Pre-Finishing Edge Banding

Cabinetmakers share ideas for applying finish to plain wood edgebanding before use. September 22, 2005

I can't find a PVC edgeband color that matches the painted cabinet door color I'm using. Rather than banding in raw maple and masking the box to spray, could I spray paint strips of maple and band the finished pieces? Will they just curl up and make me a laughing stock?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor T:
It sounds like a good plan to me. The only problem you'll have is lining things up since you won't be able to trim.

From contributor B:
We pre-finish all of our edgetape to match the doors. We lay out 8' strips of edgetape across an entire 4'x 8' piece of plywood and then spray them. You can get about 45 pieces on one sheet. There are a couple of methods then to feed them into the machine. You can feed the individual 8' strips through the machine, which has some waste factor, or you can take the time and tape all the ends together to form a continuous roll.

From contributor G:
Have you thought about spraying about 20 feet at a time and use a take-up roll as it dries? I might have to give that a try. Now for the more important question - did you charge your customer more because they picked an off-system color?

From the original questioner:
To contributor G: I didn't charge them more because I was locked into a painted price already and there weren’t that many cabinets anyway (four). They were also buyers of a specific house and the builder was jacking them enough, and there’s lots of money there already.

From contributor J:
For most of my work I use the unfinished real wood edgebanding. I do not pre-finish and I do not mask. I cut out mill and band my parts then I take them over to the spray booth and stack them up so that the edges are all facing the same way, sand them with a piece of 180 or a sponge block and then finish them all at the same time. I have never had a problem doing this although sometimes a little bit of stain will seep through the cracks and I will have to wipe it off with some lacquer thinner when I am building the cabinet.

From contributor P:
I have figured an easy system for fabricating my own custom pre-finished edgebanding. I use a 12" diameter cardboard tube (Sonar-tube for concrete footings) with 13" diameter 1/2" MDF end-caps and 1" dowel rod glued through the Center. Then I tape the edgebanding to the tube and wrap it tight around the tube (quantities as needed). Then I stain, glaze, even distress, and topcoat according to the job-specs. I let it dry overnight on the tube and then it’s ready for the edgebander. I got tired of cleaning up overspray and stain by finishing stacked parts. I would suggest giving it a try - it works great for me.

From contributor H:
To the original questioner: Why not just band as usual and use a foam or poly brush to apply finish? If you use the right pressure it will leave a clean sprayed like appearance with very little clean up. It works with stain, clear, or paint.

From contributor N:
I usually just narrow down my fan and reduce my fluid feed and then spray the edges at an angle. It takes a steady hand, but it's fast. I like Contributor P's idea a lot though.