Masking Boxes During Finishing


From original questioner:

when finishing a face frame unit do you guys mask off the inside of the box to protect it from overspray. In other words mask off doors

From contributor Ni

Yes, I mask...and it is a time consuming process. I've become a fan of the green frog tape especially if I'm dyeing, staining or glazing...the stuff keeps the leakage to a minimum

From contributor ch

Thanks Nick just thought there might be someone out there that has an easier way

From contributor Pd

If you make boxes in such a way that the backs can be removed, you can cut cardboard (we have lots of delivery cover sheets) about 1/16" larger in each dimension than the box opening. Then you put 1" tape just behind the face frames and push that cardboard in from the back leaveing it far enough back from the face frames so you don't get bounceback when you spray. Works pretty well.
Depending on your FF overhangs, sometimes you can push it in from the front too.

From contributor Bo

Over the years I have saved the 1/4"plywood scraps and use them to fasten to the back of the face frames. I fasten with 3/4"screws and use over and over. Fast and easy to do.

From contributor ch

thanks guys you're the best

From contributor Je

I finish mine separately and pocket screw them to the box afterwards....much easier, cleaner and faster and you can spray them flat. No nail holes to fill either.

From contributor Bi

That cardboard idea may just save me a lot of work. I've got a set of frameless cabinets with prefinished interiors that I need to put a pigmented finish on the exterior. I was dreading the masking process. Thanks!

From contributor Le

I get 4x8 sheets of corrugated cardboard from my supplier when I get plywood. I have the option of buying it if I run out of the "free" stuff. You can cut it on the tablesaw and get nice tight fits. I surround the inside of the box up against the FF with 1" tape. Then put the cardboard in, back about 1/4" and then tape the cardboard in place from the rear.

As others have said, it can be time consuming.

From contributor Ni

I have a custom finish shop, so 90% of the time I get my boxes from the cabinet shops with the frames applied and backs on (sometimes even the drawer guides and hinge mounts are on) and as others have pointed out the more items left off the box the easier and less time it will take to mask...just getting the face-frames with-out the boxes is a dream I've only lived a few times...with-out a doubt that's the fastest way to get the job done.

From contributor De

I use one of the masking stations they sell to auto body shops. This is the best, fastest method I have found yet. One roll of 12 inch and one roll of 18 inch paper on the cart and masking goes pretty fast.

From contributor Mi

I use a combination of methods already mentioned. My frames, finished ends, doors, drawer fronts, etc are finished separately before they are put together. I do have the occasional box that has to be completely built before spraying, then I mask off the floor with painters tape and then cut the cardboard that comes on the plywood and screw it to the back of the face frame with drawer slide screws. Since we started finishing parts instead of cabinets we have got much better results.

From contributor Pd

We tried painting frames separately when we could, but found that on the painted stuff, the joints would inevitably crack when applying the face frame to the box. We glue and pocket screw all of our frame joints, but it didn't matter. Stain/ clear are no problem.
We do sanded flush/ joint filled finished ends, so any of those naturally have to be sprayed assembled.

From contributor Da

How about the bottoms of cabinets where the frame meets the bottom panel and is flush? How do you get a smooth transition there between paint/finish?

From contributor ch

Im gonna try and answer my own question to see what you experts think. How about just finishing the inside by hand (brush) and then masking off openings

From contributor Mi

With all the modern equipment available today I would never use a brush. If you use prefinished ply, finish your face frames and finished ends separate, then there's just the occasional box that has to be masked. Plus the end product is better finish quality since it was sprayed flat instead of vertical.