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Hi
I made some panel doors, with rails and stiles, for my bathroom this past summer. Of course I allowed some space around for shrinkage/expansion and some of the panels have shrunk. The wood is pine and I used a "Minwax" one step stain and polyurethane finish. (wouldn't use again, I didn't like it) I can see a 1/16" line where the panel shrunk away from the stiles, it's a raised, darker, blobby-looking line.

The question is, do you usually stain and finish the panel before putting it in the door? If you do this, how do you then finish the small side of the stiles and rails where they meet the panel without causing stain to accumulate there? When I glue up my doors I do my finish sanding after to make sure there is a smooth transition from rail to stile, so if the panel part is already stained/finished, can it not get marred from the sanding, etc.?

Just trying to figure out the best way to do it. I'm going to tackle the kitchen next and want to improve on my work. The doors turned out great and I don't think most people would notice the shrinkage mark, but I do and it bothers me.

All ideas, discussion, thoughts, are appreciated!

~Julie~
 

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first of all the Polyshades by Miniwax is the worst thing ever put in a can, also pine is very difficult to color using a stain that contains any pigment. many people finish the edges of the panel (stain) before assembly. when finishing the bead detail don't load the brush with much material. prectice on some scraps it will become easier with practice. People will notice. if you want any more info on finishing email me.
good luck

jerry mayfield
 

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Julie said:
Hi
I made some panel doors, with rails and stiles, for my bathroom this past summer. Of course I allowed some space around for shrinkage/expansion and some of the panels have shrunk. The wood is pine and I used a "Minwax" one step stain and polyurethane finish. (wouldn't use again, I didn't like it) I can see a 1/16" line where the panel shrunk away from the stiles, it's a raised, darker, blobby-looking line.

The question is, do you usually stain and finish the panel before putting it in the door? If you do this, how do you then finish the small side of the stiles and rails where they meet the panel without causing stain to accumulate there? When I glue up my doors I do my finish sanding after to make sure there is a smooth transition from rail to stile, so if the panel part is already stained/finished, can it not get marred from the sanding, etc.?

Just trying to figure out the best way to do it. I'm going to tackle the kitchen next and want to improve on my work. The doors turned out great and I don't think most people would notice the shrinkage mark, but I do and it bothers me.

All ideas, discussion, thoughts, are appreciated!

~Julie~
I think the only minwax product I don't like, and in fact I don't like any of the combined stain/finish products. I have a desk we refinished with that and it was bad news, well is bad new....... some day it should be redone.

Now for what I do like to do and use. Pine is a mix of soft and hard areas so getting a uniform stain is hard. If you like the color of pine, which I do, I like to use the miniwax natural. This stuff penetrates, and seals which is good for bathrooms or other "wet" locations. About the only places I don't put it is on areas that will be glued. End grain may need several coats.

Minwax has a lot of good information on the website so check it out.

I should also point out the line you see is how much the wood moved, if the panel had not been free to move you might be looking at a crack..... so you get a good grade on the assembly method.

I like to do the "staining" when the pieces are apart and like hand finishes after assembly..... but that's just me.

ed
 

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Julie, there is one good thing about the fact you used the one step stain & sealer. You can mix it well and go in with a fine artists brush to do touch ups that should remove the build up line and not damage the other finish. I know this sounds like using paint to remove paint but the solvents will soften the build up so you can safely rub it off and not damage the surrounding finish. And you should end up with a perfect match in color. Dont sell the one step process short. It is useful in trim applications like edge banding on a countertop or chair rail moldings where it is likely to be damaged. And for exactly the reasons I mentioned above. Since the pigment is in the finish it tends to reduce blotches and sit on the surface for a uniform tint. Using a sealer before the one step almost guarantees it. The finishing guru's from magazines have sung the praises of prefinishing before assembly; just taking care to avoid area's where the glue is applied. This really helps out on areas that would be dificult to sand or adjust the finish after assembly, like your panels.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the replies!

Should I use a chisel and scrape off the lumps first, then stain the edges that are showing?

~Julie~
 

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I recently read a suggestion that I've not used yet but intend to try soon: Stain your piece dry-assembled. This ensures that parts to be left unstained for gluing remain unstained. Then, you can stain the panel separately and assemble the piece. This supposedly also makes excess glue removal easier. Sounds like a good plan to me.
 

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I have the Taunton book of Cabinet and Furniture Making on my bedside locker at the moment, (exciting, I know) one great tip in it is to apply finish to the edge of any panels before glue up to ensure that if the panel shrinks you'll avoid the problem you've described. I also think that any glue that might come out of the joint and onto the panel won't stick as well to the areas where finish is applied reducing the chance of panel cracking when it contracts.
 

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first of all the Polyshades by Miniwax is the worst thing ever put in a can

jerry mayfield
Hi Jerry:

I find myself using Polyshades sort of out of necessity. It was the only close match to a set of cabinets I am refacing.

Could you elaborate on the specific faults of this product? So far I have done only a single test panel. I have no complaints other than the long drying time.
 
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