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Doug Berg
11-09-2015, 4:51 PM
Little background... I'm a framing carpenter by trade, also worked with many finish/trim crews. The last few years I moved into the office and starting designing kitchen and selling cabinets. My Fiance and I are remodeling our 100 year old family farmhouse and I'm looking for interior trim options.

I have considered using primed pine or MDF... but I know that I'm not going to be happy with it. I've considered buying from a millwork company... but the prices seem high. I can't find a local source for poplar....

So now I'm thinking... may I should use LP SmartSide trim. It comes in 16' lengths, 5/4 and 4/4, and smooth primed. It's readily available at the local Menards. I would think that it should be extremely durable and last a long time if it's meant for exterior use. I will be siding the entire house with 4" Lap SmartSide.

A 16' x 4/4 x 4" primed trim board at Menards is about $11.50.

Has anyone every done this, or does anyone have any input/suggestions/opinions?

Thanks in advance

Peter Kelly
11-09-2015, 6:47 PM
If you know you aren't going to be happy with pre-primed MDF, what makes you think you'd be any more ok with SmartSide for interiors? Isn't it also a composite wood product?

Sure you've thought of it already but I'd strongly suggest ordering the exterior Smart Side as pre-painted. Saves a tremendous amount of time and the finish quality is going be much more consistent and tougher than what can be applied on-site.

Tom M King
11-09-2015, 7:17 PM
It's less dense than MDF. I've used the Smartside exterior panels inside closets, tackrooms, and our dogroom, but used wood for the trim.
http://starbornhavanese.com/images/DSCN5733.JPG

Doug Berg
11-09-2015, 7:33 PM
If you know you aren't going to be happy with pre-primed MDF, what makes you think you'd be any more ok with SmartSide for interiors? Isn't it also a composite wood product?

Sure you've thought of it already but I'd strongly suggest ordering the exterior Smart Side as pre-painted. Saves a tremendous amount of time and the finish quality is going be much more consistent and tougher than what can be applied on-site.

From my experience with SmartSide, it is much more durable than primed MDF and is only slightly more expensive. A 16' primed MDF 1" x 4" at my local Menards is $10.59. I've used this stuff in the past and I question that it will stand up to the wear and tear of pets and future children.

I would have to imagine that it is also much more stable than primed MDF, being that it is meant to be used on exteriors.

Myk Rian
11-09-2015, 7:34 PM
Where are you that makes poplar hard to find?

Doug Berg
11-09-2015, 7:42 PM
It's less dense than MDF. I've used the Smartside exterior panels inside closets, tackrooms, and our dogroom, but used wood for the trim.
http://starbornhavanese.com/images/DSCN5733.JPG

Aren't there all sorts of density levels for MDF? I think it's unfair to say that it's less dense than MDF. I sell kitchen cabinets, and the cabinets I sell that are made in a factory in South Dakota use MDF for their sides and backs. That MDF used to make these cabinets is very different than the MDF that Ikea uses for their cabinets.

The composition of SmartSide is more similar to the composition of OSB than MDF. They use 2-3" chips (strands) of wood.

Doug Berg
11-09-2015, 7:43 PM
Where are you that makes poplar hard to find?

I am in Wisconsin, about 25 miles north of Madison.

I have a family member who run has been running his own construction company in this area for 10 years and his best advice for getting poplar in this area was to get in touch with the local Amish. I've never had a bad experience with the Amish, but as a small business owner, I would rather support a local company that gives back to the state/community before I work with the Amish.

Tom M King
11-09-2015, 9:28 PM
Aren't there all sorts of density levels for MDF? I think it's unfair to say that it's less dense than MDF. I sell kitchen cabinets, and the cabinets I sell that are made in a factory in South Dakota use MDF for their sides and backs. That MDF used to make these cabinets is very different than the MDF that Ikea uses for their cabinets.

The composition of SmartSide is more similar to the composition of OSB than MDF. They use 2-3" chips (strands) of wood.

I was just talking about the MDF you find in big box stores. I used the Smartside trim once on my Brother-In-Laws house helping him do something one weekend, so that's the only experience I have with it. I'll just say I didn't really like it.

Pat Barry
11-09-2015, 10:35 PM
Use wood, not smartside