath the tempered hardboard. To prevent pooling and bleed-through, use a heavy-duty canvas dust sheet.
Coat the tempered hardboard with shellac primer, using a paintbrush with natural bristles. Shellac tends to run down vertical surfaces; be sure to smooth any drips before they have a chance to dry. Let the tempered hardboard dry for two hours.
Thoroughly rinse the paintbrush, using alcohol.
Coat the tempered hardboard with gloss latex paint or acrylic enamel, using a paintbrush equipped with polyester bristles. Smooth any flaws before they have a chance to dry. Let the tempered hardboard dry for two hours.
Tips and warnings
- If the tempered hardboard is not stained, you may use an acrylic or latex primer; however, these coatings won't bond to stained hardboard.