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Building a entertainment center.
I prefer soft maple for paint grade projects. More stable, harder, smoother, and not as likely to have dark streaks that bleed through the finish.
After many years of seeing open seems on painted cabinets, I insisted that any painted kitchen or bath project would have MDF doors. I've always wanted to build an entire kitchen/bath with mdf, including the face frames, since the minimal movement should never break the finish at the seams. I've found that sanding the cut edges to 320 grit will allow every surface to finish the same.
Be a maverick and build it all out of mdf. That's my "opinion".
poplar is the standard, maple being the premium because it is less likely to dent. don't ever make a ff out of mdf
I use soft maple, poplar is too soft for doors IMHO. MDF is good for panels, I just wouldn't use it for doors parts or face frames.
I always hear that the joints are going to open up in solid wood doors with pigmented finish, but haven't had that be the case. My own kitchen doors are 10 years old now and still not a single seam. Build and finish them right and you'll be fine.
For painted cabinets I like to use birch or maple paint grade ply and poplar or maple solid trim.
I normally use FAS Poplar frames with MDF panels.
I use soft maple for face frames and door frames, mdf for panels. Poplar is to soft for kitchen use in my opinion. I wouldn't worry about using poplar for something that was high up and not used, like crown.