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joe cool 06-18-2009 05:33 PM

MDF baseboard, curved wall
I want to put MDF baseboard on the "inside" of a curved wall. Radius is about 8 or 9 foot. Can I do it without the stuff breaking? Any tips / tricks? Score the back? Wet it like drywall? I do not want to use the pricey rubber molding.

Nestor_Kelebay 06-18-2009 09:19 PM


You can't wet MDF without it swelling up and getting soft, just like a quality breakfast cereal.

Cutting a thousand notches in the back of it to make it bendable is one option, but it'll take you forever.

Really, about the best option would be to use cheap vinyl baseboard molding here. Johnsonite, Roppe and Bengard make it in a wide variety of colours to match your existing MDF baseboard.

joe cool 06-18-2009 10:08 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Apparently this is MDF. Is there a special technique to bending it?
Attachment 1292

handyguys 06-19-2009 12:57 PM

Joe - its cheap enough to just try it and see. If you need some extra pulling power use what are called 'trim head screws' and not nails and make sure you hit a stud with them.

My guess is that a 9' radius is doable. would only cost you a few bucks and a little time to try it. Worst case it doesn't work.

I agree that wetting it would just cause it to fall apart. Cutting kerfs would cause it to look like garbage and probably lead to breakage.

Painters caulk when you get it up if you have slight gaps. Don't use silicone or general purpose caulk. Get "painters caulk".

Nestor_Kelebay 06-19-2009 09:08 PM


Here's a company offering to make paintable moldings out of a flexible plastic that can be bent:
Flexible molding

Here's a company in Australia that makes pre-notched MDF board for bending under the trade name "Craftform":
The Laminex Group

What scares me is that MDF is pretty weak stuff to begin with. If you then notch it the way these Aussies are doing, it'd be a trick to even pick it up without breaking it.

joe cool 06-19-2009 11:02 PM

Thanks for the help. I won't get it wet and I'll avoid scoring the back unless all else fails. I suspect the Aussie stuff has some kind of flexible surface bonded to it.
My new plan is to do it over several days. Force a section into place with some kind of form. Glue and screw those few feet, then let it set overnight before proceeding. Maybe I'll get lucky and just the screws alone will hold it in place and I can go faster.

inspectorD 06-22-2009 07:55 PM

Think smaller
The sheets we use for this is only 1/4 " thick. You can buy them in 10foot sheets. You need 3 sheets thick, lots of yellow glue and start pin nailing and work the sheets down or up the wall.
All the curved stairs are done this way ...lamination.
Good luck.

handyguys 06-23-2009 12:53 PM

I would NOT do small sections though. Your joints will show. My preference would be one long piece with no joints.

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