My problem was a lack of understanding about how a screw joint actually works. It's not the threads biting into both pieces that secured everything in place. Rather, the strength of a screw joint comes from the threads pulling the screw through the bottom piece and securing the top from the pressure against the screw's head. The threads are irrelevant in the top piece; only the head matters.
Removing Wood Grain Texture -How to get a nice smooth finish when painting cabinets or furniture that has a strong wood grain. Part 1 of a 2 part series on painting oak cabinets bought off of craigslist.
Mistakes People Make When Painting Kitchen Cabinets