How to make modular room divider

the divider shelf was made out of 40 mm thickness raw MDF

If you want a modular room divider, made out of painted MDF, nothing is more easier. Everything you need to know about how such a shelf can be built can be found in this article.

The first step in the execution of a such divider shelf is to plan the DIY project.

The project involves choosing the depth of the shelf, its length and height. After determining these dimensions, you have to choose the thickness of the MDF. We used 40 mm thickness MDF boards. Both the dimensions of the shelf and the material were chosen by an interior designer. The number of cubes is determined taking into account how they will be placed in position: as you can see, we used 3 sizes. The size of each cube is determined taking into account also the thickness of the MDF board.

Once you have determined the size of the cubes, you need the boards, which you can order already cut to the desired sizes. Because we choose 40 mm thickness raw MDF, it was quite difficult to find a supplier (it could only be bought to order and not earlier than a week). Finally, we managed to find a specialized store. They also cut the needed pieces, at the dimensions we needed, from a 2800 x 2070 x 40 mm board. It took them a few days here too.

These are a few raw MDF boards. What you see in the picture is just a dimension of the used ones.

I ordered the 40 mm thickness MDF boards already cut, at the bricolage store, to the size needed for the divider shelf
The 40 mm thickness MDF boards already cut to the needed dimensions

The next step is to assemble the cubes. We have assembled the cubes using screws and glue. For this, we fitted the MDF boards on the corner. Then, we used a 3 mm drill bit to make the holes before putting the screws.

If we did not drill the holes, there would be a huge risk that the edge of the raw MDF board to crack when screwed. we deepened the screw holes so that the screws ends would not remain visible. Before screwing, we applied some glue for added safety. The MDF sticks very well using glue. Here are the cubes needed for our project.

we used several sizes of boxes made out of 40 mm thickness MDF boards
The big cubes made out of raw MDF
to obtain the MDF cubes needed for the modular room divider, we used screws and glue, and cover the screws holes with polyurethane putty
Medium and small DIY MDF cubes used for the entire shelf living room divider

In the next step we covered the screw holes with two-component polyurethane mastic. The usefulness of this type of two-component mastic is due to the extremely short time of hardening. There is, however, a small negative aspect: if you mix too much and do not use it fast enough, you must throw it away because it hardens and can no longer be used. The mastic we use is very good and we also use it to cover knots and cracks in oak counter tops.

I used two-component polyester mastic to cover the screws holes because it hardens much faster than the wood filler and is even more stable
Covering the screw holes with two-component polyester based filler

When the mastic hardens (maximum 30 minutes because the time depends on the amount of hardener used), we sand the surplus mastic with the band grinder, the edges of the MDF boards and their joints. The last thing we do is manually bevel the sharp edges. This process is a very easy one.

I sanded the edges of the MDF boards so that the small traces of cutting with the circular to disappear
Straightening the edges with the belt grinder
I sanded the two-component polyester putty using the belt grinder, to make the surplus cleaning process faster
The surplus of the two-component mastic was sanded with the belt grinder
we sanded the sharp edges of the MDF cubes which will form the dividing shelf in the living room
Beveled edges of the 40 mm thickness MDF cubes

The most complicated process is the painting of the MDF cubes. To do this, first we apply a coat of primer to close the pores and then, after sanding process with 120 grit sandpaper, we apply 2-3 coats of paint with hardener, with intermediate sanding, until the surface remains perfect.

before applying the paint with hardener, we applied a special primer coat to close the pores of the MDF
We applied one layer of primer on the edges of the cubes

We use both primer and paint with hardener from a local supplier.

For those who cannot use the paint gun, you can apply the paint with a brush. Multiple layers with intermediate sanding should be applied. The final surface will have small traces due to the brush, but I think the most important thing is that the project is fully realized by you.

for greater safety (even though due to the 4 cm thickness MDF boards weight the cubes could not move in place) we chose to fix them with screws hidden with plastic plugs
We fixed the cubes with screws and then covered with plastic plugs
we beveled all the sharp edges of the modular divider room, so that the joints between two cubes to look nice
The edges of the MDF cubes are beveled so that the joints look nice
this is how the modular room divider made out of MDF painted in RAL 9002 color (water based paint with hardener) looks like
The surface of the cubes made out of MDF, painted with RAL 9002 color

For this modular room divider, we made adjustable legs with the 3D printer because the ones we found in the specialty shops didn’t fit. The space between the floor and the shelf was greater than the height at which they could be adjusted. And because we had only blue plastic available, we also painted these with paint in the color of the shelf.

it was necessary to use adjustable legs printed on the 3D printer and painted in the color of the shelf, due to the height of the modular room divider, relative to the floor
We used adjustable legs made on the 3D printer
we calculated the size of the cubes, so that there is a small space at the bottom to adjust the height using the adjustable furniture legs
The DIY divider shelf made out of 40 mm thickness raw MDF boards

These are some photos sent by our client after she decorate the modular room divider:

this is how the modular room divider, made out of 40 mm thickness MDF painted with RAL 9002 paint, looks like
The DIY painted MDF divider shelf
the modular room divider was made out of 40 mm thickness raw MDF
DIY Divider shelf made out of painted MDF

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