Staining and wood movement

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Forum topic by Eric posted 01-22-2015 10:15 PM 997 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Eric's profile


221 posts in 2708 days

01-22-2015 10:15 PM

I’m making a solid wood, raised panel cabinet doors. Is it wise to stain and finish the panel before assembling the rails and stiles so if the wood contracts there won’t be any bare wood exposed? The widest panel is 13” across the grain…maybe that’s not enough to really matter.

-- Eric

8 replies so far

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2803 days

#1 posted 01-22-2015 10:48 PM

Yes, I would at least stain the panel before assembly so when it does move you will not see a different color

View darinS's profile


713 posts in 3064 days

#2 posted 01-22-2015 11:33 PM

I concur with Woodendeavor. Finish the panel before assembly.

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

View Eric's profile


221 posts in 2708 days

#3 posted 01-23-2015 01:01 AM

My plan is to
1) stain and single coat lacquer the panel…
2) assemble..
3) final sanding of rails and stiles (so as to not round over mating joints by sanding individually)
4) stain rails and stiles
5) finally lacquer and top coat entire assembly.

Good plan?

-- Eric

View AandCstyle's profile


3177 posts in 2454 days

#4 posted 01-23-2015 01:43 AM

Eric, when I made this piece, I actually finished all the parts individually. I used blue tape to cover/protect the mortises, tenons, grooves, etc. I think this is better because you don’t have to be concerned about accidentally sanding a previously finished panel and you don’t have to tape off the panels when you are finishing the rails & stiles. Finally, you don’t have to be careful about any glue squeeze out because the glue won’t stick to your finished parts. FWIW

-- Art

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2840 days

#5 posted 01-23-2015 01:55 AM

+1 to your plan Eric.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5676 posts in 2606 days

#6 posted 01-23-2015 04:07 AM

+1 AandCstyle & Woodendeavor I never pre-finished anything when I first started. Takes too long I said on many occasions. These days I finish as I go, and it takes a long time. The difference is in the finished product.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2840 days

#7 posted 01-23-2015 04:35 AM

No doubt If, but, when the panel shrinks, there will be a difference in the sheen and by having at least one coat of finish on the panel it will not be as noticeable.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View pintodeluxe's profile


5797 posts in 3010 days

#8 posted 01-23-2015 04:48 AM

I dilute the stain slightly when pre-finishing solid wood panels. This way when you stain the entire project, the panel doesn’t get too dark.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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