How Do I Cut My MDF Wall Panels To Size?

Finding somewhere to cut MDF to size can seem like a daunting task. Fear not, we’ve put together a helpful guide on how to go about it.

Are you hopping on the wall panelling trend? Maybe you’ve been perusing some serious wall panelling inspo and now you’ve got the panelling itch. You’re not sure where to start and desperately searching for how to get your mdf panels cut to size. Breathe, you’ve got this, read on and it will all become clear. 

DIY Wall Panelling with MDF is an easy way of switching up your home with minimal fuss. Decorating interior walls with wall panels brings character and charm to any space. You can panel the walls of any room you please, from bedrooms to bathrooms and landings to living rooms. But where do you begin? Ensuring you know how to cut your MDF wall panels to size is a great start. 

How do I get MDF Panel Cut to Size?

If you don’t fancy cutting mdf yourself, there are plenty of other options available to you. There are an abundance of online businesses offering a cutting service. However you are required to buy the MDF from them which can be slightly problematic. Currently there is a huge demand for MDF which has resulted in delays and shortages, subsequently the price of MDF has surged. 

But don’t panic, we’ve had a little browse online and found a company offering this service at a reasonable price, however if you don’t live in and around the Hampshire area – you will only be able to select the click & collect option. 

If you do fancy cutting it yourself, we have explained the cutting options and process a bit further down. 

If neither of those options sound particularly appealing to you, you can buy mdf wall panelling kits online. These are made up of mdf strips which are already cut to size for you, it’s a handy shortcut if you don’t have the time to spend cutting your MDF. 

Can you get MDF wall panels cut to size?

Yes you can, you can do this online via an mdf cutting service. Simply provide the company with your required dimensions and they will be able to provide you with a quote and if you choose to proceed you will receive uniform MDF wall panels cut to spec. You may have a local hardware store which also offers this service, but keep in mind that you will probably need to buy the mdf sheets from them as it’s unlikely they’ll cut another company’s product. Typically this is a more expensive option but if you don’t want to cut them yourself and you aren’t keen on wall panelling kits then it’s worth paying the extra amount.  

Strips of MDF
Strips of MDF photo credit https://www.nottagetimber.co.uk/mdf-wall-panelling-strips

Is it expensive to get MDF Cut To Size?

It varies from place to place, it also depends on the MDF market which has been quite turbulent over the last 12 months. With mdf wall panelling being so popular prices are creeping up – by 40% in some places! Shop around but don’t compromise on the quality, you will already know the budget you have set aside for your wall panelling project but keep in mind that there are additional costs to consider such as adhesive, primer and paint. This also leads us back to the importance of measuring the area properly, double check your measurements to ensure you don’t order less or more than you actually need. 

Are mdf wall panelling kits already cut to size?

In most instances yes, mdf wall panelling kits are cut to size. With some styles you may need to do some trimming or cut some of the strips in half (Jacobean style panelling). Trimming aside, mdf panelling kits take a lot less effort to prepare and install than regular mdf sheets. MDF wall panelling kits are cut into strips for ease of application, a number of different wall panelling styles can be recreated with these strips such as shaker style, jacobean and slat wall panelling. 

Is cutting MDF Panels to size hard?

Providing you have the right tools it shouldn’t be too difficult to cut the MDF to size yourself. This does depend on the complexity of your chosen panel style and your level of skill with the cutting tool you plan on using. If you are relatively new to DIY we would advise going with the easier option of the mdf wall panelling kits, however if you like a challenge and you don’t mind getting your hands dirty – give it a whirl. 

What do I need to cut my mdf wall panels?

There are several options for cutting your mdf wall panels to size. You can choose from a table saw, a mitre saw, a circular saw, a handsaw or a utility knife. They each have their pros and cons – which we’ve listed below. 

A table saw can be used to cut lengthways – this is a great option for cutting mdf panel to size if you’re looking to cut strip panels which can then be used to make Shaker, Jacobean and Geometric style panels. This is a pretty specialist bit of kit and understandably most people don’t have them knocking around in their sheds. 

A mitre saw is another great alternative for a precise cut, however you will have to rotate the mdf to achieve the cuts you need. You are restricted somewhat with a mitre saw and it is a more expensive option. 

Mitre Saw Photo by Annie Gray on Unsplash

Circular saws are handheld so you have the option to cut your mdf in a variety of ways. You will need a steady hand and the ability to cut accurately, however you can sand down any jagged edges. Circular saws can be picked up quite cheap and they’re easy to get hold of, most diy stores have them in stock.

A circular saw Photo by James Kovin on Unsplash

Most folks have handsaws readily available, it’s a DIY staple for homeowners. This won’t give you the precise cut you need, so it’s important that you have sandpaper to hand to smooth those edges down. Handsaws aren’t really ideal if you’re looking to cut mdf into strips, it’s quite difficult to get them uniform – which is key when panelling your walls as symmetry is the staple of all wall panelling designs. 

Lastly, if you’re feeling brave – you can use a Utility/Stanley knife. The blade can be used to score the cuts and you will then need to snap the boards along the score – this should prevent splintering but you will need to be incredibly accurate with your scoring which is no mean feat when you have a number of mdf wall panels to cut. However, once you have cut your first panel, you can then use it as a template for the other wall panels which should reduce the time spent cutting and hopefully ensure uniform strips. Once all of the MDF panels have been cut to size, you will need to lightly sand all of the ends until smooth. This will allow the MDF panels to meet seamlessly. 

Cut MDF Sheets courtesy of https://northernnester.com/can-you-cut-mdf-with-scroll-saw/

What’s the best way to cut mdf to size?

It all entirely depends on your skill levels with the above tools. If you aren’t comfortable with those options, we would recommend either having the mdf wall panels cut to size for you or investing in an mdf wall panelling kit. 

What type of mdf wall panel kit should I buy?

We recommend taking your time and researching your mdf wall panelling kit supplier, surprisingly not all MDF wall panelling kits are the same so make sure you read the product description. Measure the walls you intend on panelling to ensure you buy the right quantity for your wall panelling project. 

Where can I buy MDF Wall Panelling kits?

This advice is for the UK consumer only. MDF wall panelling kits are available to buy online or at some local diy stores. We advise going to an mdf wall panelling specialist to ensure you get the right information and products for your panelling project. 

Make sure you buy your kit from a reputable supplier and always read their reviews, we would avoid any wall panel supplier that doesn’t have reviews – it doesn’t mean they’re bad, they could be relatively new, just be a bit cautious. There are heaps of mdf wall panelling kits out there, make yourself familiar with the different styles of wall panel currently on the market. The strips are cut to size so you need to know the wall panel kit you intend on buying will work with your measurements and plans. If you plan on covering an average sized wall – you will need more than one wall panelling kit. 

I’m New To DIY – Are MDF Wall Panelling Kits Hard To Use?

MDF Wall Panelling kits are perfect if you have little or no DIY experience. Your MDF wall panelling kit should come with easy to follow instructions and if it doesn’t you can always refer to one of our installation guides. The wall panelling process itself is very simple, unless you’ve designed a completely bespoke wall panel style which is ridiculously complex – you’re on your own – good luck. Naturally mistakes can happen, but we’ve got you covered and highlighted the most common mistakes in this blog post – so you can avoid them. 

How long does it take to panel your walls with a panelling kit?

Without knowing the surface area you plan on panelling it’s hard to quantify. In general terms, if you plan to panel the entirety of your home, we would recommend being quite generous with the time you allow yourself to do it in. It does involve a lot more than sticking a few strips of cut to size MDF to a wall, there are other elements to consider. It’s super important that you check and fix your walls beforehand as they will need to be in a good condition before you embark on your wall panelling journey. If you only plan on panelling one medium sized wall – allow 1-2 hours to install the mdf wall panelling kit, but this does depend entirely on the complexity of the style you have chosen. Keep in mind that you will need extra time to prime and paint your panels with drying time in between. 

What other costs are involved with MDF Wall Panelling Kits?

MDF Wall Panelling kit aside, you must budget for the essential items too. Items such as sandpaper and polyfiller to fix your walls (should they need it), adhesive to glue your kit to the wall, primer, paint, paint rollers and a tray. You will also need to budget for everyday DIY products such as a tape measure and a spirit level. A pencil always comes in handy to mark out where you need to start your wall panelling (usually the middle of the wall). 

If you’re quite messy when painting, make sure you protect your floors with something adequate like a tarpaulin. Cover your skirting boards with tape – preferably a low-tack masking tape, it needs to be low-tack to ensure it doesn’t strip the paint off of your skirting boards when you remove it. 

DIY Wall Panelling Essential Items Photo by Bernie Almanzar on Unsplash

If you’re undecided on whether you want your MDF panels cut to size for you, to cut your own MDF sheets or to purchase an MDF wall panelling kit – consider your budget, your level of diy expertise and the timeframe you want to get it done in. These three factors should help you make your decision. 

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your wall panelling project – we’ve created a whole page dedicated entirely to Wall Panelling Ideas & Inspo.