To stain or not to stain...

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Forum topic by BobD posted 05-11-2011 04:00 PM 804 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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52 posts in 3441 days

05-11-2011 04:00 PM

I have made a door for a cabinet, which has a flat panel that I book, matched from a piece of white oak. Oak rails and stiles with grooves and stub tenons house the panel. I will not glue the panel in the frame but will use some spongy material (somewhat like space balls) in the grooves to allow for wood movement.

My question is regarding the staining and finishing the door. Should I stain the panel and rails and stiles, being careful not to stain where glue is applied to fasten the rails and stiles together, or should I glue the door completely together, then fit the door and then stain the assembled door

It’s certainly easier to stain the unassembled pieces but I’m concerned that if sanding and/or cutting is required to fit the door then I’ll have to re-stain the raw cuts and it may not blend very well. I’m using gel stain and I’m also concerned about build up of stain in the corners of the grooves in the rail and stiles

Comments and suggestions welcome?

San Diego

-- Bob, San Diego

1 reply so far

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#1 posted 05-11-2011 04:21 PM

Bob, if I were doing this I would first sand and apply stain and finish the panel. Next I would glue up the door, fit it, sand the unfinished portion of the door assembly and then apply stain/finish to the assembled door.

The problem with waiting until the door is assembled before applying the stain is that, with wood movement, the inside edges of the panel can be exposed. Since it will be difficult for the stain to reach the insides edges of the panel in the assembled door the unfinished edge will be visible in the assembled door.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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