Shallow wood grain or other textures can be embossed into the surface of MDF by passing the boards through a roller press fitted with a textured hardened steel top roller as an alternative to the more expensive machining processes. The negative textured surface on the embossing roller is formed by acid or electro etching to a depth of 0.3 to 0.6 mm using a positive masking plate derived from an original wood veneered or other textured panel. The roller should be hard chrome plated to ensure long life.
The quality of embossing is affected by the density of the board surface. Close control of board thickness to within ±0.1 mm is essential for good results. Problems of possible poor adhesion of the colours for wood grain prints in the bottom of the embossed grooves can be avoided by embossing the boards after printing.