Best wood for painted face frame

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
New pantry cabinets. Wondering on the best wood for the face frames. They will be painted.
 

Graywolf

Board of Directors, President
Richard
Staff member
Corporate Member
Maple, Basswood, Poplar, Birch. Any, all. Take your pick, you can't go wrong.
 

smurg

Marty
Senior User
I think for most it depends on pricing. For a pantry, I'd expect them to see more action than a linen closet and would opt for a harder wood if economically feasible.

If you can pull it, Hard Maple > Soft Maple > Poplar. Although if you're running straight knives on everything, you will have to take shallower cuts if there's any figure.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
There are three basic types of hardwood wood surfaces: Ring Porous(oak, many tropical woods), Semi Ring Porous(walnut, mahogany), and Diffuse Porous (Maple). They all are suitable for painting if you want to use filler and sand a lot, depending on the the surface smoothness desired.
Softwoods can be risky but if there are no knots or pitch pockets, its unlikely something will bleed through.
 

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
I would go with soft maple. It takes paint well and is hard enough to take a beating plus it's affordable.

Red
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Maple, Basswood, Poplar, Birch. Any, all. Take your pick, you can't go wrong.
That is funny I expected to see Poplar first, then Birch, then maybe alder or Maple etc.
And from the responses of people (like Richard) who I know do this and respect Maple seems like a consensus!

Also, I guess I never thought anyone would make cabinets from basswood?!
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
Yeah, Hank , my go to is Poplar then Soft Maple ......... probably beacuse I am a cheapo ! Maple is expensive here.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Soft maple. Its great to work with, Its hard enough, cheap and sands glass smooth.
Yep, Soft Maple is the industry gold standard for painted cabinets.

You can go cheaper and spend more time during the paint process to hide open wood grain.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
I was thinking maple. Poplar fuzzes and dents easy. Now if it would quit raining so I can head to the store. Cost will be trival compared to the doors I need.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
I was thinking maple. Poplar fuzzes and dents easy. Now if it would quit raining so I can head to the store. Cost will be trival compared to the doors I need.
 

Graywolf

Board of Directors, President
Richard
Staff member
Corporate Member
That is funny I expected to see Poplar first, then Birch, then maybe alder or Maple etc.
And from the responses of people (like Richard) who I know do this and respect Maple seems like a consensus!

Also, I guess I never thought anyone would make cabinets from basswood?!
Poplar isn't my first choice mainly because it takes more prep work to get a really nice finish, Alder is a food choice and something I thought about while on the way to the job site, to install painted Maple cabinets. Basswood is something that was used a lot in the 60s and 70s as face frame material for painted cabinets, because it was cheap, plentiful, and easy to work with, not to mention clean of knots.
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
I have never been able to talk myself into painting maple..... but I do use poplar for everything I paint, and have not had any problems (my standards are probably not to a pro level so that's the disclaimer!)
I checked the pricing and soft maple is certainly going to cost more, particularly if you are using 8/4 which I am using right now for this project......
IMG_1009.JPG

So anyway, I have been happy with it for painted projects.....
 
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tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
It became time to shoot the engineers and start production. I used poplar. I should get the cabinet doors I ordered for the bath vanity I did in a week so I can evaluate if I will use the same company for the pantry doors.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
It became time to shoot the engineers and start production. I used poplar. I should get the cabinet doors I ordered for the bath vanity I did in a week so I can evaluate if I will use the same company for the pantry doors.
what are the doors made of?
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
One has a choice of 14 materials. The set I ordered for the vanity are birch. FastCabinetDoors.com I would probably order "paint grade hardwood with MDF center"
Open to other sources.
 

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