I need to build a built-in cupboard in our hall and have fallen at the first hurdle; material.
Because it is going to be a unit in the hall it wall have a fair amount of through traffic and is certain to get a fair few knock over the years, so it needs to be reasonably durable. From what I've read the obvious choice is MDF throughout with pine battens to construct the frame.
However, the wife has a new requirement; white pained but with a wood grain so that it looks like a piece of furniture rather than a characterless block. I'm not sure how to do this. I see grain effect doors in Wickes which are meant to keep their grain effect showing even once painted, so it is possible I'm just not sure how. Do these doors have a fake grain, or do they use a plywood that is naturally grained and they manage to bring out the grain somehow? I'm not even sure solid wood is a viable option as I fear the grain would be hidden by painting.
The doors you speak of are "moulded doors" ie, the woodgrain pattern is embossed into the surface during manufacture, it is not a natural feature. They are in effect textured hardboard.
I have never seen this material available in sheet form for DIY usage - but then I am not a carpenter.
If I was building a cupboard, I would consider two options. Build it as if it is part of the house with a proper door frame and door then decorate the surround the same as the rest of the room or build it similar to a kitchen unit or wardrobe. Contiboard is available in many different wood-grain finishes. IMHO, once you take a paintbrush to a large wood surface, it ends up looking cheap and tacky.
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