Please Note

Please check with our sales staff to confirm the current applicability of any particular download or post.

Posted in Discussion Forum | Comments Off

Natural Wood Expectations

Wood grain is a product of nature, and much like a fingerprint, no two grain patterns are ever exactly alike. This individualism is one of the most appealing factors of wood products. Soil and climate affect the growth characteristics of wood. The finest hardwoods have certain natural characteristics that cannot be hidden with a finishing process.

These characteristics occur due to the fact that wood is a natural product and is affected by weather, climate, insects, birds, soil makeup, and natural growth patterns. These characteristics are apparent and are not to be misinterpreted as defects. Wood is a product of nature- and as such will display natural characteristics and variances that are unique to each and every cut. These characteristics are an integral part of the charm and beauty of real wood – no two pieces are alike.

jointexpansionJOINT EXPANSION
The natural occurrence of expansion and contraction, may also affect your doors, drawers and face frames. Expansion and contraction in doors, drawers and face frames can also open a joint line. The finish will still protect the surface and the structural integrity of the joint will not be affected.

When purchasing painted (opaque) finishes, keep in mind that the natural occurrence of expansion and contraction greatly affects the overall look of the wood products.
Because of this, it is perfectly normal to experience some separation at joints in wood. Although we take every precaution to minimize this, it is completely natural.  It is recommended that a humidity control system is incorporated in a home to reduce
the possibility of expansion and contraction in wood products.

panelshrinkage PANEL SHRINKAGE
Door panels are prone to minor expansion and contraction as seasonal temperature and humidity changes occur in a home. The contraction or shrinkage of the center door panel during low humidity periods may result in the appearance of an unfinished line
along the edge of the center panel. It is recommended that a humidity control system is incorporated in a home to reduce the possibility of expansion and contraction in wood products. Touch-up markers may be available to cover this edge line. Often
times, touch-up may only be necessary within the first year.

warpage WARPAGE
The natural occurrence of expansion and contraction, may also affect your doors, drawers and face frames. In some case doors may warp for a period of time until the home has incorporated it’s humidity control system. Special hinges are available to readjust some of the warpage out of the door, until the humidity control system has
regulated the environment. Remember, proper initial care and maintenance will ensure a lifetime of beauty and enjoyment of your new cabinets.

endgrain END GRAIN
End grains appear darker, as the stain is absorbed more due to the softness of the wood.  This is most commonly seen on the Mortise and Tenon jointed doors. This is a natural reaction when the stain is applied. This is not a deemed a defect.

mineralstreaks MINERAL STREAKS
An olive or greenish-black or brown discoloration of undetermined cause in hardwoods, commonly caused by minerals which the tree extracts from the soil, or other injuries that occurred during the growth process. This is common in many types of wood products.

aging AGING
Wood continue to age in your home.  Some wood products like Cherry will darken faster than others. For those who appreciate the unique features that wood products offer, this transformation will continue to bring rich lusters to the product as time moves forward.

colourvariation COLOUR VARIATION
Our stain finishes are semi-transparent to enhance the natural beauty and character of our products. While we offer an extensive range of stains and colour tones. Colour may vary based on the underlying wood products.


Posted in Discussion Forum | Comments Off

Welcome to our new Display Centre

displayslongview displaywood

Whether working out of a cramped home office or a larger commercial area, designers rarely have the space to keep the oodles of samples on hand necessary to satisfy the variety of needs their clients throw at them. This is where our display centre becomes a valuable asset. We are featuring a very detailed selection of cabinet doors with an array of colours, patterns, and woods, far beyond the typical options. We are also showcasing the latest trends and innovations in decorative interior building products, many of which are brand new to our market area! Think of this as your ideal resource to make the next project special. Visit us today @ 2524 Bridge St. Victoria

Posted in Discussion Forum | Comments Off

Floating Shelves & Miter Folding Capabilities

Northern Contours has the ability to use the miter folding techniques to create a host of shapes.  Here are some examples of the many possibilities.  Email Raincoast Doors or call  888-739-3667 to discuss how this can benefit your next project.

[gview file="NCMiterFolding.pdf"]


Ridge textured veneer doors are the latest sensation in using natural wood’s potential to create new looks.

[gview file="NC-INSPIRED-sell-sheets-Ridge-Textured-Veneer-individual.pdf"]


Posted in Discussion Forum | Comments Off

That’s a wrap

Attributed to:
Wrapped laminate technology allows amazingly authentic wood grain reproductions to be applied to kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors and drawer faces at the factory
Though it looks like wood, the wrapped laminate doors and drawer faces are tougher and less expensive. This emerging technology also reduces harvest pressure on forests.

Though it looks like wood, the wrapped laminate doors and drawer faces are tougher and less expensive. This emerging technology also reduces harvest pressure on forests.

Beautiful wood will always be popular, but the rising cost of solid wood cabinets is becoming more and more of a problem. This is one reason wood is showing up less often in new Canadian homes, even though homeowners want wood more than ever. The challenge is getting the look of wood in a way that’s also financially attainable, environmentally sound and practically efficient, and a technology called wrapped laminate profiles can help. Even though I’m a hard-core wood guy, I’m impressed. Let me show you why, then you decide if wrapped laminate cabinet doors and drawer faces make sense for your next kitchen or bathroom.

Wrapped laminate technology allows amazingly authentic wood grain reproductions of cherry, walnut, mahogany and dozens of other luxurious hardwoods to be applied to kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors and drawer faces at the factory. Even though I’ve worked professionally with wood for more than 25 years, I can’t tell the difference between wrapped laminate doors and drawers and real wood without looking from several inches away. Besides good looks, good value is the main reason homeowners consider wrapped laminates. Some homeowners find they can even pay for a granite countertop with the money they save moving from a solid wood kitchen to a wrapped laminate alternative that looks at least as attractive. And it’s not just a matter of appearance, either. The best wrapped laminate products also have woodgrain textures, so they have the rich feel of fine hardwoods.

According to my research over the last four years, Olon Industries ( offers the widest variety of wrapped laminate products in Canada. Their NEXGEN doors and drawer faces are used by kitchen and bathroom cabinet manufacturers and trim shops across North America. One reason these are popular is the way species and colours are made to match the prefinished sheet goods used by cabinetmakers to build kitchens and bathrooms. It’s one thing to have a decent looking set of doors or drawers, but that’s not much good if those doors don’t exactly match the rest of the kitchen.

Besides lower cost, greater durability is another reason wrapped laminate kitchens are taking off. One recurring problem with solid wood kitchen cabinets, for instance, is the way wood gets discoloured with grease and oil around door and drawer knobs. It’s a widespread issue and virtually impossible to fix without complete refinishing. Wrapped laminate doors and drawers are completely impervious to staining like this, and their durability goes beyond just grease resistance.

It’s actually quite difficult to harm wrapped laminate profiles. I know because I’ve tried. Car keys, a screw driver or even a letter opener didn’t make a mark on the surface of NEXGEN doors during my tests, even if your rub fairly hard. Most kitchen cabinet manufacturers offer a five year warranty on these doors and drawers, which is much longer than you’ll find with wood. Materials for making these doors can also be specified as certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council, and offered with built-in anti-bacterial properties. If you’re concerned about indoor air quality, NEXGEN doors and drawers have super-tight corner joints, so there’s no chance for off-gassing of formaldehyde from the MDF inner core, as verified by independent testing.

From everything I’ve seen, wrapped laminate kitchen cabinet doors, drawers and trim have all the features that will let them take off. That’s already happening in Quebec where about one-third of new kitchen cabinets now use wrapped laminate doors and drawer faces instead of solid wood. For those who can pay the price, solid wood will continue to go into the fanciest kitchens. But for the majority of us, it looks to me like something new and better is about to become mainstream.

Posted in Discussion Forum | Comments Off

Sheet Veneer

Posted in Product Spotlights | Comments Off

PSA Foils and Veneers

Posted in Product Spotlights | Comments Off

Demystifying Veneer Part 2 Application

With Special thanks to Multiflex Veneers for this post.

The use of a veneer press, either a vacuum, cold or hot press using white or yellow glue, is the preferred method of applying wood veneer. If press is not available, good contact cement may be used. Look for contact cement with the highest level of solids and follow the adhesive manufacturer instructions. (Flammable contact cement most often works better than nonflammable.)

  1. It is critical to the application to thoroughly stir the adhesives before each use, just as in painting. The solids and solvents must be mixed to form the best contact. Most people overlook this very important step. It is also critical to dry thoroughly — lightly touch to check if it is dry. If even the lest bit tacky, allow to dry thoroughly. Store cans of finishes and contact cement off the floor during winter months.
  2. ALSO, IT IS EXTREMELY CRITICAL to use maximum pressure when smoothing out the veneer. DO NOT USE A “J” ROLLER to smooth out flexible veneer. Instead use a scrap piece of wood approximately 12″ long and 6″ wide as a veneer scraper. Lightly sand the 6″ edge to take the sharpness away and create a slight radius, the smaller the radius the better as it will produce the greatest pressure. A 1/16″ radius will produce 4 time more pressure than a 1/4″ radius. Holding the scraper with both hands and using it like a wooden squeegee smooth out the veneer from the center outward to the edges.
  3. While paper-backed veneer is intended for interior use, it can be used on an exterior surface only if an expoxy application is used.
  4. Veneer must be bonded to a suitable substrate of a reliable quality. MDF (medium density fiberboard) is the most stable substrate, followed by industrial particleboard, veneer-core plywood, and the least stable substrate is hardwood.
  5. We do not recommend direct application to drywall, plaster walls, concrete walls or cardboard products, as delamination may occur. Veneer should be applied to MDF substrate to cover these surfaces. Installation over sub-strates that have been treated with a fire-retardant agent is not recom-mended.
  6. When veneering over bending plywood materials, we have found that laminating an 1/8” MDF over the surface makes it more stable (1/8” MDF can bend around a 2’ – 3’ radius).
  7. Prior to installation, the veneer should be allowed to “climatize” with the substrate in the same environment for about 48 hours. Make sure that both the surface to be covered and the back of the veneer are free of dust, dirt, oil, grease or any foreign matter.
  8. To avoid sealing in too much moisture, it is best to finish the veneer when the humidity is less than 51%, as it may shrink when placed in a climate-controlled environment.
  9. Wood veneers rely 100% on the adhesive. Ask your supplier which content cement contains the most solids. Even though it is more expensive, it is goes much farther and will be less costly in the long run. Both the veneer back and the substrate require 100% contact cement coverage. Often, a second coat is needed on the substrate, as the first coat may be partially absorbed. The first coat is acting as a sealer, the second coat is the glue.
  10. Allow the proper drying time (“flash time”) between coats. Normally there is a generous window of time. Glues should be completely dry before applying the veneer. Anything less creates the risk of a weak bond between the two glue lines. Rushing can lead to solvent pockets appearing as bubbles.
  11. When using contact cement, a pinch roller is preferred for pressing veneer on the substrate as the amount of pressure is very important to activate the glue. A flexible wood scraper may be used if a roller is not available. Do not use a J-roller, as it does not allow you to apply enough pressure directly onto the veneer. Also, to avoid bubbling when hand pressing your veneer on the boards, be sure to start in the middle of the board and work your way to the outer edges.
  12. After applying veneer, allow adhesive to dry 24 hours before applying any finish. Apply the finish in light, even coats. Two thin coats are always better than one heavy coat. Allow 24 hours drying time between stain and sealer to let stain totally dry.
  13. When finishing veneer with two-part catalyzed finishes, be careful not to make your finish too thick. Some finishes will crack or check when they are more than 4 mils thick. Check with a finish manufacturer. Vinyl sanding sealer is a good choice when sealing your furniture, as it has excellent moisture and vapor resistance.
  14. Check finish instructions to make sure that you have the proper time and temperature for your veneer to dry. (Example: catalyst finish should dry at 68-75-degrees for six to eight hours.) It may be a good idea to take a short course on stains and finishes. Some companies offer these courses for little or no money. They can be most helpful. M.L. Campbell is one such company.
  15. Water-born stains and finishes are not recommended for finishing veneer, unless you seal the veneer with a vinyl or acrylic sanding sealer first.
  16. Do not apply veneer to a two-sided melamine coated board. Do not sand melamine from a two-sided melamine board to apply veneer, as bubbling could result. If board comes from a manufacturer with one side melamine and the other side raw, you may apply the veneer to the raw side of the board.
Posted in Discussion Forum | Comments Off

Applied Mouldings





We are often asked for an alternatively designed wood door, something with depth, colour variation, which spices up a traditional wood cabinet door. Our answer to this is our applied moulding door. By combining flat panel or raised panel doors with same or contrasting wood species of moulding and trim applied to the door frame we are able to drastically change the look of a comfortably traditional door.

Available in a wide range of moulding profiles, these doors can be modified to suit virtually any design and colour palette. We are proud to offer a flat rate for applied mouldings regardless or style or species chosen so sharpen those creative ideas and realize the advantages of an applied moulding door (sq ft price based on door species with flat rate up charge for applied moulding).

Our Applied Moulding Doors are manufactured with the highest standards. The doors are made traditionally with solid glue only joints in the stiles and rails (no pins). They are then machine and hand sanded before the moulding is mitered, glued and pinned into place. A great deal of care is taken to ensure a clean, glue and pin free surface is obtained before the door receives one last hand sanding. We are more than happy to provide you with a physical sample so you can see the quality and high standards that is Raincoast Door.


Don’t see a profile that works? Ask about our custom profile options!



TOLL FREE PHONE 1.888.739.3667 TOLL FREE FAX 1.888.651.1669


Posted in Product Spotlights | Comments Off

Demystifying Veneer Cuts

We receive so many calls about the different wood veneers that are available in the market today. With Terms like Rift Cut, flat sliced, and rotary cut it can be a difficult task just to know what to ask for. With many thanks to Multifex Veneers we offer this helpful guide:

Veneer cutting methods

Rotary-Cut Veneer

Rotary-Cut Veneer is manufactured by advancing a rotating log against a stationary knife. Since this cut follows the log’s annual growth rings, a wide, bold grain pattern is produced. Rotary cut veneer is a cost effective method to obtain remarkable effects from birch, maple and oak.

Plain-Sliced Veneer

Plain-Sliced Veneer is the most widely used in architectural doors. It is manufactured by advancing a half log against a stationary knife in an up-and-down movement. The resulting cut is characterized by straight grain intermixed with cathedrals. This method is moderately priced and is available for most wood species.

Quarter-Sliced Veneer

Quarter-Sliced Veneer uses the same cutting method as plain-sliced veneer, except the log is cut into quarters prior to slicing. This method bisects annual growth rings and results in a straight grain or ribbon-striped (mahogany) appearance. Due to low yield from the log, this veneer is usually more costly.

Rift-Cut Veneer

Rift-Cut Veneer uses various species of oak. The rift, or comb-grain effect, is obtained by slicing slightly across the medullary rays. This accentuates the vertical grain and minimizes the flake. Rift-cut veneers are more expensive due to lower yield from the log.

Long sliced (also called Marunaca)

Long sliced (also called Marunaca): is made by slicing a wood beam gently through the growth rings, this method accentuates the vertical grain and minimise flakes. This type of cut is more expensive then Quarted and Flat cut.

Half round

Half round is made by cutting the block parallel to the growth rings. As this cut follows the growth rings of the tree, a sequence of prononced large grain will forme. The half round is a low coast type of cut as the flat cut that gives a nice look with the Birch, Maple and Oak.

Posted in Discussion Forum | Comments Off