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  • Finishing Cabinets

    Greetings,

    Relative newbie here. I've been puzzling over a finishing question: how to finish the unseen or rarely seen bits of a cabinet? I'm fairly comfortable with the variety of method for finishing the visible components of cabinets and furniture. But am not sure how to attack things like the carcass and drawer boxes i.e. the bits where aesthetics are not a concern.

    Although looks aren't an issue, I assume that moisture/humidity resistance and stability are issues. Do folks leave these parts unfinished, finish them the same as the visible bits (i.e. faceframes), or some other quick and dirty method?

    Thanks in advance for enlightenment
    Jon
    Still able to count to 21....

  • #2
    I finish all surfaces with a couple coats of Poly to seal the wood and prevent moisture damage

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    • #3
      I think in most cases, all components should be sealed to prevent shrinkage, swelling, or just plain warping. While "what we can see" certainly gets the finish of our choice, the rest of the assembly needs to be protected and preserved also. Certainly when it comes to cleaning the doors, drawers, and cabinets interiorr, a couple of coats of your favorite varnish makes the job a lot easier and is highly recommended.

      CWS

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      • #4
        Thanks

        Thanks guys!

        Jon
        Still able to count to 21....

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        • #5
          All parts should receive equal finish so you balance the moisture transfer rate. Most people tend to only put one coat on the unseen areas, in most cases you will get away with that but on critical parts like drawer sides even slight warping will cause issues so both sides (in/out) need the same amount of finish. Even film forming finishes like poly still allow some moisture transfer

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          • #6
            Like the others have stated previously, I have always heard and read dozens of articles stating that both sides have to be finished to prevent warping and such. I can’t recall where but I read an article called something like the biggest myths in woodworking and it stated that as being one of them and used an example of look at the underneath of any old solid wood dining table and you will find that it was left unfinished and there is no warping to be found.

            Woodslayer

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            • #7
              Thanks

              Thanks Slayer and Mr. Brooks. We're getting to the root of my confusion. Theory says finish everything equally. Reality says ??

              Most carcasses are built of plywood. Plywood is theoretically more stable than solid wood. Also, I've seen pre-built, pre-finished cabinets at HD where only the faceframes, drawer fronts, and doors were finished. While I aspire to greater heights than pre-built, pre-finished boxes from HD, it does beg the question.

              Has anyone left the hidden carcass bits unfinished only to regret it later?

              Thanks again!
              Jon
              Still able to count to 21....

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd finish it

                I doubt if you, your significant other or a potential home buyer will ever think, "I wish the insides weren't finished." But someday you might think, "I wish I'd finished that."

                I always finish the unseen or rarely seen areas of my projects. It really isn't too much extra time or expense. In fact, I often start on these areas to make sure I like the color.

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