Does MDF need to be painted?

I have some MDF subwoofers that are not painted. Can I just cover them with something instead of going through the hassle of painting them?
MDF should be sealed with primer and painted. However, kept indoors and away from high humidity and moisture, it should remain stable for quite a number of years. At some point, you'll notice the exposed edges will start to separate and begin to expose the fuzziness of the fibers. Priming and painting will slow this process down by many years.
A coat of primer, a couple coats of paint, two or three hours. What could be easier? Well worth the effort. Get one of those small, smooth rollers for the paint and yo can get a nice finish.
You could use peel and stick veneer sheets. You can get a very nice look if you use real wood products and have a steady hand on a razor knife (straight cut and bevel together). Takes less time since you don't have to remove or mask drivers.
Take them to your local Panelbeater or Automotive paintshoppe - they can spraypaint them with ie high-gloss black or whatever colour you like.
If MFD is well sanded and sealed and sprayed with high-grade enamel it looks absolutly stunning. See the Revel Saloon speakers - that is how your subs should look after a good spray-job.

Do not use cheap sticky paper or such rubbish...

Kind regards,
Dewald Visser
You really want to seal the surface and edges of MDF.
It has a tremendous affinty for water and will swell up in moderate humidity if not sealed with a polyurethane sealant or something like that, even if you cover it with a vinyl sheeting. Even a spray can or three of a polyurethane sealant will do good enough.
You don't HAVE to paint them. But, if you care at all about the cosmetics, it's a good idea.

Bud Fried's own personal speakers are in bare, chipped, dirty particleboard. He gave them to me as a gift a few months prior to his passing. I initially toyed with the idea of doing something aesthetically, then changed my mind. Don't want to alter them from what was his reality.
Thanks for the info. I live in Arizona and it is hot and dry here, but ocassionally there is some humidity. As for sealing with polyurethane sealant or something like that, do I need to do the inside and outside (in other words dis-assemble the unit) or can I just do the outside?
On the outside is just fine but you can 'flush' the inside with a kind of primer-paint... just pour a cup or two inside and swirl it around to cover all the inside panels and gaps...

Just imagine if they're painted a high-gloss black... mmmm...


I once had a set of floorstanders from MFD sprayed with BMW's "Mauritius Blue" by a paint-shoppe - looked mighty fine I say!
outside is fine.
Painting them in high gloss black sounds great but I have plans to actually have them hidden as plant stands. Thanks everyone.