BBQ Island
So I want to build a BBQ prep island that will sit out in the weather year-round in MD. Size will be approx 48w 24d x 36 high. I have a line on a stone top that will handle high temp from grates, grills, pots etc. Unit will have castors for portability. The front will consist of a set of SS drawers and SS double cabinet doors mounted on a faceframe of white oak. Sides and back will be frame and panel. All the wood will get painted.
Q1, is frame and panel construction a bad idea for an outdoor piece? Thinking that water penetration in the frame's dados might be a problem.   
Q2, is regarding the panel material. I'm considering 3/8" MDO but I've never worked with it. Is it suitable in this application? I know the MDO edges need to be epoxied for weatherproofing.  
Q3, while not a big deal...I want to fill the grain of the oak before painting to blend in with the MDO. Any issues with that? 

Other suggestions/comments before I start getting materials?
3/8" seems pretty thin to me. Unless your white oak is supporting the entire stone top and both ends of your drawer slides, the MDO will be pretty stressed. Were it me, I'd paint the entire island except for the stone top and stainless steel drawers.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
Should have mentioned it will have legs to carry the load of the top. Frame and panels will be mortised into the legs. Everything gets paint but the top and SS.
I used 1/2" MDO on frame and panel exterior doors on my shed, made with ash frames no less, talk about poor weather resistance.  The frames were made with a rabbett so the panels could be installed after painting.  I primed and painted the door frames and panels separately so every surface that would potentially be exposed to water would be covered.  Then I "glued" the MDO panels in place with paintable silicone caulking.  I guess they are about 4 years old now and still look as good as new.  Keeping water out of the joints is key to longevity, and that's the reason I built them the way I did.  Standard frame and panel construction will always present a problem unless you caulk around the frame/panel joints, but one little crack in that will start to let water in.  Setting the panels in a complete bead of caulk on the rabbett gives a much better chance of long-term durability.  

It seems like a lot of extra work to fill the grain on the white oak, but if that's what you want to do I would look at Aqua Coat.  It did a good job for me.  Easy to use, water clean up. 

Thanks All. I think I will forge ahead.
Painted frame-and-panel with mismatched materials seems like a plan for failure for outdoor use in MD. As the frame expands and contracts, the paint at the panel-frame meeting will split and lose water-tightness.

If you want the appearance of panel-and-frame, why not use a thicker MDO (or the waterproof version of MDO) and rout in the contour that you would have with the frame-and-panel. That does mean some extra sealing of the MDO where the outer surface is routed away, but the paint will stay put and not split as the temp and humidity changes.
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.

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