Subscribe to Print
Subscribe to Digital
Give as a Gift
Free Product Guide >>
I have made a door for a cabinet, which has a flat panel
that I book, matched from a piece of white oak. Oak rails and stiles with grooves and stub tenons house the
panel. I will not glue the
panel in the frame but will use some spongy material (somewhat like space
balls) in the grooves to allow for wood movement.
My question is regarding the staining and finishing the
door. Should I stain the panel and
rails and stiles, being careful not to stain where glue is applied to fasten
the rails and stiles together, or should I glue the door completely together,
then fit the door and then stain the assembled door
It’s certainly easier to stain the unassembled pieces but
I’m concerned that if sanding and/or cutting is required to fit the door then
I’ll have to re-stain the raw cuts and it may not blend very well. I’m using gel stain and I’m also
concerned about build up of stain in the corners of the grooves in the rail and
Comments and suggestions welcome?
Hi sir. I think you have the right plan there.
I'm pretty much in the same boat right now with a bench I'm building that is all frame and panel construction. My plan is to finish the panels before the glue-up. I think I'll then mask off the panel area when I finish the frame components.
Hey Bob and Dave,
If you plan to apply varnish or polyurethane as a topcoat, you should stain and finish the panel(s) before you glue the assembly together. Then stain and finish the frame. You can tape off the panel, but it really isn't necessary, because the topcoat will seal the surface—you'll be able to wipe off any stain or finish that gets on it.
Good luck—and have fun!
American Woodworker Senior Editor
Looking forward that you have finished it already.
Rockwell Jawhorse and Milwaukee M12.