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Does MDF Give Off Gas? (All You Need to Know)

Medium-density fiberboard is an excellent heavy wood that you can use to decorate your house. It’s so dense that you cannot damage it using it for several months. Although it has some disadvantages, it will be the best budget-friendly material. 

You can also use it without getting any stains.

If you look at the other wood materials, you will find them costly. But you can replace the expensive wood with the budget-friendly MDF. However, you must consider the disadvantages of using the MDF.  

Does MDF give off gas? 

MDF gives off the gas since it has the gas inside the wood. You will mostly find a laminate on your MDF material, including veneer, melamine, and other materials. These ingredients contain the gas in the furniture. They will off-gas when they get damaged or overused or get germs. 

Since the MDF board contains composite materials, you must carefully use it. It will be better to avoid using such material if you are too cautious about your health. 

You cannot rely on the MDF board only to save your cost because the composite material will contain the gas to make the MDF durable and last long.

Typically, the newly installed MDG board will not be off-gas since it will be durable and strong enough to bear the external threats and damage. You will fail to damage the wood since it is not flexible. This feature will also add some disadvantages to using it.

You cannot move the MDF-made furniture since it will come with extra weight. This weight will play a crucial role in off-gassing. When it winters and you try to warm your home using the heater, the heat might damage the MDF composite. 

Consequently, the MDF furniture will be off-gas.

Other reasons might be there, and you will find the off-gassing issues if the furniture gets too old and you don’t have any particular solution. No worries, I will give you some excellent solutions regarding the problems off-gassing your MDF furniture. 

You will find them easy to follow, and they will surely sort out the off-gassing issues.

Painted MDF:

The painted MDF doesn’t give off-gas. You don’t need to use anything else to make it off-gassing issues. Typically, the regular MDF furniture contains composite materials, the main culprit of off-gassing problems. If you paint the MDF, it will help you solve the off-gassing issues.

Also, you can buy the painted MDF to have the safest furniture in your house. It will protect the MDF furniture for a long time and keep the MDF don’t off-gas too often. 

Is MDF safe to breathe?

MDF is not safe to breathe. Because of the widespread consensus that formaldehyde is a cancer-causing agent, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) has one of the highest urea-formaldehyde adhesives of all engineered wood products.

The resin used to bind the fibers in MDF presents the most significant challenge when working with this material. 

The primary binder used for this is urea-formaldehyde, and if the surface of the board is not properly sealed, formaldehyde will leak from the surface for as long as the board is in use. 

Inhaling formaldehyde can irritate the mucous membranes in the lungs, eyes, skin, and nose. It can also cause skin irritation. The inhalation of this chemical has been associated with an increased risk of developing asthma, dermatitis, and rhinitis.

Does MDF have formaldehyde?

MDF has formaldehyde. Urea-formaldehyde glue is typically used to affix MDF panels together (UF). A solid chemical known as UF is produced by combining urea and formaldehyde in equal parts. Additional formaldehyde might be mixed in with the area to produce a more robust bond. 

Over the past few years, it has become an increasingly common practice among MDF manufacturers to reduce the amount of formaldehyde added to the UF resin.  

They are also trying to use alternative glues such as melamine-formaldehyde or phenol-formaldehyde, both of which emit less formaldehyde than traditional glues. 

Another alternative to formaldehyde is to use glues such as soy, polyvinyl acetate, or methylene diisocyanate that do not contain any additional formaldehyde.

What type of gas does MDF give off?

MDF gives off gasses like formaldehyde and Carbon Dioxide. Exposure to the gaseous form of formaldehyde given off by the product is the primary cause of concern. 

After being manufactured, MDF containing UF may continue to give formaldehyde gas for several months or even years.

Formaldehyde can be dangerous and toxic when it is present in inadequate or excessive quantities. The manufacturing process for MDF is also responsible for releasing a sizable amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

When does MDF offgas?

The MDF furniture may be off-gas at initial installation, raise of temperature, high humidity, low amount of coating or painting over it. Most of the things in your room are off-gasses, considering the cushion, carpet or the toaster you bought for your house. 

This gas is harmful to us. The MDF (medium-density fiberboard) off-gasses due to the use of formaldehyde.

The off-gas amount is the highest when you first remove the cover for installation. After a certain period, the off- gas will stop because it is not a lifelong process. The second factor is temperature. 

When the indoor temperature rises, it pressures the chemical bonding, which causes the MDF to off-gas. 

Lastly, humidity creates a sweaty environment, causing formaldehyde emissions from MDF. The more the humidity increases, the chance of MDF to off-gas.

How long does it take for MDF to offgas?

It takes two years for MDF to offgas. It means that the period needed for MDF to off-gas is considered two years, where it has many other considerations. Two years would not vanish the release of formaldehyde; it will bring the MDF to a home normal environment level. 

Higher temperature and humidity cause the process to speed up and increase off-gassing to reduce the time. 

The place of using formaldehyde is a concern. If you use it in paint, it may take only a few months, but the more difficult the material is, like furniture, it will take more time two years or more.

How do you stop MDF gas?

You can stop MDF gas by following some simple tips. Unfortunately, they will not give you a permanent solution to the off-gassing problem. You can only expect to minimize the off-gassing problem. 

But you cannot expect to eliminate the off-gassing problem by following the given tips.

Only if you paint the MDF furniture or use the sealer may you expect to solve the problem in a decent time. But it will come again if you keep your MDF furniture at a high temperature or near the heater.

Use Sealant

The best way to stop your MDF furniture from off-gassing problems is to use a strong sealant. You will find different colors and qualities of the sealant in the paint shop. 

To keep the original color and design, you must purchase the perfect one and match it with your MDF furniture. 

But the problem is that you will not find the perfectly matched MDF sealant. You need to consider the trade-off using the sealant. Mainly, it will cover the entire MDF furniture and stop the MDF’s ingredients from coming off. 

If you find the perfect sealant that matches your MDF furniture, you can follow the process of applying it to the damaged area.

Avoid Heating: 

The heater might cause your MDF furniture to go off-gas. It’s the main culprit here, but you can solve the issue in the summer. When you use the heater in winter to warm your house, you will find the off-gassing issue more in your house. 

It will become a big problem to avoid the off-gassing problem in winter. 

You need to change the location of your MDF furniture and keep it away from the heater that increases the temperature. You need to maintain a cool environment to avoid the off-gassing problem. 

Maintain Airflow: 

The best way to stop the MDF gas and the odor is by maintaining the airflow. This advice will help you avoid this problem in summer when you have an increased temperature. 

The temperature is already high, and your MDF furniture will start giving you the off-gassing problem.

If it happens, you need to keep your doors and windows open for as long as possible. Significantly, the nearest windows of the MDF should remain open for nearly 24 hours if your locality is safe.


You can paint your MDF furniture to avoid the off-gassing problem. If you use any sealer to seal the MDF furniture, you can apply paint over the surface. It will become a strong layer that will resist the gas and won’t allow it to come.

Final Thoughts

The overheated air, damaged parts, and long-time use are the main reasons why the MDF gives off-gas. You can follow some tips to avoid the off-gassing problem and keep your house odor-free. Painted MDF and the sealant might give you the best solutions.