Is this veneer?

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Forum topic by Nygiants77 posted 03-01-2013 11:46 PM 1471 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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57 posts in 1957 days

03-01-2013 11:46 PM

I’m not sure if this desk top is veneer but I was told it is solid Honduras mahogany. What’s your take on it? Seems like a veneer sand through to me.
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12 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


6929 posts in 2598 days

#1 posted 03-01-2013 11:50 PM

Doesn’t look like sold wood to me. Looks like it has been sanded through the top layer.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2969 days

#2 posted 03-01-2013 11:54 PM

^Ditto. Is there any end grain on the ends?

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2277 days

#3 posted 03-02-2013 12:04 AM

Nygiants77 – Yep veneer….. In my woodworking bad experiences, I’ve sanded through veneer on an edge or end. I haven’t forgot what that looks like. Your pictures looks like it for sure. To verify, renners right on about looking for end grain on the ends

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Nygiants77's profile


57 posts in 1957 days

#4 posted 03-02-2013 12:20 AM

i would have to sand through the finish on the ends to be sure. Which would be horrific if i find out that it is in fact veneer.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3285 days

#5 posted 03-02-2013 01:36 AM


It’s definitely veneer. If you look at the last picture @ the rounded end, you can see how the grain is different. Actually running the opposite direction. The veneer has already been sanded or worn through and there are a couple small traces along the edges in the other pictures.

-- John @

View runswithscissors's profile


2752 posts in 2025 days

#6 posted 03-02-2013 02:42 AM

I would also say Philippine mahogany (luaun), not Honduras. Could be wrong, as it’s a little hard to tell from photos. And, there many woods that are called mahogany (African, for example).

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2690 days

#7 posted 03-02-2013 03:23 AM

Yep, that’s veneer with the second layer exposed in several areas.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Nygiants77's profile


57 posts in 1957 days

#8 posted 03-02-2013 03:51 AM

Yup so it appears I fucked this one up. I’m thinking about using a coloring pencil to get it back to the right shade

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3285 days

#9 posted 03-02-2013 01:42 PM


You may be able to get the color to blend, but I’m sorry to say, those areas will always stand out like a sore thumb. It will be the first thing anyone notices when they look at the vanity.

You still have options to save the vanity, but I don’t think you’ll like them much.

The first question you need to find the answer for; is how much can you get for this vanity if and when you decide to sell it. The bad top will take most of the value away from the vanity, because most people have no idea how to fix it.

I’m just guessing, but I feel if this vanity was in perfect condition, you might be able to get $200 – $250 for it. Someone is more likely to buy it for it’s cute design then for any antique value.


1. Take off old veneer and install new. First problem with that is the cost factor; what the veneer will cost, the glue/adhesive, some sort of veneer press or J roller to roll out the veneer good, veneer trimmer to properly trim the veneer… all the labor involved in doing it ( Have you every done any veneering before?).
Personally, I believe you would have more in the vanity then you will ever get out of it, when you take into consideration the rest of the refinishing cost also.

2. Be Creative; if the rest of the desk strips down good and you can stain that back to more of the original look, then instead of trying to make the top original, make it the vocal point instead. Fill the open grain on the top, sand and then spray paint just the vanity top. Satin black or Pearl White of something like that.
Yes it’s going to pull away from the original style and value of the vanity, but the value damage has already been done.

3. Paint the entire thing, put some funky hardware on it and give it to your niece!

You just have to decide how and where to sell the vanity. Know your customer. If you think your vanity has real “antique value”, then you have to keep it original and decide if it will be worth re-veneering the top and drawer front or selling as is…..........if there is no real “antique value”, then be creative, make it unique and don’t try to sell it as an antique.

Good luck and keep us posted. BTW, if you would like to see how you can change the look of an old desk with a little veneer and some paint, check out my latest entry on my blog. This desk had no antique value so my decision to change it a little was not a problem.

-- John @

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2286 days

#10 posted 03-02-2013 03:00 PM

Veneer definitely. I just used a piece of cherry ply in a project and sanded through the very end of it. Had to cut 3/8 padauk strips to inlay over it. Took me an additional two days to cover up that little sand through.
I wouldn’t use the stuff, but I still have 1/3 of a sheet. Never again.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Nygiants77's profile


57 posts in 1957 days

#11 posted 03-02-2013 06:07 PM

Hey John thanks for following my posts and giving such good tips. I believe there is some antique value because I have seen other pieces of furniture from this company sold on eBay. I plan on putting it up there Monday night (if all goes well that is). I know I won’t get much for it at this point but it was a great first refinishing project and I feel like I learned a lot from this. If I were to spend the money stripping off the old veneer and applying a new one I doubt I would even break even. There are still some deep water marks in the top that I need to take care of. I was thinking wood bleach. Now if the wood bleach does more damage to it ill give it to my niece after all haha. Russell I try to sand ply as least as possible if I sand it at all! I start the ply with 150 grit paper too.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3285 days

#12 posted 03-02-2013 10:08 PM

I try to learn something new with every project I tackle and I’m finding out the longer I’ve been woodworking, the more I need to learn. lol.

Good luck and hope you can sell it and move on with another project. Keep us posted

-- John @

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