Finger Joint Telegraphing

      Given time, finger joints in lumber will show up through almost any finish. November 12, 2006

We plan to use finger joint timber for making picture frame mouldings. Gesso is applied on the raw FJ wood to fully cover them. They are then sanded, and spray painted. We were told that some 3 to 4 months later, images of finger jointing can be seen - this is considered a defect in our industry. These images cannot be seen at the time of production. Has anyone encountered this problem?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor C:
The finger joints in moldings and lumber tend to telegraph through the painted finish upon changes in moisture content, because of the wood shrinking and swelling. If you used this in a museum, for instance, with constant humidity control, there would likely be no showing of the finger joints, since it will not shrink or swell.

From contributor J:
You don't say what kind of paint you are using. That could make a difference. Also, I would try using a primer like Zinser under the paint.

From contributor R:
Unless you cover those joints up with something like a canvas or a sizing, they will always come back to say hello. Might take a few months or even a fewer months, but count on them to return. That's the nature of a joint, and especially a finger joint, which is a whole bunch of joints in a small, confined area.

From contributor V:
This will continue to be a problem no matter what coating you put on. The real solution is to use a better (solid wood) molding as your base. For architectural grade work, where the pieces are mostly viewed as background at a distance, the FJ is okay (though on high end jobs I usually avoid it). For picture moldings, it is pretty tacky and would serve only the lowest end of the market.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Woodworking Miscellaneous

  • KnowledgeBase: Woodworking Miscellaneous: Picture Frames

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article