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Thread: Paint before or after?

  1. #1

    Paint before or after?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new on here and looking forward to learning more woodworking skills as I continue to build new things.

    I am currently building new kitchen cabinet doors for my kitchen. I am building them out of hard maple with 2.5" wide rails and stiles by 3/4" thick with a 1/4" MDF panel.

    Now to my question. would you paint them before gluing them up or paint afterwards? My concern is with the possibility of expansion and contraction would unpainted areas of the panel appear if I painted them after they are glued.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    State College, PA
    I don't believe you will have any problem with expansion and contraction of an MDF panel. In fact, you should be fine gluing those panels into the grooves in the frames.

    A solid or glued-up wood panel would be another matter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Mdf panels won't expand or contract. That is a problem with natural timber. Glue the panels in as you assemble the doors and paint after. Cheers

  4. #4
    Awesome! Thank you very much for the advice. I believe I will start gluing up tomorrow then. I have 3 doors ready for glue and only 26 more to go. I'm also going to be replacing the drawer fronts and cabinet faces as well.

    I sure hope this all turns out as I hope.

    Thanks again.

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