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Forum topic by Pabs posted 01-04-2012 07:34 PM 965 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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236 posts in 3452 days

01-04-2012 07:34 PM

I need some advice…
I’m starting a kitchen reno project
my goal is to reuse as much as possible.. only need to build 3 cabinets..the rest remain.

it’s old particle board boxes with oak face frames. doors are solid oak as well
boxes and face frames are in mint condition so no need to change those
doors, we are not crazy about the style nor the finish.. so here’s where I come in

I will take the solid slab doors and cut my stiles and rails from it to make flat panel doors.
now I intend to use plywood for the panels . also, I should note that the cabinets and door will be painted once done

here’s my question…for the ply , does it mater if I get birch ply for instance? how much of the grain shows through even after painting?

same for my new cabinets, would I need to build those from the same materials? I’ve always built my face frames using poplar …but if it will show differently after being painted then maybe I should go with oak??

I will blog the progress of this project as soon as I get some pics….


-- Pabs

6 replies so far

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Bill White

4930 posts in 3959 days

#1 posted 01-04-2012 08:10 PM

Properly primed birch, sanded, and painted should do just fine as will poplar. Oak is a bear to seal and fill to prevent grain showing.
Zinsser make a good primer, water based, shellac based, and oil based. I prefer the water based stuff ‘cause it is much easier to clean up. The shellac based will dry very quickly, and will clean up with ammonia and soap. I just find that the shellac based primer dries a bit too quick when used on larger projects.
What final finish will ya use? Water or oil base?


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236 posts in 3452 days

#2 posted 01-04-2012 08:22 PM

thanks Bill
paint, water based

so to seal the oak do I need multiple coats of sealer or just one coat of a good one?

-- Pabs

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2967 days

#3 posted 01-05-2012 03:56 AM

There’s been the odd time I’ve had to make cheap, quick and easy shaker style doors suitable for painting, If you want to save the oak for something that won’t be painted, you could do it like this.
Buy 5/8” and 1/4”mdf, cut 5/8” to door size, cut strips from the 1/4” mdf the width of your rails and stiles. Simply plant the 1/4” mdf around the edges of the door on the front, clean up, chamfer the edges, seal, paint. Apply the glue on the rail and stile strips with a 4” emulsion roller to put it down quickly and evenly. Leave cramps on til dry. Apparently dewaxed shellac 50/50 is the best sealer to prevent mdf fibres raising with waterborne paint.

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236 posts in 3452 days

#4 posted 01-05-2012 05:54 AM

hey renners

the idea for this project is to reuse as much as possible, it’s not about making for less money (although) that’s a nice bonus. it’s about not wasting materials for the sake of having nice new cabinets.
I have plenty of spare wood kicking around.. .adding 23 doors or so will just clutter my ever shrinking workshop space@ :)

I appreciate the advice but I’m not a huge fan of mdf so I’ll stick with my old oak :)

-- Pabs

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2967 days

#5 posted 01-05-2012 01:19 PM

Fair enough, I know all about workshop clutter.

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3665 days

#6 posted 01-05-2012 02:15 PM

If you are matching an existing cabinet, make a matching cabinet, this includes not only style but material. Painted oak looks like painted oak unless great amounts of labor are involved. It is what it is, so to say.

The cost difference to use oak and not poplar is minimum yet the asthetic difference in the final product will not be.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

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