finishing cabinet panel door

I was just at my sister's house and they had some great looking new custom cabinets with flat panel doors made by a local guy -- except in a door on a large pantry cabinet the panel had moved and I could see unfinished areas on the panel.
Is there a trick to staining/finishing the panel so when it moves around you don't see any unfinished surface? Do you finish the panel before assembly -- or, at least stain it first?
I ask because some cabinet doors are on my todo list. Thanks.
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I finished all my panels before assembling the door. The panel should have a small amount of movement so that it is loosely held in place.
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I prestain before assembly... If you do this before cutting the 4 x 8 sheet, you may have a sore back before you get done.. ;~) I prefer small surfaces...
wrote:

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You can stain only or stain and apply first finish coat before assembly. I have done both and they both work okay. However, I prefer to put one coat of finish first. It is easier to clean off dust and any stray glue during the glue up.
Preston

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wrote:

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wrote:

"irregularities"? Surely you jest!
Thanks.
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