Bending a panel - prefinish or not?

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Forum topic by Ben posted 04-11-2020 11:05 AM 294 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ben's profile


490 posts in 3907 days

04-11-2020 11:05 AM

Wondering how you all would approach this:

I’m building a curved frame and panel hallway. Two of the panels will be bent to a 16” radius. The panels are about 5mm thick, maple.
Usually I pre-finish all my panels, but I’m wondering if either:
a) I may need to heat the panels for them to take the shape
b) the finish may get messed up while bending

I will likely be placing another layer of thin plywood behind the panel to keep it pressed down into the frame rabbet. So I would not be able to access the back of the panel once it’s installed.

Appreciate ideas.


3 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2886 posts in 1213 days

#1 posted 04-11-2020 12:11 PM

Ben, personally, I would do all the installation first – then finish.
(I just have a bad habit of messing up finishes for some reason).


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View johnstoneb's profile


3167 posts in 3223 days

#2 posted 04-11-2020 02:59 PM

x1 John Smith
Too much chance of messing the finish up while bending. the panel coulc break or the heat messup the finish.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View CWWoodworking's profile


1656 posts in 1229 days

#3 posted 04-11-2020 04:21 PM

I would use radius bending plywood and prefinish. Touch up after install.

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