should I pre-stain the panels in a frame and panel headboard?

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Forum topic by dvhart posted 12-23-2010 06:40 PM 1525 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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111 posts in 4303 days

12-23-2010 06:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stain finish

I am building a twin bed for my son. The head and foot boards have 39×14 and 39×24 birch plywood panels set in dados in the upper and lower rails as well as the posts. The plan suggests leaving 3/16 up-and-down room for the rails to expand. I’m planning on using a dark stain to finish the bed, if the rails are going to expand/contract so much, should I pre-stain and finish the panels before gluing up the head and foot boards?

-- Darren

4 replies so far

View CampD's profile


1833 posts in 4774 days

#1 posted 12-23-2010 06:46 PM

YES! always

-- Doug...

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 4271 days

#2 posted 12-23-2010 06:47 PM

Yes, I would. Just be sure to dry well before installing.
Some even just stain the edges and finish the rest when its time to finish the whole piece.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Anthony Finelli's profile

Anthony Finelli

52 posts in 4068 days

#3 posted 12-23-2010 06:51 PM

I agree, Im not sure if you use birch plywood often but I would use a pre-stain wood conditioner on the plywood, it will prevent blotching and makes a world of difference in the finish, at least that has been my experience.

-- Salem, New York "Find something you love to do and you will never have to work another day of your life"

View levan's profile


472 posts in 4267 days

#4 posted 12-23-2010 07:05 PM

I do like to stain and seal the panels before they are installed. It just makes for cleaner finishing later. You don’t say how wide your rails are, but there shouldn’t be alot of movement. The bigger concern would be if you were using solid wood panels. I would think a 1/32 space on each edge of the panel would be plenty. You may want to use something to cushion the panel in the rabbet so that it does not rattle.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

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