Advice on wood/plywood for painted cabinets

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Forum topic by Elksniffer posted 03-12-2015 07:53 PM 899 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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101 posts in 3567 days

03-12-2015 07:53 PM

My wife and I are designing new kitchen cabinets for a major remodel. She wants to paint the cabinets and not sure if cabinets will be off white or some warmer color. Cabinet doors and drawer fronts will be a frame and panel design. I am wondering what the advice is from lumberjocks on what wood and plywood for panels would be best suited for painting and relatively durable(as opposed to pine). Living in SW Montana we have limited access to many woods or plywood from our lumberyards (60 miles to nearest) but I could order something in too. Thanks for your help.

3 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5126 posts in 2663 days

#1 posted 03-12-2015 08:14 PM

For the plywood part, your life will be so much easier using the pre finished ply it will be well worth going through whatever pain you have to to get it. Prefinished one side keeps you from having to do anything to the inside once the cabinet is assembled. The stuff I’ve used from Columbia Forest Products has a finish so tough it’s extremely hard to damage it during the building process. For the face frames, doors, drawer fronts and any end panels you might need there are several woods that will work, but I think my choice would be maple. It’s usually very affordable, and while it’s harder to work that, say, poplar it finishes so nicely and smoothly it’s also worth it. Be sure to choose the proper paint and primer ( a discussion in itself). I’d probably prefer either an oil based enamel over Zinnser BIN, or a 100% acrylic waterborne. Names such as Olympic Icon, BM Moorestyle Interior, or Valspar Medallion are among the many high quality paints that would work well.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 3648 days

#2 posted 03-12-2015 09:18 PM

I would take Fred’s advice verbatim.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View mnguy's profile


199 posts in 3568 days

#3 posted 03-12-2015 09:34 PM

For your face frames and doors, I also heartily endorse maple – I have used poplar, and while it machines and paints great, it has been more subject to dings and dents.

For your door panels, I recommend maple veneered MDF. Super stable, a true 1/4” thick, and it paints like a dream.

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