Hardware for Doors Concealed as Wainscot Panels

Thoughts on slide, pull, and latch choices for doors disguised as paneling. December 27, 2008

The mission: make a traditional painted fireplace wall look like one broad wall of paneling. What looks like large panels adjacent to the fireplace will conceal cabinetry and drawers. No showing hardware preferred. Inset drawers and doors would allow touch-latches, but require gaps around panels which are large. Leaning toward overlay panels, where an applied molding at edge of panel would frame a flat panel. However overlay rules out touch-latches. Id be able to rout cove pulls into edge of applied molding, probably on an additional interior "shadow mold" piece. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor N:
I've done similar projects both ways, and overlays with cove pulls was not only more simple, but it yielded a cleaner finished look. Touch latches add a certain character, but I was not happy seeing even minor gaps around the panels to utilize this feature. I went with soft close hinges and slides on the overlay project, and was very happy with the end result.

From contributor D:
I had to build an access door for audio equipment that matched the surrounding recessed panel wainscot. After exhausting all the combinations of various concealed hinges and plates, I used soss hinges and rev-a-shelf "kiddy proof" magnetic latches. I used rabbetted panel mould on three sides and "unrabbetted" moulding on the hinge side. It left a gap of less than 1/32". The door opened about 90 degrees without binding.