What type of wood is this?

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Forum topic by meedjmom posted 02-16-2018 07:28 PM 813 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 186 days

02-16-2018 07:28 PM

I’m working to refinish my first piece of furniture and would love some input. I noticed that the wood on the sides of the table is lighter in color than the center piece. Can someone identify the type(s) of wood just by looking at the photo….or take a best guess? I’m just curious.

Also, I bought a few different stains to try but was wondering if anyone had a suggestion as to what stain color to try first to try to match original. Maybe some stains are more widely used?

Any help is appreciated. This is all new to me. Thanks in advance!

27 replies so far

View Andre's profile


1963 posts in 1893 days

#1 posted 02-16-2018 07:34 PM

Got to be Alder!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View splintergroup's profile


2211 posts in 1309 days

#2 posted 02-16-2018 09:22 PM

Close up photos would help.

Could be Lauan/mahogany veneer (if it is a veneer)

View meedjmom's profile


5 posts in 186 days

#3 posted 02-16-2018 10:55 PM

Thanks for the fast replies! Looking it up on the Internet, it sure looks like Alder. Here’s a closeup.

View PCDub's profile


65 posts in 331 days

#4 posted 02-17-2018 12:04 AM

[be aware that “alder” is a running joke answer on here whenever anyone asks “what kind of wood is this?”]

[I’m not saying it’s not alder, just saying that’s a typical response! Kinda looks like maple to me, but I am not an expert!!]

View Tony_S's profile


899 posts in 3170 days

#5 posted 02-17-2018 12:18 AM

It’s not Alder.
It’s more than likely Luan, which is just a generic name for one of dozens of different types of woods in the Shorea genus.
In a nutshell….It’s ‘fake’ Mahogany.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View diverlloyd's profile


2942 posts in 1944 days

#6 posted 02-17-2018 12:22 AM

I agree with Tony. Any alder answer should be blocked as its not funny,unhelpful and confusing for new members.

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Chris Cook

323 posts in 2368 days

#7 posted 02-17-2018 12:29 AM

I agree with Tony. Any alder answer should be blocked as its not funny,unhelpful and confusing for new members.

- diverlloyd

Let’s not get uptight about it, geez!! Have a little fun already!

Definitely alder!

-- Chris, "all we are is sawdust in the dust collector""

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17565 posts in 3093 days

#8 posted 02-17-2018 12:31 AM

Im in the mahogany of some sort group

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View meedjmom's profile


5 posts in 186 days

#9 posted 02-17-2018 06:48 PM

Oh, that made me feel foolish.

View meedjmom's profile


5 posts in 186 days

#10 posted 02-17-2018 06:49 PM

But I’m a big girl. I’m over it.

I really just want to know if the type of wood makes this a more or less expensive piece of furniture.

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2995 posts in 2259 days

#11 posted 02-17-2018 06:52 PM

less expensive

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View TheFridge's profile


9889 posts in 1573 days

#12 posted 02-17-2018 07:10 PM

Only alder will make it more expensive. If it’s not alder it’s trash. You should probably burn it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Ripper70's profile


1089 posts in 995 days

#13 posted 02-17-2018 07:28 PM

Stains come in a wide variety of colors and can also be mixed to achieve a custom color, if desired. Ordinarily, one would use the stain on a “test piece” in an effort to decide which stain best suited the final piece but it seems as if you don’t have that luxury. Be aware also, that if the top is just a veneer it may not take much sanding during your refinishing to work your way right through to the substrate. Go easy.

As for the “type” of wood? I’ve been duped myself by the Alder-Boys and have opted to throw in with them, mostly because I rarely have any clue when it come to wood species identification and because I think they’re fun. Alder is always my first answer to any “what kind” question, but resident Tony_S is has much more expertise than most folks you’ll find offering opinions.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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4900 posts in 2438 days

#14 posted 02-17-2018 07:51 PM

I’ll go with Luan.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View caboxmaker's profile


281 posts in 475 days

#15 posted 02-17-2018 07:54 PM

Ripper, what stain could I use to give my maple table that alder look?

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