My cabinet maker is using MDF for the inset panel on the shaker style doors. How will this fare in durability and longevity. Should I have him change it to wood insets instead?

  • what is the door framing made from ? Mix and Match materials - color match - will they be exposed to bright sunlight where fading can occur .. me personally I would try to keep the materials the same for those reasons. As for durability it is probably fine - I suspect the finish and the no imperfection look is more what the maker is looking for. He might be color matching the door frame to the MDF or is he using MDF there too?
    – Ken
    May 10, 2017 at 2:17

1 Answer 1


As long as MDF is not exposed directly to moisture it is more stable than solid wood which will expand and contract with seasonal changes much more so than MDF or plywood, cheaper too.

I pretty much do not like MDF at all, except for this type of application. It also finishes out very smooth, some solid wood and plywood will show the grain of the wood through the paint finish.

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