Particle board and Bearded Dragon enclosures


New member
I recently got ahold of an old TV entertainment center, and am planning on turning it into a custom bearded dragon enclosure. It's made out of some kind of particle board and I've seen some people say that it can create dangerous fumes when heated and isn't suitable for bearded dragons.

Is this true, and if so, is this something that can be worked with, or is it best to find something else to house him in? My plan was to seal all cracks and seams, paint the entirety of the inside and apply a few coats of clear coat.

I'm more of a mechanically minded person. In my mind if everything is primed and painted and double coated with reptile safe sealer, it should be fine. He can't come into contact with the hazardous material, and any fumes created will dissipate into the house, and not his enclosure. I don't know their biology though, (the dragon is my mother's) and I've never built an enclosure for one so I figured I'd ask people more knowledgeable than I am for their advice.

Claudiusx Sicko
Staff member
What kind of particle board is it? Is it MDF, OSB, or something else? If you don't know, posting a picture of it would help.

Generally speaking, if the interior of the enclosure is sealed, it will be fine. Paint in and of itself is a form of "sealing". You don't need to apply sealent over paint unless you have other reasons for doing so.



New member
Original Poster
Picked the thing up at a local goodwill and it seems to be entirely made out of this stuff. Looks like 2 dense layers sandwiching one less dense layer.


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Claudiusx Sicko
Staff member
Ok, that's MDF with a wood veneer. Any part that is going to be the interior you'll want to paint/seal. Just lightly sand it (it's a thin veneer, if you sand too aggressively you'll sand through into the MDF). Any of the exposed MDF (the parts without a wood veneer covering it) that are going to be on the interior, I'd just pay extra attention to and make sure that part is sealed over well.



Beardie name(s)
Calypso(rip) Pickles(rip) Ragetti Lenny Vash Fridae Gemma
I picked up an old ethan allen wooden tv cabinet and found that a regular 40 gal breeder fit perfectly in the openning. Bigger would be better but works.
Sounds good. Thanks for the info!


Beardie name(s)
Lizzy Lizardton
Picked the thing up at a local goodwill and it seems to be entirely made out of this stuff. Looks like 2 dense layers sandwiching one less dense layer.
I know this is an old post...but hopefully you'll see this and be able to respond. I'm going to repurpose a similar entertainment center to the one you had pictures of - my questions are:
1. What did you seal it with?
2. How did it work out for the beardie?

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