Painting Raised Panel Wainscoting - Question

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Forum topic by BetTheFarm posted 02-27-2011 02:38 PM 2066 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 2820 days

02-27-2011 02:38 PM

Hello all,

I have been making raised panel wainscoting for my house using my table saw and router table. The project is going very well, but I have one quick question regarding finishing. Is it necessary to paint the sides and backs of the wainscoting (the parts not visible once installed)?

For some reason, I thought that I read somewhere that it was necessary to paint 100% of the pieces to minimize expansion and contraction. I did this for my first project but it was very time consuming. If it is not necessary, this is a step that i would gladly skip. Obviously it is an interior application. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


5 replies so far

View ChefHDAN's profile


1140 posts in 3023 days

#1 posted 02-27-2011 04:04 PM

Ditto, not for an interior application

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 3017 days

#2 posted 02-27-2011 11:10 PM

I would prime/seal the back of the panels and trim especially if using MDO or MDF. Why risk having raised bowl paneling if you don’t have to? IMHO a paint job (interior or exterior) will last much longer if you back prime. -Jack

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3499 days

#3 posted 02-27-2011 11:13 PM

If you are doing any of this with pine or plywood – be sure to use a high-hiding primer. The most frustrating things is having it yellow if you don’t (assuming you are painting white…).

View BetTheFarm's profile


15 posts in 2820 days

#4 posted 02-28-2011 12:59 AM

Thanks for the responses. I should have mentioned that I’m using poplar. I’m using spaceballs to float the panel in the frames.

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3961 days

#5 posted 02-28-2011 03:52 AM

If you are using latex paint (which breathes moisture in and out) one coat on the hidden parts will minimize any moisture absorbtion inequity problems, but is not absolutely necessary on interior work unless the wall sweats. If using oil based coatings, (i.e poly, varnish, “tung oil”, lacquer, shellac, etc) definitely seal the back sides. Otherwise, moisture can be absorbed which will eventually result in the outside coat peeling.



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