How to plaster/cover mdf shelf


We are renovating and had a chimney breast built from plaster board this houses our TV and below it a rectangle recessed shelf. The problem is the base of the shelf was made from mdf (my dad thought it would make it more stirdy) problem is, the plasterer was then unable to skim it so we now have a fully plastered chimney but the internal shelf has an exposed mdf base. The opening (front edge) has the plasterers metal trim on show so we can't just paint the wood to match.

I'm now trying to work out what to do to cover it up do I buy a slim piece of wood or plaster board and stick it on top? I'm worried that will look weird?

I'm worried the exposed edge will look messy.

I have also read that you can put down some sort of mesh to enable you to plaster on top of wood but not found much info about this so not sure if it's a good option.

Thanks in advance for your advice. Wish I could attach a picture as I'm sure it's quite hard to picture.


Asked by Siobhan on 14th Jul 2021
Expert Trade Answers
Best Answer
"Re- plasterboard all of the MDF base attach thin coat plaster beads to exposed edges and re-skim. hope this helps."
Answered on 1st Aug 2021 - Member since Mar 2019 - report
"Put plasterboard on top of it then use a stop gap bead on the edge will give a clean finish."
Answered on 26th Jul 2021 - Member since Sep 2020 - report
"For the best finish, I would cover the shelf in plasterboard and replace the old skim bead, you can buy a galvanised mesh to plaster over wood but MDF can easily swell and blow when exposed to moisture which it will suck out of the plaster."
Answered on 19th Dec 2021 - Member since Dec 2021 - report
"If the shelf in question is made out of wood you can screw the plasterboard over the top of it then plaster over the top of the plasterboard."
Answered on 16th Oct 2021 - Member since Apr 2020 - report
"All you need to do is add plasterboard to the MDF and bead up and skim the whole thing"
Answered on 26th Jul 2022 - Member since Jun 2022 - report
"Stick 9mm plasterboard on top and front of the shelf and fix the metal edging bead on and plaster over"
Answered on 15th Mar 2022 - Member since Mar 2022 - report
"You need ribbed lath! Not cheep and comes in large size but when fixed it provides a key to allow plaster/render"
Answered on 14th Jan 2022 - Member since Jan 2022 - report
"Hi just screw plasterboard to the mdf put 2 angle beads across the front and skim the plasterboard. Hope this helps."
Answered on 14th Jul 2021 - Member since Jan 2018 - report
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