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Kitchen cabinet problem. special joints? I don't want to have to do it over again.

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Forum topic by ohtimberwolf posted 02-12-2017 05:29 PM 2499 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ohtimberwolf

730 posts in 2186 days


02-12-2017 05:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: kitchen shaker cabinets white paint

Hey Kitchen Cabinet makers. When your wife wants your build to be shaker style and painted white how do you keep the paint from cracking as the wood moves?

My experience has been that painted wood cabinets don’t look so good after a while due to shrinking panels and so on. Or, is there a joint that will work better than others? Help.

Here is an example of the type doors I would be making.

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.


16 replies so far

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Kelster58

298 posts in 374 days


#1 posted 02-12-2017 05:41 PM

I have found that spacers glued into the space between the panel and door stile and rail help with expansion and contraction. They keep the panel centered and tight during expansion and contraction. As the panel shrinks these things keep it centered so cracks between the panel and stile aren’t as noticeable. Keeps the panel still so it doesn’t rattle either. Here is a link to them on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006LA198/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I agree completely with TungOil and RichTaylor…......Very good solutions.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

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Rich

1976 posts in 424 days


#2 posted 02-12-2017 06:00 PM

Since they are going to be painted, I suggest using MDF for the panels. There will be no movement and its smooth surface is perfect for painting. I did that for some cabinets I put in at my old house, and they still looked great after 10 years. It’s much cheaper too.

Poplar works well for the rails and stiles. It’s very stable, mills cleanly, and is a great surface for paint.

I also second the recommendation for space balls. Even though there would be no expansion or contraction with MDF, they do keep the panel stable and rattle free.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

743 posts in 329 days


#3 posted 02-12-2017 06:01 PM

Paint the center panel before you assemble the door. Plywood panels will be more stable. You will probably still get a fine crack in the paint where the rail and stile meet but you can minimize this by using narrow rails and stiles.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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waho6o9

8026 posts in 2411 days


#4 posted 02-12-2017 06:30 PM

MDO panels and as stated above, paint before you assemble them.

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Fred Hargis

4756 posts in 2327 days


#5 posted 02-12-2017 06:47 PM

MDO (which paints nicely) or regular veneer plywood, or MDF panels. They don’t move in a measurable fashion. Glue them into the frames and you not only have a really solid door, but no movement problems.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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ohtimberwolf

730 posts in 2186 days


#6 posted 02-12-2017 08:01 PM

Thanks guys, great food for thought. I’ll surely do some if not all suggested. I have no experience with painting new cabinet work. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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Loren

9608 posts in 3482 days


#7 posted 02-12-2017 08:03 PM

use plywood.

For stain grade I put a nail top and bottom
in th back of the door frame to keep the
panel centered.

I’ve used spaceballs too.

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ohtimberwolf

730 posts in 2186 days


#8 posted 02-12-2017 08:18 PM

Does anyone know if space ball will deteriorate over time?

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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MT_Stringer

3115 posts in 3065 days


#9 posted 02-12-2017 08:19 PM

You made me go look at our buffet that we built about 3 years ago. I don’t see anything that resembles movement. I used space balls in the drawer construction and poplar for the raised panel doors.
Example (dry fit).

Drawer fronts

Outdoor spray booth! (primer)

Finished project

Happy Camper

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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Rich

1976 posts in 424 days


#10 posted 02-12-2017 08:40 PM



Does anyone know if space ball will deteriorate over time?

- ohtimberwolf

I’ve deteriorated over time, but the space balls are going strong.

Seriously though, I bought a bag of 1000 on Amazon a long time ago, and they are still the same.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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ohtimberwolf

730 posts in 2186 days


#11 posted 02-12-2017 09:56 PM

Stringer, looks great. What type of finish paint did you use. Did you use an airless sprayer?

Rich, sounds like you won’t be needing any more. Thanks for the info.

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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MT_Stringer

3115 posts in 3065 days


#12 posted 02-12-2017 10:11 PM



Stringer, looks great. What type of finish paint did you use. Did you use an airless sprayer?

Rich, sounds like you won t be needing any more. Thanks for the info.

- ohtimberwolf

Latex paint using an airless sprayer. Then a friend applied a glaze and a clear finish over it.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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ohtimberwolf

730 posts in 2186 days


#13 posted 02-12-2017 10:21 PM

Thanks, this is new ground for me. Never liked risking painted kitchen cabinets. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2710 posts in 1315 days


#14 posted 02-13-2017 01:22 PM

Best to use ply to avoid movement issues, plus you can glue them in which makes the door stronger.

If you’re doing raised panes, I would use solid wood (I very much dislike milling MDF due to toxicity issues). Paint them before installing that way if they shrink a bit the border won’t show.

If you do them correctly the purpose of frame and panel is to allow the panel to move. I’ve never used space balls but they are a good idea.

I seriously doubt they will move enough to crack paint. Most paint is designed to be a bit elastic. I would use a high quality paint from a paint store they will advise you on the best type.

Standard construction for kitchen cab doors is cope and stick. Special router bits available. On wider doors you could consider mortise/tenon for strength to reduce tendency to warp or twist. I’ve built large pantry doors using cope and stick with no problems (plywood panels glued in).

The best advice I can give you is be VERY aware of wood moisture content/drying/acclimating, etc. Mill the wood incrementally don’t take more than 1/16” and do it everything evenly to both sides. Is you’re using surfaced wood, no problem just be aware even if the wood is kiln dried I recommend acclimating for at least a week after cutting to size.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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pontic

500 posts in 443 days


#15 posted 02-13-2017 01:48 PM

I would spray them for sure. Prepaint the panels regardless, this will help keep glue squeezeout from sticking the panel to the frame. When the panel frame is plywood and one corner is glued to the rail/style glue joint, it can (and did to me) pull the veneer surface from the substrate of the panel. Prefinishing or prepainting the panel will greatly help to avoid this.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

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