Each year as winter approaches I receive phone calls regarding cabinet door panels. Most cabinet doors are 5 piece construction. As the name implies, that means the doors are made 5 separate pieces of wood; the 4 pieces that make up the frame and the center panel. The doors are designed to allow some movement as temperature and humidity changes. As temperatures drop and humidity lowers the center panel of the door will shrink. If the weather conditions are extreme enough, the center panel shrinks to a point where the unfinished edge of the center panel becomes exposed. It could certainly be argued that the weather this year has been more towards the extreme. As I would predict, that leads to more calls about this.

Here’s what to do about it. Take action now while the weather is still cold. Get a stain marker to match the cabinets. If we have recently installed your cabinets, there should be one in the touch up kit which came with your kitchen. If your kitchen is older [we can fix that 🙂 ] you can purchase a touch up marker at a paint or hardware store. Use the marker to cover the unfinished areas. Once the warmer weather comes (most of us are ready for it anytime now) the panel will expand again, completely covering the edge of the center panel. Then next year, as the center panel shrinks again, no unfinished wood is exposed.