Wood Movement Question

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Forum topic by Simon2822 posted 01-27-2012 04:39 AM 916 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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72 posts in 1839 days

01-27-2012 04:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I will be starting a new bed build soon and plan to make from pine that has been stored in the room where the bed will eventually be for around a month now. The finish on the bed will be (gloss) paint.
My question is…. Wood movement is caused by an increase or decrease in the moisture content of the wood so, if the wood is completely sealed (in this case with paint), will this stop the wood absobing or losing moisture and efectively eliminate movement??

-- If it's not right, it's wrong

5 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1617 posts in 1741 days

#1 posted 01-27-2012 04:43 AM

The answer is no. You can slow down wood movement but no amount of finish will stop it completely. Finish is important because it protects furniture from massive spikes in humidity. A sudden drop from 90% RH to 25%RH can create some serious damage by causing surface checking in certain woods. The finish will slow it enough to allow gradual movement.

Proper design and good joinery are still the best means of dealing with wood expansion.

-- See my work at and

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 2332 days

#2 posted 01-27-2012 04:59 AM

I totally agree. Wood is going to move, period. Especially lose grain softwoods like Pine. You can minimize it but you can’t spot it. Be sure you finish all sides of the project and account for movement with joinery that leaves room for the wood to expand and contract. That’s why you don’t nail a dining room table top to the legs. You use a small grove and table top fasteners of some kind. Weather they are homemade or commercially made.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View WDHLT15's profile


1565 posts in 1900 days

#3 posted 01-28-2012 04:26 AM

Having left the wood inside will make a lot of positive difference. You should be good to go.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View bondogaposis's profile


3972 posts in 1775 days

#4 posted 01-28-2012 04:37 AM

No, wood movement is a force of nature it cannot be stopped, only accommodated through correct joinery.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Simon2822's profile


72 posts in 1839 days

#5 posted 02-06-2012 10:35 PM

Thanks guys, I was 90% sure wood would still “move”. Now I’m 100%. I guess no finish is 100% waterproof

-- If it's not right, it's wrong

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